Building boom possible

Craig Community Development Director Dave Costa sits behind a large pile of plans and blueprints on his desk at the city building.

The stack of documents is a key indicator that a busy building season is ahead for Craig, and Costa says his department is looking for help to keep up with the anticipated workload.

"We've seen a steady climb of revenues for the past couple of years," Costa said. "This year is on track to go even higher."

Much of the construction Costa anticipates this year is commercial.

One project scheduled to go before the Craig Planning and Zoning Commission next week is a new lumberyard.

Western Slope Building Supply, with plans to locate on Clay Avenue, is furthest along in the approval process. Costa was reviewing those plans Tuesday.

That project is scheduled to go before the planning and zoning commission Monday and then to the Craig City Council for final approval Feb. 28.

Projects in limbo include the Craig Motel, which may be razed by Kum & Go to make way for a new store on that site, and a possible Walgreens proposal, which may fade from the Craig scene, Costa said.

Still on track is a proposed expansion of the Precision Auto building on West Fourth Street, a project that will nearly double the size of the auto repair business and improve parking and landscaping.

"We need to have more room to get more cars through," said Nikki McLeslie, co-owner with her husband.

Other projects include the new hospital, which is in the subdivision review process to determine its layout and location on property owned by Colorado Northwestern Community College. A proposed movie theater near the Super 8 motel is in the preliminary planning stages.

A 21-room addition to the Deer Park Inn, 262 Commerce St., also is a possible project this year, Costa said.

Residential projects include two new homes in the new Overlook Park subdivision west of town.

To Costa, the projects, though taxing his department's manpower, are a good sign for Craig.

"We've seen a steady increase in the value of activity in the city," Costa said. "Last year, even though the permit numbers were down, the revenues generated were up."

In 2005, the value of construction in Craig was $7,250,000, up from $7,085,967 in 2004.

The most development slated for one area of town will be west of Colorado Highway 13 off First Street in the Pine Ridge area south of the Timber Glen Apartments, where a 22-unit project called Amazon Duplexes is preparing for summer construction.

Close by, and still in the preliminary design phase, are about 50 townhomes on just more than six acres, stretching east from Timber Glen toward College Drive, Costa said

These projects, along with the proposed Wal-Mart, which is being reviewed at the state level, will mean a busy summer for the Craig Community Development Department. He has been advertising for an assistant building inspector.

City Human Resources Coordinator Kathy Larson said the city hopes to fill the position before the summer.

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