Road to stimulus funds ongoing

Local officials unsure about how to secure dollars

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There is much more unknown than known about the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Moffat County budget analyst Tinneal Gerber said.

"A lot of information is out there that they're putting things together," she said. "But, not a lot of information about what they're putting together."

Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said the most he knows is that there is funding available, some of which will come from the state and some from the federal government.

Some of the money likely will be available through competitive grants, he added, and some through formula-based evaluation.

"We have some projects in mind," Ferree said. "Whether or not they're eligible for funding, who we can apply to, when we can apply, none of that is known now."

Ferree said the city has two projects in the works that could be started immediately, if funding became available today.

City Hall needs several renovations, he said.

Between installing new flooring, windows and drainage systems, as well as remodeling the basement floor where the Craig Police Department once worked, the project could cost about $1.1 million.

"We don't have any budgeted for that, whatsoever," Ferree said.

The city also could pursue two wastewater projects, one to build an additional sludge pond and dry bed at the wastewater plant and the other to install a new sludge line.

An extra pond could cost about $1.25 million, and the sludge line could cost about $500,000, but Ferree said neither project is too pressing.

Both were set for a 2014 target date.

"It'd just be nice to get that done sooner than later," he said. "It's like everything else: exactly when we need it depends on the rate of (Craig's) growth."

Gerber said the county has eight ready-to-go projects totaling $30,119,400.

There are three road overlays planned for about 10.8 miles in the county that total $3,114,400.

Moffat County applied for a $1,116,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for one road project - 6.5 miles on County Road 7 - and hopes to match $372,000.

Gerber said county officials will present the request at a formal DOLA hearing Thursday.

The county also has two bridge projects - one on Stock Drive and the other in Browns Park - worth a combined $875,000.

The final transportation project is a $130,000 request for a new parking lot at the Craig/Moffat County airport.

The remaining $26 million is for two possible building construction projects - $18 million for a courtroom addition at the Moffat County Public Safety Center and $8 million for a medical office building near The Memorial Hospital's new site.

Gerber said the county has not applied for construction funding for any other projects besides County Road 7, but it did receive a grant to fund a feasibility study for the courtroom addition.

Her and Ferree's questions about how to secure funding for these projects still linger, but some hope the answers could come soon.

Sam Mamet, Colorado Municipal League executive director, has been in Washington, D.C., since Friday, mostly looking for solid information about the federal recovery program.

He said he plans to attend a meeting for local government officials Wednesday and return Thursday to Colorado.

"When I leave here, I'll either know more or I'll know less," Mamet said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

taxslave 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree, don't take the money. It's making a deal with the devil.

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