Steamboat Springs The deal was just too sweet to turn down, so Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team officials packed their bags this week and headed east.
GRAMNET has moved its office from Craig to a location in Hayden. The move was part of an agreement the regional drug task force made with Hayden town officials. The agreement allows GRAMNET to use office space the town was using for storage. In exchange, Hayden doesn't have to make any monetary contributions to GRAMNET's budget, GRAMNET commander Garrett Wiggins said Wednesday.
The town typically donates $4,000 annually to the task force's budget.
"The main thing is that this space is being donated, so it drastically cuts our operating costs," Wiggins said. "It was a huge contribution that really helped us."
Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said the agreement benefits both sides.
"We saw an opportunity to help them out and they agreed," he said. "We're happy to have them. It's a good deal."
After Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall announced in February that he was not going to financially support the agency, money has been tight for GRAMNET, which investigates drug-related crimes and provides drug awareness education throughout the region.
"We made the move in an effort to reduce our operating costs," said Walt Vanatta, chief of the Craig Police Department. "Because we lost money when Routt County pulled out, we've been looking for every means possible to cut costs."
Martin said the town is not charging GRAMNET to use the office space.
"They were paying a heck of a lot more than the $4,000 to rent their office in Craig," Martin said. "It added up quickly for them."
Martin said the arrangement is temporary but that there might be an opportunity for GRAMNET to move into a permanent space after the new Hayden Police Department building is finished.
Wall said Wednesday that he did not know GRAMNET had moved its office to Routt County but that he did not have a problem with it.
"They can move their office wherever they want," he said. "However, they don't have permission from my office to conduct work in Routt County."
Steamboat Springs Public Safety Director J.D. Hays called the move a "better deal" for the agency.
"Money is getting tight, and we need to save every penny we can wherever we can," he said.