Editorial: Work on Loudy-Simpson pond is a step in the right direction

Our view

The Moffat County Commission should be applauded for giving approval to improvements

to the pond at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Craig Daily Press Editorial Board members:

• Noelle Leavitt Riley, Craig Daily Press managing editor

• Renee Campbell, absent, Craig Daily Press general manager

• Amy Fontenot, Craig Daily Press office/circulation manager

• Randy Looper, owner of the Elk Run Inn

• Amanda Field, Wells Fargo home mortgage consultant in Craig

• Ken Wergin, retired

This week, the Moffat County Commission gave the green light to improvements to the Loudy-Simpson pond to remove algae and sediment.

Improvements to the pond are drastically needed, making this a good thing for the community, the fish and the ducks.

The pond currently has 3 feet of water, is covered in muck and is becoming an eyesore to the park’s entrance. Thus, we commend the commissioners for approving to dredge the water, which in turn will have positive outcomes for the entire community. The pond is the first thing that you see when you enter the park.

We also applaud Moffat County Developmental Services Director Roy Tipton, who has worked diligently to make the project come to fruition.

“That will fix our irrigation problems that we had this last summer. It’ll make it look a lot nicer,” Tipton said. “We’re going to restock that pond with fish.”

Not only that, but the project had a $300,000 budget, yet it came in under bid at $240,000.

Additionally, we’re equally happy about the resurfacing that was done to the parking lot near the park’s bathrooms. Yet, the park still needs other major upgrades, and we hope that the commissioners will continue to invest in sprucing up Craig’s prized park.

Each year, Loudy-Simpson hosts Whittle the Wood and the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival, which is a huge draw for Craig and Moffat County. Both events host live music, therefore we agree with Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers that the park needs an amphitheater of sorts.

Earlier in the summer, Mathers said that he would like to see a venue at Loudy-Simpson that can seat 10,000 people. Although we agree that the park needs a permanent stage to host bands, we think 10,000 seats is a little excessive. However, we would like to see something built to accommodate live music.

Perhaps the commissioners should consider building a stage band shell and go from there.

Other upgrades are needed, as well, such as replacing the playground equipment for little kids — a need that Tipton already has addressed.

Last April, the county had a surplus equipment auction, bringing in $21,000 for the county. That money is slated to help fund a new playground at Loudy-Simpson in addition to a $34,700 grant that the county is requesting from Great Outdoors Colorado.

The county won’t know if it gets the grant until November, Tipton said. The commissioners will have to approve whether or not they want to use that money for a new playground — a decision that will be made Dec. 10, Tipton said.

“There’s a lot of needs out there. We’ve got stuff all over the county that needs money thrown at it,” he said.

We certainly understand the county’s needs and are pleased with the commissioners and Tipton for placing Loudy-Simpson Park on the priority list.

The views of the editorial board do not reflect the views of the entire newspaper.

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