City, county rewrite 10-year-old contract

City may be asked to kick in for airport costs

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For the past 10 years, the city of Craig has rented the Craig-Moffat Airport from Moffat County for $1 a year.

The city government isn't sure they've even paid the dollar.

No one on the Craig City Council or the Moffat County Board of Commissioners is quibbling over such a small amount. But that amount may increase soon, once the Airport Advisory Board finishes reviewing old contracts between the city and county and makes a recommendation to the Board of Commiss-ioners regarding expense sharing at the airport.

The airport contract expired at the end of 2003, and the county and city have a verbal agreement to extend that contract for the next three months. Airport Board member Tom Gilcrist said the advisory board will draft a new agreement to be presented to the county commissioners and City Council by the end of that period.

"We feel we need to start over with a new agreement," Gilcrist said.

A new agreement would spell out the current operating procedures of the airport and include parts of old contracts the board views as still valid, Gilcrist said. The board will work on the new contract during a meeting Jan. 20.

Craig City Manager Jim Feree said the City Council will consider a request to share airport operating expenses if the Board of Commissioners were to ask.

The city and the county used to share the cost of the airport. A 1973 contract established that Moffat County would pay for 75 percent of expenses, and the city would pay for the remaining 25 percent. The same agreement stood for the Moffat County Library.

But in 1983, the county and city reached a new agreement, where the county would pay all expenses at the airport. The county made this deal, because they "felt sorry for the city because they had no money," said Saed Tayarra, who was leaving office as mayor of Craig at that time.

Now those tables have been turned, and the county is low on funds after experiencing declining revenues for the past several years. Members of the Board of Commissioners have not said if they would ask the city to once again share the expenses of the library and airport.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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