City, county officials talk Shadow Mountain improvements

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In other action ...

During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, renewing a hotel and restaurant liquor license for the Galaxy Restaurant at 524 Yampa Ave.

• Approved, 7-0, renewing a tavern liquor license for the Golden Cavvy Restaurant & Lounge at 538 Yampa Ave.

• Approved, 7-0, a special events permit for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 for a Colorado Department of Transportation retirement dinner April 6 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.

• Heard from Dereck Maiolo about Moffat County High School’s seatbelt awareness program.

• Approved, 7-0, Resolution No. 4, to appropriate additional funds in the medical benefits fund to cover premiums and medical claims.

Approved, 7-0, joining the National League of Cities.

• Heard a Craig Police Department month end report from Chief Walt Vanatta.

When the Shadow Mountain subdivision was built in the 1970s, it was intended to be a temporary home for workers who relocated to Craig to build the power plant.

As a result, water and sewer lines were never built to city code, and the roads, curbs, and gutters are showing more than 30 years of wear and tear.

Shadow Mountain has survived to this point, but city and county officials agree nearly $4 million in capital improvement projects are overdue.

The lingering question is how to fund the improvements

“There was a lack of planning and we didn’t budget for this project,” Craig City Council member Don Jones said. “I am totally against taking $500,000 or whatever it is going to take out of the city’s general fund to pay for it.”

Shadow Mountain is technically in Moffat County limits, but residents receive sewer and water services from city, making the project a dual effort.

During budget season, the Moffat County Commission allocated money from general fund reserves to pay for its $2.5 million share of the expense to replace roads, curbs and gutters.

But city council members were not aware of the project until after it had already passed its 2012 budget and did not allocate funds for its $1.5 million share for water and sewer line replacement.

In an effort to get the project moving by late summer, commissioners decided to share $500,000 of its 2011 road and bridge mill levy revenue to help defray some of the city’s cost.

However, city officials still need to come up with the remaining $1 million.

On Tuesday the two parties came together for a workshop at Craig City Hall to brainstorm ways to raise additional funds or to consider completing the project in phases over a period of three years.

Although a project completed over time sounded reasonable, City Manager Jim Ferree could not speak definitively to the city’s ability to fund the remaining portion of the project in the coming years.

“It’s something we can accomplish, but as I told the commissioners, I don’t think there is any assurance will be able to do anything next year,” Ferree said. “Coming up with another $1 million is not going to be easy.”

Officials bounced around a number of ideas ranging from applying for Department of Local Affairs grant money to establishing a utility surcharge or an improvement district to pay for the project over time.

No decisions were made and officials conceded a lot of questions remain unanswered, but the general sentiment was the project needs to be a focus of both the city and county.

“Just from a best practices standpoint, I think there is perfect validity to do this just to bring this infrastructure up to today’s standards,” Mayor Terry Carwile said. “It’s an opportunity for the city and the county to cooperate and I realize there are challenges surrounding us.

“Regardless of whether it is inside of the city limits or outside of the city limits, those are our fellow community members and I think we need to work hard to get this done.”

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Comments

lonelyone 2 years, 5 months ago

A utility surcharge?? What the heck is that? We already pay outrageous fees for our water out here!!!

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