'Hopefully, it will be a role model'

Chamber of Commerce beautification project underway

Inspiration.

That is what Christina Currie hopes comes out of the work being done on the corner of Fourth and Ranney streets.

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Her hope: Taking "an eye-sore," as Currie called it, of 30-by-50 feet dirt-filled patch of land and transforming it with grass, some shrubbery, a bench, some red brick paving stones and a wood carving from Whittle the Wood, donated by the city.

And when complete, it also will mark a dedication to the late Georgina McAnally -- a longtime area volunteer.

But more than the project's physical beauty, Currie is looking for the mental tone it could set for Craig.

"I hope it inspires some pride and that winds its way through the community," said Currie, the Craig Chamber of Commerce executive director.

The two-year-in-the-making project stems from a Chamber of Commerce Board subcommittee, which focused on city beautification. That subcommittee used a two-pronged approach, Currie said.

One, to focus on the city and county codes and nuisance laws. Two, "to put our money where our mouth is," Currie said.

"We wanted to choose a location that was fairly visible ... that was really an eye-sore and then show what could be done if people ban together and put some effort toward it," she said.

Work on the project began nearly two weeks ago. No timetable has been set on when it will be completed, as weather has forced delays.

The beautification project's original budget was $6,000 to $7,000, but weather-related delays may drive up costs.

The Chamber has funded the majority of the project, using fundraising events like the mud volleyball tournament, as well as getting some financial assistance from the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership and Moffat County Tourism Association, as well as private entities.

APH Construction is doing the concrete work and Anson Excavating donated the dirt work.

Once complete, Correctional Alter--native Placement Services will maintain the land, and a CAPS resident drafted the project design.

Decisions on where the Chamber of Commerce goes with beautification will go to the citizen-based Beautification Committee, also a Chamber subcommittee.

"Doing another project (like this) is a little prohibitive," Currie said. "As we're discovering with this one, it's not like landscaping your own yard."

Still, Currie is excited to see this project through completion.

"It's been a bigger project than we expected," she said. "We have hit a lot of bumps in the road, but to see people out there, doing the work is so gratifying. When it's complete, I think we will have something the entire community will be proud of. Hopefully, it will be a role model."

Jerry Raehal can be reached 824-7031, ext. 204, at jraehal@craigdailypress.com.

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