Moffat museum

The Museum of Northwest Colorado.

Moffat County in northwest Colorado has cut all funding for its museum and much of the funding for its library in its 2019 budget, and now the two are facing possible closure.

The Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig only has enough donation funding in reserves to stay open until June next year, according to projections given to the Craig Daily Press by Paul Knowles, assistant director of the museum.

The library is faring slightly better, as the county is legally bound to provide it some funding, but it was still left bleeding after its budget was cut 77% between 2018 and 2019.

A mill levy proposed by a citizen group failed in the 2018 November midterm election, the Daily Press reports, largely because voters felt that they were being "blackmailed" into having taxes raised. 

Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck told Colorado Public Radio that after officials faced a "financial mess," cuts had to be made somewhere.

“We don't want to see [the museum and libraries] go away,” Beck said. “But at the end of the day, you only have so much money and you can't fund everything in the economy that we're in right now.”

In May, the county and the city of Craig entered into discussions regarding a possible funding partnership and hope to reach an agreement to fund both the library and museum.

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