Barn savers take ownership of Luttrell Barn from Moffat County commissioners | CraigDailyPress.com

Barn savers take ownership of Luttrell Barn from Moffat County commissioners

Restoration efforts to proceed

Lauren Blair

The historic Luttrell Barn

— The Save the Barn committee is now officially the proud owner of the historic Luttrell Barn after the Moffat County commissioners approved a bill of sale Tuesday, at a cost of $100 for the building. The committee aims to restore the barn for use as a cultural and community center.

Commissioners also approved a ground lease. The barn sits on 0.93 acres of county-owned property that is part of the Moffat County Fairgrounds, and the committee will pay $100 per year for a 10-year term, which can be renewed twice for a total of 30 years.

"For the citizens to come forward… with the goal, the passion and determination to save the barn, my hats off to all of you," said Commissioner Ray Beck.

Beck and Commissioner Don Cook each subsequently handed Save the Barn committee leader John Allen personal donations of $100 each to go towards restoration efforts.

"We're happy with the way things have worked out," Allen said. "We do have the possibility now of going forward and saving the barn because we do have funds that we can at least start the project."

Though fundraising efforts have been ongoing and successful in recent months — the committee had raised more than $32,000 as of January — the real work is just beginning. Rough cost estimates for repairs have ranged from $180,000 to $225,000.

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"It's actually going to be a lot easier for us to do the repairs because we're not tied down by county regulations on the processes you have to go through to get bids," said committee member Adam Cozzens.

The Save the Barn committee will have 90 days to ensure the scope of work required is feasible and not cost-prohibitive. Otherwise, they can return title for the property to the county and will be released from the terms of the lease. However, Allen is fairly confident they'll be able to move forward.

"The building is an icon of heritage for the city, so we feel its well worth preserving," Allen said.

The barn was built in 1904, and has been used over the decades for weddings, art exhibits, theatrical and a wide variety of events.

"It's well worth preserving because a lot of people feel it's a part of their own heritage," he added.

The committee was granted three years in the terms of the lease to do construction on the barn, otherwise the county can terminate the lease. The county would then consider having to demolish the barn, however the bill of sale states demolition would cost $8,000 to $10,000. The value of the barn itself is not more than $5,000, according to the same document.

Allen made one last plea to commissioners Tuesday to consider pledging some amount of funding towards the barn's restoration.

"For the record… we started this operation with the understanding that the county had $100,000 (for barn repairs)," Allen told commissioners. At a "workshop, we found out you didn't have it. We would like to request that the county at least consider what it would take to tear the barn down. If that could be contributed toward it, that would be great."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.