Moffat County gets $20.6M in recovery funds

Governor's team visits Craig, plans meeting today in Steamboat

— Moffat County groups and organizations have received more than $20.6 million in federal recovery funds since the program began in February.

State officials from Gov. Bill Ritter's recovery team hosted their first of two meetings in Northwest Colorado on Monday afternoon at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Craig.

Recovery team director Mark Cavanaugh spent about 30 minutes detailing recovery spending at the state and regional levels before taking questions from an audience of four people, two of whom were Kate Nowak, Yampa Valley Partners executive director, and Jay Fetcher, who works for Colorado Sen. Mark Udall.

All together, Moffat County had roughly one-third of all recovery spending in a six-county Northwest Colorado region that also encompassed Routt, Rio Blanco, Grand, Jackson and Garfield counties.

The vast majority of recovery spending in Moffat County went to Department of Interior spending on national parks, including $1.2 million to the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, $150,000 to repair boat ramps and buildings in Dinosaur National Monument, and $13.1 million to build a new Monument visitor center.

The second biggest spending allocation in Moffat County was $3.8 million from the Department of Energy to fund a carbon sequestration research study in the mountains north of Hamilton.

Moffat County School District received $774,375 in recovery funds, some of which went to programs for disabled and preschool students, as well as some funding for school lunches.

About $408,000 went toward extending unemployment insurance coverage for out-of-work residents and adding a $25 a week bonus to individual unemployment payments in Moffat County.

The Craig Police Department also received $20,311, which it used for new equipment, and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association received $298,195 to remodel its clinic space and build more exam rooms.

In addition to money directly spent in Moffat County, the VNA received $130,378 to fund a new medical practitioner, a new medical assistant and extra hours for Spanish interpreters, which the organization can spread across the different communities it serves.

Officials also have allocated $356,014 for weatherization projects for low-income residents, who can apply for a free custom energy audit of their home to determine whether new insulation or appliances, or a number of other options, would improve the home's energy efficiency.

Residents qualify for the program if they are enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs, Old Age Pension, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid or the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

Residents also qualify if they make as much or less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline, which equals $44,100 a year for a family of four.

Cavanaugh said many people look at recovery spending as creating new government programs, but that's not the case, from public education funding to weatherization programs.

"We're giving money to programs already there with an established infrastructure and method of operating on how to run," he said. "If we created a bunch of new programs, that would take too long to get everything organized. This is about spending money now."

Ritter's team plans to give another presentation from 10 a.m. to noon today in Steamboat Springs at Centennial Hall, 124 10th Street.

The Colorado Economic Recovery Accountability Board also will conduct its monthly meeting from 1 to 4 p.m.

Comments

pathfinder2006 4 years, 6 months ago

Don't you think it is a little ridiculous to spend over 13 million on Dinosaur Monument and a few measley thousands on school and cop shop??? Anybody see anything strange here???

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jeff corriveau 4 years, 6 months ago

CDP has AGAIN fallen for the misleading information (lies) told by the Ritter administration and the Feds. Take a closer look at the numbers and you'll see that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is the big recipient of the recovery funds. $14,450,00 went to them for projects that really should have been part of a spending bill, but were not. The biggest share, $13.1 million did not even go into Moffat County, but to Uintah County Utah for a building there. Just how much of that work does one think might come to Craig? Just once, once, I wish that the Daily Press writers would actually look at the information they receive and filter through it for accuracy. They might as well be PR people for the current administrations!!!!

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