Moffat County Tourism Association board of directors updated on mill levy, events
CRAIG — The Moffat County Tourism Association received updates from event organizers and representatives from the Museum of Northwest Colorado and Moffat County Libraries during its regular meeting, held Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Bank of Colorado.
Museum of Northwest Colorado Assistant Director Paul Knowles offered an update on the November mill levy ballot measure, which is intended to help support the library and museum — both of which were hit hard by recent county budget cuts. Both are in the midst of an information campaign to inform Moffat County voters about what the mill levy would mean for both entities.
Knowles said the campaign is designed to let residents know what the museum and library do for the county. So far, they have traveled to Dinosaur to meet with the town council there.
MCTA board chair John Husband asked if there is a sunset on the mill levy, and Knowles responded there isn’t.
“The main reason is, if both (the library and museums) are this vital to the community going forward, then let’s not go through this every five or 10 years,” Knowles said.
He added that a sense of stability is crucial to the museum and that the recent financial uncertainty has taken a toll on donations. Adding a sunset clause to the ballot measure, he said, would bely that stability, hindering the museum’s ability to operate effectively.
Moffat County Libraries director Sherry Sampson said the library’s three branches saw 83,000 visitors in 2018, a 14-percent increase from the previous year. She added the library currently has 7,800 card holders, representing about 60 percent of the county’s population. She said the library has much to offer to the county, adding that a thriving public library is a cornerstone of any healthy community.
“If the museum and library are important today, then they will always be important in Moffat County,” Sampson said.
Dinosaur 100 organizer Mike Mathisen told the MCTA board he is looking to help revitalize area trails by holding a series of bike races. He said he is working with the Bureau of Land Management to remap the trails and hopes the process will be complete by June 2019, when he plans to hold the first bike race. He added he hopes this inaugural event will attract between 50 and 100 riders.
The second race, a foot race, would be held in July and run from Loudy-Simpson Park to Elk Springs.
Other races being considered include a 100-mile bike race with a 14-hour cutoff and a race in scenic locations around Moffat County, encompassing areas such as Loudy-Simpson, Elk Springs, and Juniper Mountain. Dinosaur 100 is looking for help from expert runners to test different parts of the trail to ensure some of the more intense races are safe for runners.
Dinosaur 100 isn’t allowed to promote the races until it receives a permit from the BLM, Mathisen said. It is, however, allowed to promote the trails, and Mathison said the group has already raised $25,000 to promote the trails for hiking. The trail races, he added, are a five-year project, with the goal of trying to attract at least 500 participants, in total.
The MCTA board also received reports from Moffat County Balloon Festival, Bear River Young Life Car Show, and Whittle the Wood Rendezvous representatives.
Contact David Tan at 970-875-1795 or dtan@CraigDailyPress.com.
Moffat County High School is on the lookout for a new head coach for the Bulldog wrestling program after this week.