Council won't make exception for Habitat

On Monday night, Marilyn Bouldin was elected president of the Moffat County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. On Tuesday night, she was dealt her first set-back as the Craig City Council turned down the organization's request to waive building permit fees for the group's project house at 745 Yampa Ave.

The fees, which include inspections for plumbing and mechanical systems, as well as final inspections, will cost about $2,000.

Mayor Don Jones said that although it was a worthy project, the city had to draw the line, and he suggested the organization go through the Human Resources Council for funds.

The Moffat County branch of the organization was formed from Routt County Habitat for Humanity, and Jones pointed out that Routt County doesn't waive fees for Habitat projects.

Councilman Tom Gilchrist said that this likely will not be the only group to come before council members with a request to waive fees.

"We are not good at judging nonprofit groups," Gilchrist said. "We urge you to go through the HRC. That's why it's set up."

Gilchrist said he would pay for 10 percent of the building permit fee and urged the organization to start a campaign and raise money on its own.

Councilman Terry Carwile supported the Habitat project and made a motion to waive the building permit fees, but his bid failed by a 3-2 vote.

Councilman Kent Nielson asked whether the city was allowed to waive fees for projects. City manager Jim Ferree said that although the council had the latitude to do so, it had never waived a building permit fee.

Councilman Byron Willems offered $100 toward the building permit fee, and the mayor upped his donation to match that of Gilchrist's.

In the end, Bouldin left without the support of the council on waiving fees, but had commitments for $500 toward her goals.

An additional request by Habitat for Humanity for free Dumpsters for hauling trash also was denied.

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