County to meet with city about EDP, airport

— County commissioner Saed Tayyara thinks the time for decisions is close at hand.

The Craig City Council and Moffat County commissioners will meet at 5:30 p.m. tonight in the council chambers at City Hall to discuss funding for the Economic Development Partnership and the 2008 Craig/Moffat County Airport budget.

The meeting is open to the public.

Tayyara organized the meeting to make permanent decisions regarding EDP's financial future. Specifically, whether local government should keep funding an organization that hasn't shown any results since being founded in 1985, Tayyara said.

EDP Board of Directors chairman Scott Cook appeared before the City Council at its Aug. 14 meeting where the council gave its blessing for continued funding in 2008.

"We're all in favor of funding them again," Mayor Don Jones said. "They seemed to have their act together this time and seemed to know what they want out of their director. They will actually direct their director, when in the past they looked to that position for their direction."

Tayyara is not as positive as Jones, saying the EDP has never had the kind of success it anticipated.

He wanted a joint meeting so the city and county would be on a level field when they finalize their budgets this fall. Tayyara did not want to be trapped in a situation where one entity forced the hand of the other to fund EDP, or where one said it would fund EDP and then decided it did not have the money when final budget numbers are calculated.

The joint meeting will also take a look at the airport budget for the 2008 budget cycle, which is slated to finance construction and renovation costs.

Jones has mixed feelings about the construction, he said.

"It's been recommended by the airport board, and it's in our master plan for Craig." Jones said. "But I'm just not sure what kind or how big of a building they want."

Jerry Hoberg, airport manager, said the current plans are for the city and county to provide money that the Colorado Department of Local Affairs would match.

Hoberg would like to see $50,000 in cash each from the city and county, and then possibly another $20,000 of in-kind money for most of the construction and demolition. DOLA would then match up to $120,000.

The airport hopes to demolish the current terminal building and build a new one anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, Hoberg said. Money would also be used to repave the public parking lot.

Instead of constructing a new office building, the airport would install a modular one.

"This is all preliminary," Hoberg said. "We haven't gotten down to how much the actual construction or paving the parking lot will cost."

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