Visitor Center remodel has cloudy future | SteamboatToday.com

Visitor Center remodel has cloudy future

Project may depend on available funding

Collin Smith

Other action

At its Thursday meeting, the Craig Chamber of Commerce board:

• Discussed the group’s current cash situation. There was some concern the Chamber’s $6,000 in cash-on-hand might be too low. The Chamber also has two certificate of deposits worth about $50,000, but Executive Director Christina Currie said it wouldn’t be necessary to cash them.

She expects the Chamber to spend close to $6,000 this month on payroll and bills but not exceed what’s available in its checking account.

The Chamber’s financial situation stems from a recent $13,000 purchase of a new copier and the fact it has about $49,600 worth of outstanding payments to collect, including membership dues and $15,000 from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

• Approved a $2,945 bid for Colorado Springs-based Interfuse Web Design to create three cooperative Web sites for the Chamber, Moffat County Tourism Association and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

Although it was the low bid received and it was the most complete bid submitted, Chamber board president Bryce Jacobson – also the Daily Press publisher – opposed its selection.

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“I disapprove of this with all my might,” he said. “I just think the Chamber should shop local.”

• Approved a motion to be part of the newly-formed Moffat County Work and Life Skills Coalition, which will use a Moffat County Social Services grant to conduct extra-curricular classes for local students. Currie was appointed to sit on the coalition’s advisory group.

The only certain thing about plans to expand the Moffat County Visitor Center is that nothing is certain.

However, with a new cost estimate for a remodel, there may be progress during the next month.

The project was put together so the Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership could share a single space.

Members from each of the three boards have said a larger Visitor Center would allow them to better work together, which they think is a key direction from the community.

During the Chamber board’s meeting Thursday, Executive Director Christina Currie had a loose estimate of what the planned Visitor Center remodel may cost if the project is approved by each of the three groups involved. Thus far, each group has passed a motion to explore options, but none have committed to funding or participating in any construction.

Currie said a local contractor estimated construction would be between $150 and $175 per square foot for a project that would add about 1,000 square feet to the Visitor Center. Based on the estimate, the project could cost around $150,000 to hire a contractor to build everything.

When Chamber board member Joe Bird asked whether the project was a definite go, Currie said the sticking point is funding.

“We’re nowhere with funding,” she added. “The (project committee that includes members from each group) didn’t even want to discuss funding until we had a price.”

One cost-cutting option previously floated around the Chamber, EDP and MCTA would be for members to come together as a voluntary workforce.

Dave Costa, Craig community development director, oversees the city building department and said a voluntary workforce would be fine as long as the project has a licensed contractor of record to oversee the work.

There also may be grants available, Currie said, but there has not been much research on that to this point.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

Other action

At its Thursday meeting, the Craig Chamber of Commerce board:

• Discussed the group’s current cash situation. There was some concern the Chamber’s $6,000 in cash-on-hand might be too low. The Chamber also has two certificate of deposits worth about $50,000, but Executive Director Christina Currie said it wouldn’t be necessary to cash them.

She expects the Chamber to spend close to $6,000 this month on payroll and bills but not exceed what’s available in its checking account.

The Chamber’s financial situation stems from a recent $13,000 purchase of a new copier and the fact it has about $49,600 worth of outstanding payments to collect, including membership dues and $15,000 from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

• Approved a $2,945 bid for Colorado Springs-based Interfuse Web Design to create three cooperative Web sites for the Chamber, Moffat County Tourism Association and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

Although it was the low bid received and it was the most complete bid submitted, Chamber board president Bryce Jacobson – also the Daily Press publisher – opposed its selection.

“I disapprove of this with all my might,” he said. “I just think the Chamber should shop local.”

• Approved a motion to be part of the newly-formed Moffat County Work and Life Skills Coalition, which will use a Moffat County Social Services grant to conduct extra-curricular classes for local students. Currie was appointed to sit on the coalition’s advisory group.

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