Moffat County voters shut down Measure 1A
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a tabulation error. Referred Ballot Measure 1A failed with 56 percent of voters opposed and 44 percent in favor.
CRAIG — Moffat County voters on Tuesday rejected Referred Ballot Measure 1A, which proposed a mill levy increase that would have generated an estimated $1.2 million annually to fund operations at Moffat County Libraries and the Museum of Northwest Colorado.
Both entities are subject to drastic cuts in the draft 2019 county budget, with the libraries reduced to a little more than $100,000 per year and the museum defunded entirely.
According to unofficial results from Moffat County Clerk & Recorder Lila Herod, 2,370, or 44 percent, of county voters favored the measure, while 3,022, or 56 percent, were opposed.
The measure proposed a 2.85 percent mill levy, which would have been dedicated solely to fund library and museum operations. The money was to be divided proportionally, with 64 percent going to the library and 36 percent going to the museum.
The measure generated healthy debate among community members, and its failure carries significant repercussions for both entities.
“We currently don’t have any other options on the table,” said Paul Knowles, Museum of Northwest Colorado assistant director. “I won’t sugar coat it — this is worrisome. It’s hard to see the entirety of our rich local history under threat of closure.”
Sherry Sampson, director of Moffat County Libraries, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners issued a joint statement at the news of Measure 1A’s failure. Following is their statement, in its entirety.
“First, we want to sincerely thank everybody who participated in our democratic process and voted. This was a lengthy ballot that took time to learn and understand.
“In regards to the failure of Referred Measure 1A; we respect the decision of the people of Moffat County. We also understand that your vote wasn’t necessarily a vote against our libraries and museum, but was a vote against the proposed method of funding them.
“As it currently stands, both the museum and libraries have sufficient reserve funds to operate through 2019. During this time, the commissioners, along with the library and the museum, will continue our earnest search for alternative forms of funding. We implore concerned citizens to become part of this process. We sincerely welcome your input and ideas.
“Thank you for taking the time to make your voices heard. As always, our doors are open to your questions and concerns.”