County cleans up with DOLA dollars

TMH gets $1 million

Amy Hamilton

Hospital officials are breathing a sigh of relief worth a cool million.

That’s how much money The Memorial Hospital will get in matching energy impact funds from Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs.

“This means that we’re one step closer to getting infrastructure for a new hospital,” said Pam Thompson, public relations director for TMH. “Now, we can say it out loud and plan on it. It’s a huge relief. “

TMH was placed at the top of a priority list submitted to DOLA with the grant request.

Thompson said matching funds for the grant would come from the hospital’s building fund, which has $1.7 million.

Officials will go for a similar matching grant next year to pay for the materials to make the building.

Thompson said she thought the community support for the grant helped get its approval.

“I think that it was a big help that we had tremendous community support,” she said. “Now, were starting to see signs that it’s real.”

The community’s second place priority also was awarded.

Craig Rural Fire Protection District received a $60,000 matching grant for a water supply tanker. The money will be used to get the department’s broken down water tanker back on the road.

Fire Chief Chris Nichols said the truck should be operational in about four months and should expand the district’s water capabilities by 40 percent.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Nichols said. “It will allow us to leverage our funds.”

Nichols said the grant helps out, but the district still faces funding challenges. An aging ladder truck needs to be replaced. But that would cost as much as $800,000, or two year’s worth of the department’s operating budget.

Moffat County was awarded $70,000 for County Road 19, and the city of Craig was awarded $86,000 to go toward a solid waste truck.

More than $3 million in DOLA grants was awarded to 12 projects in communities across Northwest Colorado.

The Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program helps communities to offset the direct effects of energy and mineral development. The funds come from state severance taxes on pollutants, oil, gas, minerals and metals, and from royalties from the federal government for the extraction of minerals on federal land.

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