Few ideas submitted for future use of armory building

Moffat County officials are still looking for guidance for the future use of the old armory building that currently houses a youth care facility.

Despite the number of ideas residents voiced during a public meeting on the facility's future, only one proposal has been turned into the county. Several feasibility studies were distributed upon request to various local groups or entities.

To continue exploring the possible uses of the building, county officials are considering forming an advisory board. The board would examine options and ideas for the future of that building after the two year contract with Shiloh Homes expires.

The county, after losing money running a youth care facility itself, signed a contract with Shiloh Homes, a for-profit business, to provide a youth care center. Shiloh Homes will use the armory for two years, and then will have to provide a site of its own for the center.

The county leases the armory from the National Guard and is working to become the owner of the building.

"We really want to get people's ideas about what the county should look at when considering the future of this building," Moffat County Administrative Services Director Debra Murray said. "Since we didn't get any studies except one, it'll probably make sense to form the advisory board, which we agreed to do for Shiloh Homes, and look at possible uses with those residents."

The Shiloh Homes advisory board would be made up of residents who expressed an interest in serving in that capacity at different meetings over the last few months. Murray plans to contacting those people soon.

"I think we could be holding some meetings in August, and probably get more input then," she said.

Charity Sjogren, a member the The Memorial Hospital Emergency Response Team (ERT) leadership team, said that not turning the plan is was simply a matter of priorities.

"Because of circumstances in our department, the study kept getting pushed down the priority list," Sjogren said. "And, the study didn't apply to us as much; we are different than most organizations that were looking at the building. We are already making a difference to the community, and funding isn't an issue, so some of the questions were already answered."

The size of the survey was also one of the factors that keeps pushing it down the list. The ERT has an interest in the building, but that isn't definite since an ambulance bay could be built in conjunction with the new hospital.

Murray will still accept studies even though the May 31 deadline has passed.

"If someone has an idea put together, I'll still accept the study," Murray said. "Any input we can get is important, and any feasibility study turned in will become part of the examination and decision process."

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