Clubhouse survives 2004 cuts

County facility gets funding for rest of the year

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Moffat County's Shadow Mountain Clubhouse escaped what previously seemed to be certain death thanks to the generosity of local public and private groups.

At their meeting Monday, Moffat County Commissioners said the popular community facility and pool will remain open at least until the end of this year.

According to county figures, the facility needed $27,500 to operate in the second half of 2004. Donations from community groups, some in-kind donations and grant dollars in the last few months reached a little more than $38,000.

"I think it's a pretty good indication that the community finds value in this facility," Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

Commissioners agreed to increase some user fees more than 50 percent late last December after public outcry ensued over its potential closure.

Despite the rate increases, Manager Penny Doolin said she's sold almost 50 passes since the beginning of the year.

The new rates are expected to generate about $35,000, which should almost cover operating expenses according to county figures. Conservative estimates show the clubhouse should run at a cost of 12 percent less than last year or a total of $96,940.

Commissioners were happy to announce that facility would remain open this year but were hesitant to promise the same for next year.

"I think we've all seen the bottom and now we're on our way back up," said Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos. "Unless we have more of a revenue drop then we'll be OK."

"That doesn't mean that we won't have to close it next year," she added.

Doolin said has received word that the facility, which caters to disabled citizens and those seeking water therapy, may make a good candidate to receive grants.

"That's a goal of ours to keep looking for funding," she said.

News of the building's imminent closure may have given the facility a friendly boost to keep doors open as community members came forward with funding solutions, Doolin said.

But if given more lead time about the threat of closure, county workers and citizens may have been able to brainstorm further options.

Commissioners decided in late December to close the facility if funding wasn't made available this month.

In the last few months Steele has pleaded with community organizations for donations.

To date, county records show donations from United Way, the Moffat County School District, the Conservation Trust Fund, The Memorial Hospital, the Kiwanis Club, the city of Craig, Drs. Kinder, citizen Jeff Pleasant, the American Legion and the Craig Elks. Val Pleasant has volunteered to lifeguard at an estimated savings of $3,000 a year.

"What I think did it is that everyone in community has used that building at one time or another," Doolin said.

Steve Grandbouche, director the county's Parks and Recreation Department said the effort wouldn't have been pulled off without community support.

"I'd like to give a hearty thanks to all the people that helped us out," he said. "It was not an easy thing to bring up that bottom line."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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