Kat Fitzpatrick, executive director of The Nature Connection, gave an update concerning summer programs of Nature Connection to Commissioners Doug Atchley, Don Suppes and Mark Roeber at their Oct. 15 meeting.
The Nature Connection received a GOCO Inspire grant award to implement "place, program and pathway" developments in Delta County and Olathe.
The county commissioners are seeking a GOCO grant for trail planning, engineering and permitting for several related projects to improve trail access and connectivity to Dominguez-Escalante.
The first project identified is to establish a route between the Confluence Park and the Escalante State Wildlife Area.
Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes have submitted their assessment concerning wilderness in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.
The commissioners noted that Delta County currently encompasses wilderness and wilderness study areas.
The commissioners have sent a letter announcing their official support for DMEA's request for grant funding from the Colorado High Cost Fund in its effort to build DMEA's high-speed, fiber network throughout Delta County. The county has worked to improve economic prospects in its communities, and robust internet and broadband services are a crucial part of that economic plan.
County commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes appointed six members to the Delta County Fair Board at their Oct. 1 meeting.
At their Oct. 1 meeting Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes passed a resolution opposing Proposition 112.
In their resolution they noted that Colorado is a major energy-producing state, ranked fifth in the nation for natural gas production and seventh in oil production, according to U.S. government data.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.
The Delta County Commissioners have been in the process of revamping the makeup of the Delta County Planning Commission since early 2017, with the goal of balancing representation from across the county.
Also, for several years there has been discussion about eliminating the Area Planning Committees (APC), which were established for the same goal -- balancing representation in planning matters across the county.
The Delta County Commissioners have appointed Commissioner Don Suppes as the county's representative on the Legislative Priorities Committee for Colorado Counties, Inc., beginning with the Oct. 12 meeting of CCI.
During constituent time at the Sept. 4 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners three people from the North Fork appealed to the county commissioners to take additional action on the Bureau of Land Management leases up for sale in December.
Mariah Whoolilurie said she arrived in the North Fork last November, battling health conditions, to heal and find fresh air.
Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes signed a letter giving Delta County's support for the Foreign Trade Zone proposed for the region by Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. Montrose County and Garfield County have also joined with Mesa County in support for the Foreign Trade Zone.
On Aug. 30, county administrator Robbie LeValley met with department directors to begin the process of formulating the county's 2019 budget. The county commissioners were also in attendance.
Delta County Commissioners discussed with county attorney John Baier options regarding a class action lawsuit, Kane County, Utah v. United States, at their Aug. 20 meeting.
Counties with large areas of federal land in their jurisdictions receive PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) monies from the federal government.
Delta, Mesa and Montrose counties have been working together in connection with the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest Plan revision process.
The three counties have each signed a contract with Mountain West of Glenwood Springs which will increase each county's capacity to participate as a cooperating agency with the U.S. Forest Service.
At their Aug. 20 meeting the county commissioners awarded the bid in the amount of $3,699,004.60 for runway reconstruction at Blake Field to Old Castle SW Group, doing business as United Companies.
Ninety percent of the funding for the runway reconstruction is provided by Federal Aviation Commission (FAA).
Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes perused a copy of Montrose County Economic Update, Second Quarter 2018, at their Aug. 20 meeting.
The 11-page report, prepared by the Business Department of Colorado Mesa University, provided an economic summary, covering such matters as local economic indicators, the local labor market, employment trends, local real estate indicators, and national economic indicators.
At their Aug. 6 meeting Delta County Commissioners signed a lease agreement with Region 10 LEAP, Inc. to bring broadband to the North Fork Annex. The lease is for a term of 20 years, after which the lease shall be renewed on a year-to-year basis.
Lisa Niermann, president of North Fork Valley Community Rights Advocates (NFVCRA), presented a letter to Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes at their Aug. 6 meeting.
At their Aug. 6 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes signed a full-year grant application to the Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement Fund for a $10,000 grant for victim services, provided through the sheriff's office and under the direction of Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee.
The grant application provides the number and type of primary victims that the sheriff's office expects to serve in the next calendar year, and estimates the number of victims in each category.
At their Aug. 6 meeting County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes appointed Jillian Emmons to the Western Regional Emergency Trauma Advisory Council Board for a term expiring in 2020.
Emmons has served as trauma nurse coordinator at Delta County Memorial Hospital since April 2018, and has been employed by DCMH for six years.
At their July 30 meeting Delta County Commissioners appointed Mike Ludlow to the Delta County oil and gas working group.
Commissioners Mark Roeber and Don Suppes approved subdivisions which were at various steps in the planning process at their July 30 meeting. Commission Doug Atchley was absent.
The Colorado River Valley Field Office of Bureau of Land Management notified the Delta County Commissioners in late June of a competitive oil and gas lease sale scheduled for Dec. 6, 2018.
At their July 16 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley and Don Suppes authorized and signed a letter of reply to BLM.
At their July 16 meeting, Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley and Don Suppes acted on several financial items. Commissioner Mark Roeber was absent.
