The Moffat County Commission made an offer to the City of Craig on Tuesday for purchase of the Craig Police Department’s space at the Moffat County Public Safety Center.
At its regular Tuesday meeting, the commission approved, 3-0, to offer the city a one-time purchase price for the police department’s space totaling $1.083 million.
The offer includes city ownership rights of the 2,258 square feet of exclusive office space the police department currently occupies, one-third of undivided interest of 9,000 square feet of common space and continued access to the safety center garage and parking lot, among others.
Under the offer, the city would be responsible for paying 11.56 percent of the safety center’s utilities and costs of cosmetic or non-structural repairs within their exclusive space.
The city would also be obligated to pay for one-third of snow removal services and other repair, maintenance and improvement costs to the common space or building.
The Craig City Council will consider the county’s offer at its regular meeting tonight, council member Gene Bilodeau said.
The city and county began discussing several months ago what the police department should pay in rent at the safety center.
Lease negotiations stem from an agreement made about a decade ago that the city would provide the land for the safety center if the county provided free rent for the police department for 10 years.
The rent-free decade for the police department, however, ends in August 2011.
During initial discussions, the county commission presented possible future lease costs based on the current operating costs of the building, which would place the lease cost at $256,591 per year to the city.
Commissioner Audrey Danner said talks of the city purchasing the police department’s space of the safety center began in the second of three meetings between city and county negotiating teams.
“That’s where the discussion was and then the negotiating team said, ‘You know, a purchase seems to make more sense at this point,’” she said. “So, we moved down that path, but that does not preclude us from going back to rent if we don’t reach a purchase price at some point that meets everybody’s approval.”
Commissioner Tom Mathers said the city buying the police department’s portion of the safety center “makes sense” to him.
“Because (Craig Mayor) Don Jones, when we first came up with a rent price on it, he said, ‘How can I go to my constituents and tell them that I am paying them this kind of dollars to rent a space?’” Mathers said.
Last week, city officials made the county an offer concerning the police department’s lease of the space, but would not release the specifics of the offer.
For more on this story, read Wednesday’s Craig Daily Press or visit www.craigdailypress.com.