Public invited to comment on Craig Parks and Recreation Master Plan
November 22, 2018
CRAIG — Residents have big visions for recreation in and near the city of Craig.
A long list of existing and new facilities and maintenance and constructions projects have been identified and prioritized in the new Craig Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Master Plan.
The estimated cost for all identified projects is estimated at more than $16.6 million. About $190,000 is budgeted annually for Parks and Recreation Department construction projects, which would leave an annual funding gap of more than $1.4 million if the city wished to undertake all identified projects.
"Implementing the PROST plan will require a multi-prong approach, utilizing taxes as the primary source of funding in order to provide the services to the public. Tax revenues can then be used as matching funds for various grants," according to the "Fiscal Sustainability and Implementation Tools" section of the plan.
The firm Logan Simpson was retained to conduct the planning process, and consultant Jana McKenzie reviewed a draft of the PROST during the Nov. 13 Craig City Council meeting.
It identifies a 20-year vision and specific goals, prioritizing a network of parks, community facilities, bikeways, open spaces, and recreational corridors. The plan includes a detailed inventory of existing facilities, cost estimates for maintenance and improvements of existing facilities, and projected costs to build new recreation infrastructure.
McKenzie said similar plans elsewhere are generally updated every 10 years to ensure they reflect current community needs, which are used to determine priority projects, and help secure funding for projects.
The Craig PROST will replace a document completed in 2002.
The plan will cost the city $77,000, of which $19,250 was provided by a grant from the Department of Local Affairs and matched with $19,500 from the Moffat County Local Marketing District and $38,500 from city's general fund.
Despite ranking as the top most important activity for 57.7 percent of residents surveyed, the Master Plan does not include a recreation center. At an estimated cost of $24 to 26 million to build — more than twice the total cost of all projects proposed in the new plan — such a development would require a separate planning process, McKenzie said.
"A parallel program for planning a recreation district is underway, so we left the development of that in that bucket," she said.
The plan also omits potential developments along the river and in Loudy-Simpson Park.
"People in Craig love Loudy-Simpson Park," McKenzie said, explaining why it was included in the planning document. She noted several outside sources are available to potentially fund cooperative projects with the county for trails and development along waterways.
The planning process has been underway since April and was developed, in part, from information gathered during 32 focus groups, three Parks and Recreations Advisory Board meetings, three city council presentations, three work sessions with the Moffat County commissioners, three public meetings, one technical advisory committee meeting, and two online surveys.
Council members praised the process and the effort put forth to engage the community to develop a highly inclusive plan.
Before adopting the plan, city staff are asking residents to submit any additional comments by Nov. 30.
They are also soliciting feedback from the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners.
After any final revisions, the plan will go before City Council for adoption in either December or January.Copies will also be available for review at Craig City Hall Nov. 26 through 30.
To comment, email Alicia Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave Pike at email@example.com, or drop written comments at Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St. The utility bill drop-off box in front of the building may be used to drop comments after hours.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.