Defeat of 5A means delay to on-campus student housing | CraigDailyPress.com

Defeat of 5A means delay to on-campus student housing

Renderings from Design West Architects depicting the conceptual designs for 100-bed student housing, common area and cafeteria proposed for Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig.

This week, Moffat County Affiliated Junior College Referred Measure 5A — a measure that would have raised money through a property tax increase — was voted down by 66 percent of voters.

The Craig Press reported results on Tuesday and reaction to the decision on the Craig Press Facebook page was telling.

"Thank you people of Craig for your common sense and seeing through this government indoctrination ruse," said Craig resident Tim Baldwin.

Another Craig resident, Christopher Larsen, thought the tax would have been a waste of money.

And Charlie Williams of Craig said, "The money they called for in that tax they could buy the whole city. Why not get some investors, buy out one of these slummy apartments, kick a bunch of meth heads out of town, and ta da, instant dorms."

Larsen and Williams were not available for an interview, but Baldwin took the time to elaborate.

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"So what's next? We really aren't a liberal arts town. I think that Craig needs a technical school, said Baldwin. "Or why not get this college affiliated with Colorado's best technical school, the Colorado School of Mines? You'd have people coming out trained as engineers, trained to work in these industries."

Like Williams, Baldwin believes that students could fill the many vacant houses and buildings in Craig. He was also concerned that the amount of money the college asked for was too steep, especially when the direct benefit wasn't clear.

"I'm on a fixed budget, and I don't want to have to spend more money, especially without a return," he said.

If the measure had passed the money would have been used to build on-campus student housing and ongoing maintenance, as well as continued support for a number of college board initiatives.

With the measure defeated, what's next for the college?

"We have to find new ways to go forward, and I'm not giving up on housing," said CNCC President Ron Granger. "It means that what we had planned for housing will be delayed as we pursue other options for housing on the Craig campus."

The college board will meet at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 and Granger expects that to get the reaction of the board and that they will reconvene the housing committee to discuss options such as cheaper plan or bonding it on their own.

Board and housing committee member Terry Carwile agreed with Granger that while one option to finance housing has failed, the work towards that goal is not over.

"It will push our timeline back and the community is up against a time crunch with the retirement of unit one at the power plant pending. We don't have an unlimited time to figure that out," Carwile said.

By the December meeting of the board President Granger expects to bring forth plans discussing option for growth at the Craig Campus.

"We are proud of the work that was done by the housing committee to get 5A on the ballot," said Vice President of Craig campus and Student Affairs Janell Oberlander. "While we were disappointed in the outcome, we remain positive and continue our work on changing lives through education and building a stronger community."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

If you go

November Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board Meeting
When: 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15,
Where: Cedar Mountain Conference Room 255 at 2801 W. 9th St in Craig.
For more information visit: cncc.edu/governing-boards.