Editorial: Benefits outweigh dollars | CraigDailyPress.com
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Editorial: Benefits outweigh dollars

Craig City Council and the Moffat County Commission are in the midst of negotiating the rental agreement for the Craig Police Department's use of the Moffat County Public Safety Center on First Street.

The editorial board contends that the benefits that come from having the police department in the same building as the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and Colorado State Patrol are important to consider.

The amount of communication, familiarity and synergy that has been created by being housed in one building has been remarkable, to say the least, in the opinion of the editorial board. And we contend the city and county should keep that cooperation at the forefront as they proceed with their negotiations.

The editorial board contends it is not unreasonable for the county to ask the city to begin paying rent at the facility, now that the entities' 10-year agreement has expired.

However, if the county requires the City of Craig to pay rent on the jail portion of the building, then the city should also be able to split the revenue derived from the jailing facility as, well.

Furthermore, if the City of Craig is required to pay for rental of the jail, then the same expectation should be made of Dinosaur and other communities in Moffat County.

However, we understand this task may require taxing districts to be created.

This board also contends the city should consider the possible purchase of the police department's space from the county, which is essentially what the Colorado State Patrol did at the onset of this joint project nearly a decade ago

Purchasing the building space now will prevent the current negotiation situation from happening again in the future. The leaders and politicians who agreed to this lease could not have foreseen, or been so insightful to have expected, that the elected officials from Moffat County would begin negotiations at such an unreasonable amount of money.

The City of Craig is located inside the borders of Moffat County and therefore all residents of the city are also residents of the county. In order for Moffat County elected officials making these decisions to come to a reasonable solution for these citizens, they must take that into consideration.

We also ask those negotiating to remember that it wasn't that long ago that the City of Craig did not have its own police force and the county was responsible for law enforcement inside the city limits. To revert back would be an extreme step, which the editorial board is not suggesting. But unreasonable lease demands may require such drastic changes to be considered.

The board contends that a suitable monetary agreement can be reached between the city and county, but contends those negotiating keep at the forefront of their discussions what matters most in this community — shared space, improved communication and more effective community service.

And really, that's what matters most.

Our View

Law enforcement offices have a come a long way toward cooperation and sharing, and negotiators over the Public Safety Center contract should keep that synergy in mind.