Despite reservations on the part of several Craig City Council members, Moffat County will get $5,000 toward keeping Shadow Mountain Clubhouse open.
Council members voted 4-2 Tuesday night to contribute the funding at the request of Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele via Mayor Dave DeRose.
Steele did not attend Tuesday's meeting.
Councilors Bill Johnston and Don Jones voted against the motion.
"We're donating money out of our budget that we're working hard at keeping flat," Johnston said. "It concerns me (county commissioners) will go back on their budget cuts."
County officials say they need $27,000 to keep the community recreation and meeting facility open, and are willing to pay $7,000 of that total themselves. Originally, the facility was scheduled to be closed in March amid a budget crisis that has forced county officials to trim more than $1 million from its 2004 budget. Public outcry has caused commissioners to re-evaluate their decision to close Shadow Mountain Clubhouse and led to the funding requests.
"I personally feel it's a valid-enough issues to keep Shadow Mountain open," DeRose said. "We can sit here and discuss it until the cows come home and when they come home, they might not have a county to come to."
The council first addressed the county's request two weeks ago and tentatively agreed to contribute if the other entities asked also kicked in. At this point, two physical therapy offices have agreed to give $2,500 each and the Moffat County School District will contribute $5,000. The Colorado Northwestern Community College-Craig Board of Control was also asked for $5,000, but has not made a formal decision.
"We said we'd play if everyone else does and I hate to go back on our word," Councilor Joe Herod said.
Council members were leery about making the contribution, thinking it would be the first of many to come from the cash-strapped county.
"I just hope this doesn't snowball and I foresee it. I really do," Jones said. "We've got to learn to say 'no.' We've asked our departments to cut their budgets and stay flat and we've maintained."
DeRose tried to reassure council members that wouldn't be the case.
"Darryl Steele was emphatic about not having to keep coming to us for money. He just wanted help on this issue," he said.
The city will pay $800 through May for the use of the Shadow Mountain Clubhouse indoor pool, which is being used for swimnastics classes. That is about half the $15 an hour rate the county charges others who rent the pool for classes or parties.
The city's $5,000 contribution will be made on top of the fees it already pays for using the facility.
"Not only is the city willing to help with the $5,000, but we are paying our way in other things," Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike said.
During the city's parks, recreation and trails master plan process, Shadow Mountain Clubhouse was identified as a high-use facility necessary to the community.
The contribution is contingent on the county providing financial updates regarding the facility so the council can oversee how its contribution is being spent.
"Any place else we give money to, we ask that," Jones said.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at email@example.com.