Craig City Council approves funding support for Loudy-Simpson Park electrical upgrades
Two weeks after Moffat County Commissioners approved the application for a DOLA Grant to fund $200,000 for the power upgrade project at Loudy-Simpson Park, Craig City Council voted to approve city funding of $45,000 towards the project, matching the county’s contribution to the project.
The power upgrade project is much needed at Loudy-Simpson Park, as the current underground electric power infrastructure at the popular park dates back to the 1970s. The age of the infrastructure has led to several power failures in the last five years, including two that happened right before a scheduled event.
The objective of the project, according to Moffat County Office of Development Services Director Roy Tipton, is to install new lines and transformers with meters spread inside the park known as secondary metering, which would remove the burden of maintenance on the system from the taxpayers and move it to Yampa Valley Electric Association.
The project in total will cost roughly $450,000, according to Tipton. Moffat County Commissioners recently submitted an application for $200,000 from DOLA, with local partners matching the request with $250,000. Of that, $150,000 was donated by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, while Moffat County and the City of Craig will provide $45,000 each. Yampa Valley Electric Association will add $10,000 in matching funds as well.
With Loudy-Simpson Park an important part of Craig’s economy in the summer months, the project also seeks to address the lack of sufficient power for entertainment and vendors at the park, according to Tipton, who presented the project to City Council Tuesday night.
Currently, flatbed semi-trailers are brought in to the park for a stage, and power is provided by generators. The current setup damages landscaping and the sprinkler system at the park, Tipton said.
Along with the proposed power upgrades, a new 40’x60′ picnic shelter would be used as a stage for entertainers and would have adequate power for sound and lights.
Prior to a motion to approve the funding, Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck expressed his thanks to city council for pairing with the commissioners to move the park project forward.
“I just wanted to open this up by first saying I appreciate the Craig City Council including the Loudy-Simpson upgrade in their master plan,” Commissioner Beck said. “I think that’s a good foundation to get started with in order to get where we are.
“I think it’s very important for the public to understand…the partnerships that were created as we worked through this project with Yampa Valley Electric and Tri-State, which had a huge contribution of $150,000, as well as the City of Craig and Moffat County,” Commissioner Beck added. “…on behalf of the County Commissioners, I’d just like to thank you all for your partnership on this. This project has been four years in the making, and I think we’ve got something that we can hang out hat on.”
Mayor Ogden seconded Commissioner Beck’s comments regarding the partnership between the city and the county, which has seen a substantial improvement in its relationship over the years.
“I will echo what Ray said; it’s been an improving relationship over the last several years between the city and county, even further than that,” Mayor Ogden said. “This will be a monumental project for the community, along with the other things we’ve accomplished over the last few years. I’m excited to see this happen, and I want to thank you all for your hard work on this.”
“I know Drew Kramer from Tri-State felt it was important to have the city and the county working together on this project, and I’m sure it will matter to DOLA to have the backing of the city and the county together,” Councilman Nichols added. “Hopefully they’ll approve the grant that we’re requesting based on that information.”
Prior to Tuesday’s decision, Craig City Council had set aside $25,000 for the project. Mayor Ogden added that an additional $15,000 was left over from the purchase of property over at Woodbury Park that the city didn’t pursue, giving them $40,000. The final $5,000 will have to be added to the budget, Mayor Ogden said.
Councilman Nichols then followed up his statement with a motion to approve the $45,000 match for the park project. It was seconded by Councilman Mazzuca. City Councilors unanimously approved the matching funds.
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There may finally be some movement regarding the vacant Golden Cavvy building and the empty Spicy Basil restaurant in downtown Craig.