Luttrell Barn committee gets more time to raise needed funds
December 6, 2016
Craig — The future is starting to look a little brighter for the historic but derelict Luttrell Barn following Tuesday's meeting of the Moffat County Commissioners.
One of the leaders of the Save the Barn committee, John Allen, updated commissioners that the committee had received more than $30,000 in pledges to go towards restoration costs since it began its efforts in September, and commissioners granted the committee more time to secure funds.
The committee must cover any overage above $100,000 to complete restoration work on the barn. The latest estimate for repair and restoration received by the commissioners was approximately $180,000, though Allen said he had spoken with at least two local contractors who said the work could be done for much less. The scope includes repairing the warped wall on the west side, stripping walls and spraying insulation, repairing or replacing the roof, ridding the building of mice and bats, cleaning the grounds, painting and staining.
Commissioner Chuck Grobe said pledges aren't enough and the county won't commit to the project until they have a guarantee.
"Commitments are one thing, pledges and stuff, but we've had that before where we've relied on commitments and pledges that didn't come through," Grobe said. "We need a guarantee that the difference between the $100,000 and what it costs to repair will be covered by this group."
The county has had $100,000 earmarked for the barn since 2012, but has been waiting for another entity to step forward to cover remaining repair costs and maintenance. In August, commissioners declared they wouldn't carry that money over into the next year, giving barn proponents until Dec. 15 to raise funds.
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Commissioner Frank Moe made a motion "to extend the deadline for the Save the Barn Committee to April 1, 2017 in order for them to guarantee any additional funding over $100,000 for repairs on the barn." The motion carried.
"We got further today than I thought we would," Allen said. "I'm confident we can get the funds together."
Discussion during the meeting included suggestions from a local banker, who recommended the Save the Barn committee, a registered nonprofit, open a bank account to begin securing the pledge money, and consider opening a line of credit for any remaining overage.
Craig Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike recommended the county collect bids on the project first so as to give the committee a more concrete amount of what the overage will likely be.
It also suggested that the committee put its own funds towards hiring an architect to do drawings, in order to get more exact bids.
Allen expressed concern about urgent repairs that need attention immediately, such as fixing the roof and patching holes before bats return to nest in the spring, and hopes to secure funding much sooner than April 1.
"We have an incredible number of people behind us in just the last six weeks, so I'm sure we can come up with the funds," Allen said.
To donate, visit the Save the Luttrell Barn Facebook page or Plumfund.com fundraising site, or contact the committee at 970-824-6416 for further information.