Shadow Mountain's future unclear

The future of Shadow Mountain Clubhouse remains up in the air, Moffat County commissioners said Tuesday.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, commissioners presented the 2006 budget for public review. Commissioners are required by law to finalize the 2006 budget by Dec. 13.

Tinneal Gerber, county budget analyst, handed out a list of all the cuts commissioners were considering for 2006.

Closing Shadow Mountain was on the list, but commissioners said that nothing about Shadow Mountain was decided.

Shadow Mountain, 1055 Moffat County Road 7, has a swimming pool and meeting room used by a variety of organizations, including the Moffat County School District and Colorado Division of Wildlife.

On Tuesday, commissioners and the citizen's budget advisory committee discussed possible closure of Shadow Mountain.

The committee, which is made up of seven county residents appointed by the commissioners to provide input during the budget process, was split about what the county should do with Shadow Mountain.

Dean Gent, a local rancher on the committee, said that if commissioners want to sell Shadow Mountain, they need to ask the voters first.

"Before you sell off the public assets, you ought to go to the voters," Gent said.

The county spent more than $90,000 on Shadow Mountain last year and Gent said taxpayers should be able to continue using it for public meetings, even if it means paying a user fee.

But Dave Fleming, a local banker serving on the committee, said if the county is facing cuts, commissioners need to take a hard look at whether to subsidize recreational facilities such as Shadow Mountain.

"Whether it is Shadow Mountain or anywhere else, it has got to pay for itself when the county is in the situation it is in," Fleming said.

All three commissioners said they would like to see Shadow Mountain stay open, but commissioners Darryl Steele and Saed Tayyara said they weren't sure keeping the facility open was feasible.

Commissioner Tom Gray said he agreed with Gent that commissioners shouldn't close the facility. A closure likely would be permanent, Gray said.

"If you close something like that down, you've lost it," Gray said.

Commissioners also discussed the capital projects they plan to fund in 2006.

The projects, which total $735,950, include two new trucks for the Sheriff's Office, a new motor grader and five pickups for the Road and Bridge Department, a compactor for the landfill and two trucks for pest management.

Commissioners and the committee said the county needs to spend more on capital projects in the future.

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