Moffat County Commission talks capital projects

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At its meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission also:

• Approved, 3-0, a lease agreement with Gregg Kolbaba of Paramount Motorsports for operation of the Moffat County Motocross track for a $1 per year plus 15 percent of gross spectator gate fees for a term of five years, which will be reviewed annually.

• Approved, 3-0, a resolution designating The Print Shop as the county’s stationery supplier for 2011.

• Approved, 3-0, a quarterly reimbursement form for the Moffat County Office of Emergency Management totaling $7,251.93, of which $3,625.97 is eligible for federal reimbursement.

• Approved, 2-1, a January budget supplemental with no change to the contingency, but excluding a budget request from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved, 3-0, a bid recommendation to purchase cattle guard iron for various projects for the road and bridge department from Axis Steel totaling $14,560.26.

• Approved, 3-0, a Colorado Division of Transportation recertification of county roads for the highway users tax fund.

• Approved, 3-0, an annual renewal of the Moffat County Landfill consultant contract with Weaver-Boos not to exceed a total of $85,290.

• Approved, 3-0, a personnel requisition for the parks and recreation, and ground and building departments for a temporary, part-time facility maintenance technician.

• Approved, 3-0, to appoint James Martinez and Lara Sigmon to the Moffat County Fair Board.

Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray said there are several county capital improvement projects that have been stacking up over the years, but they simply can’t wait any longer.

Gray said after the Moffat County Commission’s regular Tuesday meeting the county had been waiting to do the projects in hopes that grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs would be approved to help pay for them.

But those grants didn’t come through, and future grant cycles aren’t looking good either, Gray said.

Gray and the other commissioners discussed the various capital projects the county has approved for 2011, which total significantly more than last year’s capital projects.

“This year’s budget reflects that we realize there are not going to be any grants and that we still have got projects,” he said. “So, we are going to have to go ahead and do, albeit a lesser amount, we are going to have to do projects so we went ahead and budgeted (for those).”

This year, the commissioners have given the thumbs-up to $3.9 million in county designated capital improvements ranging from extensive road improvements to new carpet, county budget analyst Tinneal Gerber said.

The amount of capital projects increased from 2010, when the county spent $710,000 on various items, Gerber said.

This year’s list of projects includes replacing a rooftop heating and cooling system unit at the Moffat County Public Safety Center, replacing the roof to the ancillary building at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, installing new carpet in the second floor hallway of the Moffat County Courthouse, removing the modular buildings from behind the courthouse and installing energy efficiency upgrades in several county buildings.

Also on the commissioners’ list are installing an automatic sprinkler system at the Craig Cemetery, several parking lot improvement projects at Loudy-Simpson Park, the courthouse and the fairgrounds, removing dead trees from Loudy-Simpson, and other road chip sealing projects.

At the end of July 2010, the Moffat County Commission applied for two DOLA grants for road improvements to Moffat County Road 107 and Ninth Street.

The commission requested $613,680 for County Road 107 improvements and $131,576.50 for Ninth Street improvements.

However in August, DOLA announced the energy impact grant fund would be suspended through at least June 2011, Gerber said.

The commission decided to move forward with the projects and budgeted $1.2 million for improvements to County Road 107 and $241,3000 for Ninth Street improvements.

Commissioner Tom Mathers said the projects are important because of the roads’ locations and conditions.

Mathers said Ninth Street is “literally falling apart.”

“It wasn’t a very good road to start with and that is why we need to fix that because that is going to get a lot of use because of the college and because of the hospital,” he said.

County Road 107, Mathers said, is one of the roads the county needs to “keep up,” considering it is the route many workers use to get to the Craig Station power plant.

“We’re just trying to keep what we have up to shape,” he said.

Moffat County hasn’t re-

ceived any DOLA grant money for more than two and a half years, Gerber said.

“We had to change our philosophy knowing that right now we will not be receiving those dollars,” Commissioner Audrey Danner said during the meeting. “So, we had to look at where we could put them in and get them done because it is not fair to the community to say, ‘We don’t have additional dollars coming in.’”

She said the “reality” is that the county can’t depend on energy impact dollars for projects.

“That is just the way it is and the road is not getting any better while we are waiting on that to change,” she said.

Gray added that it made sense for the commission to go ahead with the projects considering “there is no light at the end of the tunnel” for grants.

“We are hearing the state’s budget is a billion dollars short this year,” he said. “It just doesn’t look like it is practical to wait and say, ‘Well, there will probably be DOLA grants next year.”

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