County commission addresses safety center during night meeting
April 13, 2011
Craig resident Tony St. John expressed concern Tuesday night that the Moffat County Commission and Craig City Council hadn't attended meetings each governing body has hosted about the Moffat County Public Safety Center.
"We need to get on the same page," said St. John, a former Craig City Council member.
"It seems like the bottom line is that the citizens of Moffat County and Craig are going to be the ones affected by what's going on. I just think the city and the county — we need to get you together."
St. John's comments were part of a discussion during a special night meeting hosted by the county commission.
He was one of about 20 residents to attend the meeting, which included a presentation from Moffat County Budget Analyst Tinneal Gerber about the public safety center costs and tax distribution.
Commissioner Tom Gray said the purpose of the meeting was not to negotiate in public.
"There's some nuances in the contract we can't debate here, to get to the final figure of what the rent should be," Gray said. "It is fairly cut and dry, but there are some nuances that we want to negotiate on if we go back to a rental agreement."
Dave DeRose, a former Craig mayor, also attended the meeting. He was mayor when the original lease was signed.
"What bothers me is all the hours and cooperation and work we put in to make this public safety center a reality now appears to be going down the wayside, and I have a problem with that," he said.
Commissioner Audrey Danner said she believed negotiations would be finalized before August.
Both St. John and DeRose brought up the original intent of the lease, noting that no specific numbers were given to keep one side from getting a bad deal.
St. John said he felt like it would be a "good working machine."
County commissioner Tom Mathers said if the commission had followed the original public safety center lease, it would have prevented negotiations.
"Tony, if we'd have started and went directly to that document and said, 'That's what we're going to do, what that document says,' none of this would have happened, absolutely," Mathers said. "It was different people, different ideas."
Craig resident Ken Wergin said he was upset by the negotiations being stalled, which Danner took responsibility for.
"I asked because I felt like our relationships were in jeopardy at the moment," Danner said.
St. John asked the commissioners whether future negotiating sessions had been scheduled. Danner said they hadn't, but a date is being discussed.