City will bring in over $1 million in grant funding in 2021 |

City will bring in over $1 million in grant funding in 2021

$4.5 million are still pending, might be counted in 2022

Peter Brixius, Craig city manager

The city of Craig will once again bring in over $1 million in grant dollars by the end of the year, and another $4.5 million are still pending, which could bring this year’s total to over $6 million over the last 12 months.

Since 2018, city employees have worked to secure funding upward of $1 million per year, a trend that has been consistent since city manager Peter Brixius has stepped into the role. In 2020, the city received $4.2 million. Brixius said that pursuing grants for the city is mainly project-driven, meaning that he and others on his staff look for grants that apply to projects that the city is already looking into, rather than finding grant money and then creating a project based on the funds.

“(We) look at our master plan for the fiscal year, and we look at what grants can support our projects,” he said. “Of course, there are some unique projects that come with certain grants. We’re looking at substantial projects in solar.”

Before 2018, the amount of money brought in through grants was considerably lower. In 2013, it was $207,000, and in 2015, 2016 and 2017, grant award totals never made it above $316,000. In 2014, the city only brought in $612.42, which was used to buy fluoride equipment.

Among the grants already approved for this year, the largest to come to Craig was a $480,000 allotment from the Colorado Department of Transportation for the new sidewalks on Yampa Avenue. If pending grants are approved by Dec. 31, Craig could potentially see a $2 million grant from Congressionally Directed Spending for the city to use on housing infrastructure and water/wastewater generators. If current pending grants do not roll over into 2022, this year’s total could rise to just under $6.2 million.

“I’ve always wanted to help build the reserves of the city,” Brixius said. “You have to stretch your dollars, and it’s easier to do that with matching dollars. We pursue as many grants that we can manage.”

Brixius also said that there’s not necessarily a singular focus when it comes to applying for grants, but a main concern from year to year is making sure the city’s infrastructure is supported. Among the pending grant funds, the city could receive over $2.5 million to improve sludgeline and water infrastructure in the city.

“Every year, we are focused on infrastructure stabilization which includes water, wastewater, roads — that sort of thing,” he said. “For some of those projects, we’re looking to (the Colorado Department of Local Affairs) for support for those costs.”

Looking into 2022 projects, many are already supported by grant dollars brought in over the course of 2021. For the total of 2022’s general fund capital items, it would have cost over $8.8 million minus grant money. However, because of grants, that total is brought down to $2.67 million instead.

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