Craig City Council to offer appraised value for City Park
November 9, 2011
In other action …
At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:
• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the liquor license for The OP Bar and Grill, 534 E. Victory Way.
• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the retail liquor store license for Elk Liquor Store, 1111 W. Victory Way, number 135.
• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the tavern liquor license for J.W. Snack’s, 210 E. Victory Way.
• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the hotel and restaurant liquor license for Ocean Pearl, 441 W. Victory Way and approve a change of manager.
• Approved, 7-0, a special events permit for Yampa Valley Friends of NRA for Tri-State Christmas party at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion on Dec. 17.
• Approved, 7-0, a special events permit for the annual Cowboy Christmas at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40.
• Approved, 7-0, first reading of Ordinance No. 1016, 2012 budget.
• Approved, 7-0, first reading of Ordinance No. 1017, to increase water, wastewater rates.
• Approved, 7-0, resolution No. 10, the appropriation of additional money to The Center of Craig fund to install a new roof on The Center of Craig auditorium.
• Approved, 7-0, reappointment of Randy Kloos to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• Heard a month-end report from Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta.
The City of Craig decided Tuesday to submit a formal offer to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 to purchase Craig City Park for $25,500.
The city's offer reflects the results of an appraisal conducted by the Grand Junction-based Arnie Butler & Company.
The appraisal was delivered Tuesday morning to Dave Pike, director of the city's parks and recreation department. Pike said a copy was also given to Mark Wick, commander of VFW Post 4265.
Craig City Council had originally planned to discuss the potential acquisition of City Park behind closed doors at its meeting Tuesday evening, but voted, 7-0, to forego an executive session.
"It's a 50-page report and it may take them (VFW) a little time to digest and respond to," City Manager Jim Ferree said. "It's probably premature to discuss negotiations at this point.
"But, I did want council to know that $25,500 will be our offering price, and we'll see how it goes from there."
Ferree said Arnie Butler & Company was hired to conduct the appraisal in the event the city wanted to apply for Great Outdoors Colorado grant assistance. If approved for a GOCO grant, Ferree said the agency could match up to 50 percent of the appraised value.
Councilman Byron Willems questioned whether it was worth pursuing a grant considering the appraised value is so low.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but at that price you wouldn't even spend the time to get a GOCO grant," Willems said. "It's not worth our time for $12,000 when we have bigger fish to fry."
Willems also speculated that the VFW might try to steer negotiations back to a lease agreement with the city.
The City of Craig has leased City Park from the VFW since 1949, but negotiations to extend the agreement were stalled in 2009.
"Their best chances are behind them and they may say they want to go back to where we were a year ago," Willems said. "In my opinion, the deal they've had all these years is much sweeter than what they are going to get from this day forward."
Ferree said the deed restrictions that were well documented in the appraisal played a big part in the assessed value of City Park.
Before the city council meeting Ferree said those deed restrictions state that City Park must always remain an open public space, which adversely affects its value.
Councilman Don Jones asked Kenny Wohl, Craig city attorney, if there were any loopholes the VFW could take advantage of to alter the condition of the deeds.
"I don't think so," Wohl said. "The deeds are what they are."
Because council will likely not seek GOCO grant funding, funds to pay for City Park could come from the parks and recreation 2012 budget if an agreement can be reached with the VFW.
When contacted about the appraisal Tuesday afternoon, Wick said he declined to comment until he had an opportunity to examine the appraisal in depth.
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