Groups agree to principles for Visitor Center funding | CraigDailyPress.com

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Groups agree to principles for Visitor Center funding

Funding

According to the agreement, each group involved would be responsible for the following amount to the Moffat County Visitor Center:

• Total expense: $73,299

• Minus sportsmen’s information specialist payments: -$12,000

• Total required from local groups: $61,299

• Craig Chamber of Commerce funding: $27,584.55

• Moffat County Tourism Association funding: $27,584.55

• City of Craig funding: $3,064.95*

• Moffat County funding: $3,064.95*

*The city of Craig and Moffat County currently fund the Chamber $7,500 apiece each year. This agreement wouldn’t change that amount, but would designate slightly more than $3,000 from each group for the Visitor Center.

Funding

According to the agreement, each group involved would be responsible for the following amount to the Moffat County Visitor Center:

• Total expense: $73,299

• Minus sportsmen’s information specialist payments: -$12,000

• Total required from local groups: $61,299

• Craig Chamber of Commerce funding: $27,584.55

• Moffat County Tourism Association funding: $27,584.55

• City of Craig funding: $3,064.95*

• Moffat County funding: $3,064.95*

*The city of Craig and Moffat County currently fund the Chamber $7,500 apiece each year. This agreement wouldn’t change that amount, but would designate slightly more than $3,000 from each group for the Visitor Center.

— The joint committee on Moffat County Visitor Center funding agreed to the principles of a memorandum of understanding outlining the facility’s long-term funding at a meeting Wednesday.

The joint committee includes representatives from the Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association, city of Craig and the Moffat County Commission.

“The intent here is to come up with a simple document,” Chamber board member Gene Bilodeau said. “It’s more a statement of good faith for all the parties involved.”

With this, the four groups can start to trust each other again and work toward future goals instead of being mired in funding discussions, Bilodeau told the assembled committee.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara agreed.

To work together, he said, the groups need to have two things in common: communication with the others and effort to move forward.

The representative for each group will take the memorandum back to his or her respective board for an official vote at its next meeting.

The agreement states that the Chamber and MCTA will assume 45 percent of Visitor Center costs each, and the city and county will each take on 5 percent.

The groups on the joint committee want to keep the Visitor Center’s finances separate from the sportsmen’s information specialist position.

Payments received for the sportsmen’s information specialist salary from the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Division of Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service, and any revenue the position generates, will be deducted from the Visitor Center’s costs.

The agreement lasts for five years, but requires that once a year, one member from each of the four groups agree to an outline of the Visitor Center’s estimated expenses for the following year.

All groups can collectively decide to terminate the agreement at any time, and any one group may terminate the agreement by providing 30 days written notice.

Representatives at the meeting agreed the arrangement would take effect this year.

Last October, the Chamber approached the other three groups to increase Visitor Center allocations because of staffing costs.

Chamber officials said another $15,000 was needed. MCTA approved an additional $7,000, the Chamber approved an additional $2,000 and another $1,000 in private contributions left the Visitor Center with a $5,000 deficit.

At a budget workshop Jan. 23, the MCTA board agreed to vote on providing the remaining deficit at its next meeting Feb. 20. If the board approves the allocation, it would double MCTA’s Visitor Center funding from the initial $12,000 to $24,000.