BOCC cruise closer on bus center

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Moffat County commissioners agreed Monday to move forward with the sale of county property to the Steamboat Springs transit division for a new regional bus station, that is subject to an appraisal of an old county shop on the fairgrounds.

"I really support this. It's a benefit to the valley, certainly to the community. It's a piece for economic development and it cleans up that area," Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said.

Officials in Steamboat Springs have lined up at least $600,000 in grant money to purchase and renovate the building next to the Kum & Go convenience store, said George Krawzoff, Steamboat's director of transportation.

Krawzoff said the city has $400,000 in federal grants from the Regional Transit Authority and plans to pursue $200,000 in Energy Impact funds with the city of Craig.

The building is the last stop on the way out of Craig and the first stop on the way in from the east entrance, which makes it the perfect place for the center, Krawzoff said.

It also could potentially house the Greyhound bus stop, Krawzoff said.

The building houses BLM fire engines during the winter, equipment that belongs to the Road and Bridge Department and the Sheriff's Office, said Bill Sixkiller, Moffat County fairgrounds manager.

The 4-H program also uses the building for storage.

Sixkiller said the county would have to find other storage space, but that it's not a problem.

"I think it's a good deal," he said.

The grant funds will also go toward the purchase of new buses complete with reading lights, better insulation and forward facing seats, said Jonathan Flint, Steamboat's transit operations manager.

Steamboat is in the middle of the bidding process and after that is complete the buses may take -- at most -- 18 months to arrive, Flint said.

Krawzoff said his department had not drawn up plans for the site, but could provide the commissioners with more concrete plans in the future.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to move forward with the plan.

Commissioner Les Hampton said it's a step in the right direction for regional cooperation.

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