Clubhouse talks move forward

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Moffat County commissioners and American Legion Post 62 will move ahead this week with negotiations to give Shadow Mountain Clubhouse to the Legion, commissioners said Tuesday.

The city of Craig last week expressed interest in taking control of the facility, which commissioners voted in December to close.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, commissioners said they were moving ahead with negotiations with the Legion because the city was no longer interested in taking over the clubhouse.

The county wants a nonprofit organization to take over the facility as soon as possible, Commissioner Tom Gray said. But the city isn't interested in taking over the clubhouse as quickly as the county would like, officials say.

Commissioners will negotiate the level of involvement the county will have in the facility and the hours the clubhouse will remain open to the public, Gray said.

Commissioners would like to sign off on an agreement between the Legion and the county at next week's meeting, Gray said.

In December, commissioners voted to close the clubhouse to cut costs in 2006, causing an outcry among some residents. Gray voted for the county to keep the clubhouse open.

The county spent more than $90,000 in 2005 to operate Shadow Mountain.

Residents who use the swimming pool and meeting rooms at Shadow Mountain criticized commissioners for the decision to close the clubhouse.

They said the clubhouse's swimming pool was one of the few places in Craig where senior citizens and residents with disabilities could exercise.

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.

Moffat County commissioners earlier this month asked local nonprofits and the city to make an offer to manage the facility, and the city and the Legion were the only two groups to make offers.

Mel Shockley, American Legion post commander, said Tuesday he was pleased the commissioners were going to negotiate with the Legion.

The Legion plans to use the facility as its headquarters and keep it open to the public, Shockley said.

He was concerned last week that the city would take over the facility. If the commissioners' decision had come down to money, the Legion would not have been able to compete with the city. That's because the city receives tax dollars, Shockley said.

The county isn't necessarily interested in selling the clubhouse, commissioners said. But it's an option they'll keep open, they said.

Commissioners said they will conduct the negotiations with the Legion behind closed doors as they would with the sale of any county property.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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