City approves letter of support for OREC grant to repair and maintain the Moffat Moto Park |

City approves letter of support for OREC grant to repair and maintain the Moffat Moto Park

Northwest Colorado Trails Corporation requested a letter of support from the city last week for an outdoor recreation grant to support repairs and maintenance to the Moffat Moto Park. 

Kyra Weidner approached Craig City Council on Nov. 8 on behalf of NWCTC to ask the city to support the group’s effort to get a grant to purchase equipment, supplies, and pay for labor to repair and maintain the motocross park located five miles south of Craig on Moffat County Road 107. 

NWCTC is a community based nonprofit that was originally formed with the intent to build and maintain trail systems in the wilderness surrounding Craig, in areas like Hahns Peak and Black Mountain. But the group has focused much of its resources on the local Moffat Moto Park, which serves hundreds of riders and a youth summer race series. 

There are currently 157 members in NWCTC, with 28 of those members coming from Hayden, Steamboat, Maybell, Vernal and Meeker. Weidner said that all of the group members utilize Moffat Moto Park. 

Weidner said that with the number of people around town who ride ATVs, if they didn’t have the local park they would have to travel two to three hours to ride in Grand Junction, Gypsum, or Rock Springs, Wyoming. 

“That’s why we got more directed toward upgrading the track, and maintaining the facility out there,” Weidner said. 

The organization is applying for grants through the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, known as OREC, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for a project estimated to cost $82,000. The funding will be used to make needed repairs to the track and purchase appropriate equipment to maintain it. 

“The facility right now needs repair,” Weidner said. “When the dirt and the clay here gets hard it’s impossible to work with. It gets packed down really quickly and doesn’t accept any moisture.” 

The landscape at the moto track consists of clay and river rocks, which hardens like cement when it’s fully dry. When the hardened surface gets a little rain it becomes slick, dangerous to ride, and is difficult to repair. 

Currently, most of the maintenance is done manually, including volunteers using pickaxes to remove large rocks from the track. There are water tanks on-site that collect run-off, but there is no efficient way to distribute the water to moisten the track to work on it. 

In the grant request, NWCTC is asking for funding for the purchase of a water truck that will spray water evenly across the whole track. It will also purchase equipment to till the native soil and mix it with sand, woodchips, and manure to keep it pliable and able to accept moisture. 

Weidner said there is no matching requirement for the grant, and while the project may not be fully funded, CPW has supported similar motocross projects in Grand Junction and Douglas County. 

Council approved the letter of support and council member Tom Kleinschnitz commented that Moffat County officials have spoken highly of the work being done at the moto park by NWCTC. 

“As far as this piece of property, it sounds like you guys are doing a wonderful job and it sounds like you need some more help to go forward,” Kleinschnitz said. 

Another community member also spoke during the public comment in favor of the letter of support, stating that the moto park brought in hundreds of riders in the late 90s and early 2000 and it would be beneficial to the community to support its growth. 

Additional items

  • Rich Foster gave a presentation to council about the possibility of container houses for temporary housing to meet needs in the interim of long-term plans to develop affordable housing in Craig. 
  • City Manager Peter Brixius said the city is still working through the permitting process of transportation of bio-solids on the leased land for Con-Edison for a solar project. 
  • The city is working on a water rights analysis with Wilson Water Group, which has made an initial assessment of city water rights and augmentation of the lower Yampa River basin. 
  • The city is working on a memorandum of understanding with Evergreen, the company that is looking to acquire Columbine housing. Brixius said that Evergreen is committed to the project, and the role of the City Housing Authority in the project is yet to be determined. 
  • City staff is looking into planning codes that could give some parameters in zoning for residential sober living houses and substance abuse rehabilitation facilities, as well as look at policies for short term rentals and tiny homes. 
  • Council approved the small business application from Loadout Liquors to improve its storefront and add a drive-in, contingent upon a lease agreement for the store to use an adjacent parking lot for customers to turn around.

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