Care center feasibility study available

Public comment to assist planning, organizing possible use for building

A feasibility study discussed at a March meeting about the future use of the Moffat County Youth Care Center is available to anyone who would like to offer ideas.

The Moffat County Commissioners have signed a contract with Shiloh Homes to take over the youth care center, so Moffat County has at least two years to explore how the community wants to use the facility.

The county refurbished the abandoned Armory building several years ago to be used as a youth care center, but financial constraints forced officials to back out of the management of the facility. Shiloh Homes offered to take over, and will rent the building for two years before having to find a place of its own.

Now, county officials want to poll the community to see what the building could be used for. Suggestions ranged from opening a recreation center, to housing the ambulance crew and vehicles, to opening a vocational school.

Community input is due May 31 and the results will be tabulated sometime in June, which will spur the organization and meeting of a committee of interested community members, said Debra Murray, Administrative Services Director.

"What I envision is that the committee will take a look at the top three to five ideas and then we'll have a community meeting to open the process up for public comment," Murray said. "We want to know what the community wants in regards to the future of this facility."

The feasibility study was designed with the help of Web sites dedicated to creating similar studies. The study is constructed to help individuals or groups organize their particular proposal by helping them clarify what is necessary for operations, maintenance, obstacles that exist, personnel needs, administration, duplication concerns and marketing needs. The study also looks at the goals and demands for the project, Murray said.

"We did our best not to make it difficult and discourage people; we're still very interested in the community's input," she said. "If anyone has an idea, I encourage them to pick up a study from my office and fill it out."

The study might soon be available on the county Web site, Murray said.

Laura Tyler, the National Assistant Pistol Coach and a coach for Craig's Junior Development Program, has looked at the feasibility study, but has not yet filled it out.

"I wrote my own proposal a while back, and while there is some doubt about the ownership of the building, we're going to wait a bit," Tyler said. "The paperwork could definitely be helpful, but after the open house at the Armory building, and with the multiple-use concept, I didn't see the shooting range idea being that compatible anymore."

The Craig Emergency Response Team has begun work on its proposal.

"I just started working on it yesterday since we got approval from administration to begin the process," said Charity Sjogren, a member of the ERT Leadership Team. "I'm hoping to complete it within the next couple of days. I need some numbers from administration, and you never know whether we'll be very busy or have the time to work on it.

"The process is simpler for us since we wouldn't be bringing in any revenue. There are no funding issues, or coordinating work with other organizations we would tear down the windows of the garage door and use the site immediately."

The state armed forced department owns the armory, but has leased it to the county. The county has expressed interest in acquiring the building from the state, Murray said.

"If we do have a chance to end up with the building, we probably will," he said. "It's going to basically be the state's decision. It's something I'm still looking into, but I'm pretty sure it will be a process if the state has an interest in getting rid of it."

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