The Montrose County Indoor Arena and Events Center is moving full-steam ahead. The events center is set to be the largest of its kind between west Denver and Salt Lake City. Public interest in the project has been strong. The commissioners made a show of support for the project today with an onsite meeting with project general contractor Ridgway Valley Enterprises. Commissioners Rash and Caddy took office on January 10th and were faced with two large capital projects that had been passed in late 2016. Adhering to statements made during their campaigns, both took time to review the projects—especially the events center—to ensure they were in the taxpayer’s best interest. The board has directed staff to develop a comprehensive business plan, market area profile, and upgraded website for the fairgrounds.
The commissioners visited the site today to hang the banner of support from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), who contributed $1 million to the project. In response to questions from the community on the project’s exact location, an identifying banner was placed on the northern edge of the construction site facing the San Juan bypass. Individual statements from the Commissioners regarding the project are below.
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Commissioner Rash: As elected officials, it’s our charge to evaluate all major expenditures in order to assure the efficient use of taxpayer dollars. I recognize that our in-depth review of the event center project has caused some debate and concern in the community. This sort of debate is healthy and is a critical element of transparent government. I’ll never shy away from asking difficult questions which is part of being a commissioner. We will make every effort to operate the Montrose County Indoor Arena and Events Center as efficiently as possible.
Commissioner Caddy: I stepped into office with two very large capital improvement projects recently approved. It was of concern to me that both feasibility and operational planning studies were not conducted prior to approval of the construction contract for the events center. I am currently working with staff to develop a business and operations plan for the events center. This plan will bring some much needed clarity to the cost and function of the facility. I look forward to sharing the completed plan with the public. I appreciate all of the comments both for and against the facility and encourage community members to stay engaged as we continue forward with the project.
Commissioner Davis: I am looking forward to the tremendous economic impact that this facility will bring to not only the Montrose area, but the western slope. The project is an investment in the community as a whole. With almost a year invested in the feasibility and planning of this events center, I’m looking forward to seeing it operational. From my standpoint, this is not an issue of what the project does for public revenue, so much as what it does to our local businesses and economy.