Colorado State Statutes mandate that county assessors report to their board of county commissioners, on or before July 15 of each year, a record of the properties and owners on which a protest of the assessed value of that property was filed, including the disposition of that protest.
The Delta County commissioners appointed Kami Collins to the Delta County Tourism Cabinet to represent Surface Creek at their June 25 meeting.
Commissioner Don Suppes said he had been trying to find the right person to represent Surface Creek on this cabinet for three years and finds Collins to be highly qualified.
Delta City Council and staff joined Delta County Commissioners and staff on June 26 at the courthouse to talk about projects of interest to both entities. They explored how they can work together to resolve problems which will benefit residents and visitors to both county and city.
Auditor Pete Blair presented his firm's audit of Delta County's financial position as of Dec. 31, 2017, at the June 25 county commissioners' meeting.
Blair commended the county staff members primarily responsible for financial oversight and record keeping of the county's resources: Margaret Davey, accounting director; Suesan Scheetz, payroll administrator; and Leona Anderson, human services deputy director.
Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes passed a Resolution to adopt the North Fork Ambulance District Service Plan at their June 25 meeting.
North Fork Ambulance District (NFAD) will serve in three counties: Delta, Montrose and Gunnison. Montrose County has adopted the service plan and Gunnison County is expected to adopt the service plan this week.
On June 7, the Delta County Board of Commissioners submitted to the Bureau of Land Management its comments on several elements of the North Fork Mancos Master Development Plan.
Water. Commissioners wrote that protection of the quality and available quantity of water is always a concern of the county, particularly when construction and/or oil and gas development is conducted in any upstream watershed of water sources draining into and used by Delta County residents.
A public hearing will be held Monday, June 25, at 1:30 p.m. to consider a proposal for the North Fork Ambulance Health Service District. If the service plan is approved by the Delta County Commissioners, the question of organization of the North Fork Ambulance Health District will be presented to voters in the November election.
Due to a combination of record high temperatures, low humidity and high winds, the Delta County Board of County Commissioners signed a resolution implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions for the unincorporated areas of the county, effective Monday, June 18, until further notice.
At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes provided comments on the scoping document under development for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG).
They stated their appreciation for the opportunity to provide comment and said they look forward to working with the GMUG through the entire Forest Plan revision process.
Ballots for the primary election are being mailed this week and for the first time, will be sent to unaffiliated voters as well as voters registered as Republican and Democrat. Voters may vote and return only one of the ballots.
At their May 21 meeting the county commissioners heard a report on progress at Blake Field.
Mark and Cheryl Husmann, Smiling Aviation, reported aircraft based at Blake Field are 63: one helicopter, one motor-glider, several single and twin engines, and several experimental aircraft.
The county commissioners designated an ad hoc committee to evaluate the process and capacity for a hyperlinked county commission agenda at their May 21 meeting.
Appointed to the committee are: John Baier, county attorney; Robbie LeValley, county administrator; Teri Stephenson, clerk and recorder; and Elyse Casselberry, county community and economic development director.
Appointments were made May 21 to the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) working group and the oil and gas working group by county commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes.
The appointments were made upon the recommendations of the planning commission and county staff.
Dick Gilmore is declaring his candidacy for the District 1 county commissioner position. Gilmore is a Democrat. His campaign slogan is "The Sensible Choice."
The county commissioners extended agreements with other entities for delivery of services at their April 16 meeting.
They signed a grant agreement with Colorado Department of Local Affairs in the amount of $58,334 for the Tri-County Federal Lands Coordination project.
Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR), an apolitical, nonprofit media organization reporting on Delta County, Colorado government, has filed to dismiss its case against Delta County Commissioners after successfully negotiating a new policy that improves open meeting processes at the county.
During the past three months, the DCCR board and county staff worked together to develop the policy that, in some cases, expands on state statute governing open meetings law.
Community members began arriving early for the first open house to review the Delta County Master Plan on Monday, April 9, at Heritage Hall in Hotchkiss.
Stations were set up around the room with posters providing information on different elements of the Master Plan, along with enlarged maps from the plan.
On April 2, the Delta County Board of County Commissioners adopted a formal policy outlining the county's process and procedures for complying with Colorado Open Meeting requirements. This policy allows the county to create a better understanding of the policies and practices the county has in place.
On April 2, emergency preparedness manager Jeff Wright reported on the inspections of ambulances to county commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes in preparation for the commissioners approving licenses for the ambulances.
Licenses were approved for six ambulances for Delta County Ambulance District and five ambulances for North Fork Ambulance Association.
County commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes honored 11 county employees April 2 for their years of service with Delta County.
Devin Violett, lead equipment operator for road and bridge District 3, was honored for 30 years service with the county.
At their March 5 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes made two appointments to the county planning commission. Steve Shea was reappointed for a three-year term.
During their March 19 meeting, county commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes signed several documents related to their participation in regional and local projects.
