DOLA comes through for city, county, schools |

DOLA comes through for city, county, schools

Collin Smith

The state is helping.

Craig is better for the contributions it gets from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

Moffat County received more than $1.4 million in DOLA grants this year, Commissioner Saed Tayyara said.

DOLA released its funding grants to local entities that applied for its Aug. 1 grant cycle last week, and all requests received full funding.

The city received $150,000 for projects at the water treatment plant, which currently is going through substantial renovations.

The grant will go toward pavement costs and demolishing an old caretaker’s house, Ferree said. The city will match about $50,000.

In 2005, DOLA issued two grants totaling $1.5 million for the water treatment plant project. The entire treatment plant project is projected to cost about $9 million.

“That money was very useful,” Ferree said. “The city didn’t have to borrow near as much to get the project going.”

DOLA awarded the county more than $849,000 to help replace large equipment and vehicles, including road and bridge department maintenance trucks and law enforcement cars.

The county also received $60,000 for a sand and salt storage facility, which it could not afford because bids exceeded what the county budgeted. The storage facility will help road and bridge keep roads drivable in wintertime.

The Moffat County School District was awarded its full $97,000 request to fix the roof on its Administration Building on Yampa Avenue. The School District will contribute an even match for the project.

This is the first DOLA grant the School District has pursued, Finance Director Mark Rydberg said.

Looking forward, he expects DOLA can help with some projects that were left off the district’s recent bond proposal.

“We left some projects off the bond so we would have a reasonable request to the taxpayers,” Rydberg said. “We might go to DOLA for some of those.”

The district will evaluate its projects and apply for grants if they are good fits for DOLA, Rydberg said.

City officials met Monday morning to discuss goals next year, Ferree said.

In December, the city will make a request for $200,000 to put a new overlay on First Street, which Ferree said is a definite need.

Next year, there also are about $490,000 in water and sewer line repairs and some equipment replacement needs as well.

The city would most likely look to make a 50 percent match on any grant from DOLA, but it is months away from making those decisions, Ferree said.

The city’s requests to DOLA have never been denied as long as Ferree has been there, he said. DOLA’s role in helping Craig establish and better its infrastructure has been important to the area, the city manager added.

“Part of our economic development is to make sure infrastructure is in place,” Ferree said. “We’ve replaced millions of dollars in water and sewer line projects and paving, as well.”

Tayyara maintained the area’s need, and its infrastructure improvements, are exactly why the state should think twice before reallocating severance taxes and mineral lease money, which together account for a large majority of DOLA’s grant budget.

“If we can show and prove there is a need, and the need is right now and not 20 years from now, maybe they’ll see,” Tayyara said.

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