Lloyd Rollins: Fiscally save libraries, museum
October 30, 2018
Concerning Ballot Measure 1A, I believe we should vote "no."
I believe most of us want to keep the Moffat County Libraries and the Museum of Northwest Colorado. The question becomes, how should we accomolish this. What has been currently proposed is a new tax increase of $1.2 million yearly. This is more than double the current budgets. I have suggested the city of Craig contribute $300,000 per year to the libraries' budget. Then, I suggested that we, the voters, approve a new issue next year that would be a tax increase of $600,000 or less.
Do you, the taxpayers, want to save $600,000 a year or give the county an extra $600,000 a year? Maybe the county will decide like the city was thinking of doing and create a new department at some point.
I lived in Craig for many decades. During that time, there have been occasions when the city of Craig and Moffat County have each done their own thing. Each has its own Parks and Recreation or Parks Department. The high school, when built, did its own thing, building a swimming pool for the high school. The city of Craig did its own thing building a wave pool. The county, at one point, took over the Shadow Mountain Club house, that included a smaller swimming pool. So, there were three different swimming pools for a long period of time. The school board, when building the high school, did not work with the city of Craig, and the city of Craig did not work with the school board to combine resources and build one nicer swimming pool. I have listened to a lot of people in Moffat County over the years question why the different entities did not come together and build a nicer swimming pool complex, which may have cost less money to build.
The city of Craig and Moffat County has each had its own building department. They have now combined those departments into one called the Regional Building Department. This is an example of how they can work together to make the total cost of city and county government less and more efficient.
Concerning the the cost of running the library in Craig, why can’t the city of Craig help pay the cost of the library? Some letters to the editor and members of a study committee say the city does not want to help pay the cost. Perhaps the better question should be: Should the city work with the county to provide efficient, less-costly, smaller government?
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Now that the cat is out of the bag concerning the $300,000 the city of Craig has that could be used to help fund the library, the city has made an effort to try and put the cat back in the bag. See the Oct. 25 article “Economic Development Department removed from city of Craig 2019 proposed budget."
Now, we the people get to decide collectively if we want to pay a tax that is twice as much as needed to fund the libraries and museum or be wise and send the city and county back to the table of cooperation.
I ask the voters of Moffat County: Are the voters of Moffat County fiscally conservative, collectively? How you vote on Measure 1A, I believe, will answer that question.
Vote "no" on the current Measure 1A. The increase it contains exceeds by double what is needed to fund the library and museum. We can put forth a new better ballot issue next year.