Future of the fairgrounds

County seeking community input on master plan


Moffat County is planning for the future of the fairgrounds and it wants the community's help.

Next week, representatives from Bullock Smith and Partners, a consulting firm from Knoxville, Tenn., will be in Craig to talk with local agencies and residents about what they want to see in a master plan for the fairgrounds.

The county is paying the firm $45,000 to develop the plan, $20,000 of which comes from an Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance grant.

One topic of discussion will be the potential construction of a multi-purpose building at the fairgrounds.

"The county would like to put in a multi-purpose facility that could meet the needs of the community," said Moffat County Planning Director Sue Graler. "It's not going to be done next year but we want to look at a plan for the next five to 10 years and the capital improvements that could be made to the fairgrounds."

The firm has estimated that a new arena could cost the county anywhere from $1 million to $1.2 million.

Other factors that will be considered include improving traffic flow for vehicles and pedestrians and assessing parking at the site.

An open forum has been scheduled from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday at the fairgrounds pavilion for the general public to give input on what it wants at the fairgrounds.

"We want to make sure we give everybody an opportunity to give their ideas and input," Graler said. "We feel the fairgrounds is an essential part of the community and we want everybody to be involved."

The rest of the day Wednesday, local service clubs, the Extension Office, 4-H groups, Chamber of Commerce representatives and local rodeo clubs will meet with the representatives from the firm to discuss what they see as possible upgrades that could be done to the fairgrounds.

Graler said once the firm solicits input, it would develop a master plan for the fairgrounds, which should be completed sometime in July.

At that time, she said, the community will be presented with the plan for discussion.

Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said the decision was made to do a master plan for the fairgrounds after a parks and recreation plan was developed.

In the process of coming up with the parks and recreation plan, she said, it was decided that the idea of redeveloping the fairgrounds was a large enough project that it needed its own plan.

She said the master plan should help the county develop a long-term view of the fairgrounds in which necessary improvements can be made in phases.

"The fairgrounds is a very important piece of our community for recreation now and in the future," Raftopoulos said.

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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