City seeks grant for Armory renovations

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City officials don't to want involve themselves in the future of the National Guard Armory if it involves partnering with the county, but they're willing to submit a grant application that may pay for some renovations.

The Moffat County Commissioners agreed to lease the facility -- which they in turn lease from the National Guard -- to the fledgling Boys & Girls Club of Craig. But, for the facility to serve as a supervised gathering place for the community's youth, several renovations are needed, particularly in the gymnasium and parking lot.

The Craig City Council agreed Tuesday night to request a $100,000 Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance grant, but they won't put up money to match it. The grant will be submitted with no matching funds. City Manager Jim Ferree said it has a chance of being awarded with no local contribution, but he couldn't say what that chance was.

The deadline for the grant is Dec. 1 and this would be the only request from Moffat County. The next opportunity to apply for an energy impact grant would be April 1 and the county is expected to submit a request at that time.

"I kind of think this might not be a bad thing for us to chase," Mayor Dave DeRose said.

There was talk of using some of the city's Conservation Trust money either for a grant match or for the renovations themselves, but city officials were leery about putting money into a building that wasn't leased, not owned.

"We're in dire, dire need of gym space," Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike said.

He said the lack of gym space would eventually cause his department to have to cut programs. Having additional gym space where he could run programs in the evenings could prevent that. They gym at the Boys & Girls club would be available for community use after 7 p.m. each evening.

The problem is that city officials feel they would need some management authority in order to contribute those funds.

"The lease and sub-lease sound a little precarious to me," Councilor Bill Johnston said. "I'm not interested in a partnership (with the county)."

Another option, DeRose said, is that the city assume the lease from the county and become the building's operator.

"In the long term it would be nice if someone in this community took ownership," he said.

Ferree was opposed to that proposal.

"I'm not asking for another building. We don't need another building. You don't have to own or lease it to apply for the grant," he said.

The city will apply for the grant and iron out the details as it prepares to make a presentation to the grant committee.

Boys & Girls Club of Craig committee members have set a goal of having the facility open by the end of the school year to provide summer activities.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com

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