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Denver’s chances of getting Medal of Honor Museum made more complicated as RTD votes against proposal

DENVER — Denver is battling Arlington, Texas for the right to build the National Medal of Honor Museum.

A decision by the Medal of Honor Board is expected sometime in October but the prospect of Denver getting the museum was made more complicated Tuesday after RTD voted down a proposal to give some land to the museum in a committee hearing.

In question is a small parcel of land at the corner of East Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Street on the site of RTD’s main bus station downtown.

The museum’s director, Joe Daniels, has previously said the land is “critical” for Denver’s chances in landing the national museum. The main museum would be built across the street in a parking lot closer to the State Capitol. However, the RTD land is where a park maintained by the museum would be built.

RTD spokesperson Pauletta Tonilas sent the following statement after the 7-7 vote (the action item needed eight votes to pass):

“The Board members who voted against it had several concerns, namely that it prevents us from doing anything else with the property if the opportunity presents itself. Others felt it is a prime piece of property that is worth much more than the $123,000/year that RTD would get through a sublease.”

CEO Joe Daniels of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation sent the following statement following the vote:

“Denver is a great city, and we deeply appreciate not only the terrific meetings and conversations we have been having with local leaders on this recent visit but the community’s love of country, respect for our military and faith in the ‘Colorado way’ of getting important things done.  We continue to evaluate Denver and Arlington as the two finalist cities and remain on track to make a final announcement next month.”

The museum’s board of directors is expected to vote on either Denver or Arlington as their site in early October.

Gov. Jared Polis was personally lobbying officials Tuesday, hosting a dinner at his residence for Medal of Honor recipients.

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