ENGAGE. Commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the county's responsibilities with the four other members of the ENGAGE initiative (entrepreneurship, growth, agriculture and energy) to fulfill the commitments under the EDA grant.
Teresa Nelson, a 17-year resident of Delta County, has announced her candidacy for Delta County Commissioner, District 1. She is a Republican.
At their Feb. 28 meeting at the county courthouse, members of Delta County Planning Commission began a page-by-page discussion of the review draft of the Master Plan update, prepared by Delta County staff and RPI Consulting.
Elyse Casselberry, county community and economic development director, and Gabe Preston of RPI Consulting presented the report's pages on screen, and spoke of the background information on those pages, as the discussion progressed.
County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes recently sent a letter to Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Department of Interior.
They supported the secretary's efforts to reorganize the various agencies housed in the Department of Interior to achieve efficiency.
On Jan. 31, Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR), an apolitical, nonprofit media organization reporting on Delta County government activities, moved to vacate a temporary protection order hearing in its lawsuit against Delta County Commissioners. In a press release issued last week, DCCR president Jo Ann Kalenak said she believes this action will provide the time for direct negotiations with the commissioners before a permanent protection order hearing date April 6 in Mesa County Court.
Mike Lane, a Delta County native, announces his candidacy for the District 1 seat on the Board of County Commissioners, representing the Republican Party.
He is seeking the seat currently held by Doug Atchley, who is term limited.
At a recent meeting, the Delta County Commissioners reviewed a report from the county GIS department on the number of new addresses certified in 2017.
The Delta County Commissioners have adopted an ordinance giving notice that, pursuant to Colorado statutes, the county will limit the cultivation, growth or production of marijuana plants to residential property within unincorporated Delta County to 12 marijuana plants per residential property, regardless of the number of persons residing at the property.
In response to a lawsuit filed by the Delta County Citizen Report, alleging a lack of transparency in the noticing and conduct of county commissioners' meetings, county administrator Robbie LeValley issued the following press release:
Representatives from the student councils of Delta County's four high schools met with the Delta County Planning Commission Dec. 20. They shared the results of their open discussion meetings with their respective student bodies in which they gathered information for use in the county Master Plan update.
At their organizational meeting Jan. 2, commissioners Mark Roeber and Don Suppes re-elected commissioner Doug Atchley chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for 2018. Roeber was re-elected vice chairman.
The BOCC will meet the first and third Mondays of each month beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR), which describes itself as "an apolitical, nonprofit media organization reporting on Delta County government activities," filed suit last week against the Delta County Board of County Commissioners alleging violations of state statutes designed to promote transparency in government.
News of the lawsuit prompted county attorney John Baier to reiterate the county's stance that its budget and open meetings processes are in compliance with state statutes.
Delta County Commissioners passed a supplemental budget for 2017 at their Dec. 18 meeting. The supplemental budget addresses circumstances not foreseen at the time the 2017 budget was adopted.
Delta County Commissioners awarded a bid on Dec. 4 to Hellman Motor Company for three 2018 Ford 150 trucks for the sheriff's office at a cost of $29,300 per unit.
Undersheriff Mark Taylor said he was ordering the trucks early to be in the front of the line for the outfitter so he could have the trucks on the road at the beginning of the year.
The Delta County 2018 budget in the amount of $34,427,504 was adopted Monday by county commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes.
The budget was submitted by county administrator Robbie LeValley, who noted it was prepared by a countywide interdepartmental budget team under the supervision and guidance of the Board of County Commissioners.
On Dec. 4 Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes denied the application of Paonia Holdings, LLC for a change of land use for the property at 41322 Highway 133, with an adjacent residence at 41402 Highway 133 and an ancillary property at 16180 Stevens Gulch Road.
The property is owned by Bowie Resources, LLC, and was formerly used as a coal load-out site.
During their Nov. 20 meeting county commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes approved agreements with several entities which will enable the county and the entity to work collaboratively in serving their respective constituencies.
At their meeting Nov. 20, Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes heard three hours of presentation and citizen response regarding a land use change application requested by Paonia Holdings, LLC.
Paonia Holdings, LLC submitted the request under the Delta County Specific Development Regulations.
The land use change application being considered at next Monday's meeting of the Delta County Board of County Commissioners has resulted in dozens of public comments, numerous meetings, a petition signed by more than 400 individuals, and some confusion.
The application, submitted by Mark Levin with Paonia Holdings, LLC, requests a land use change to light industrial/commercial under Delta County's Specific Development Regulations (SDR) on land located just north of Paonia on Highway 133.
At their Nov. 6 meeting Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, chairman, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes authorized county treasurer Lisa Tafoya to take parcels on which county taxes are in serious arrears through the treasurer's deed process during 2018.
The process will begin in March and take from six to nine months to complete, a little longer when mineral rights are involved with a property.
County commissioner Don Suppes was present at the Oct. 11 meeting of the Orchard City town board to answer questions about road work the county is doing in Cedaredge.
Suppes addressed the trustees to waylay concerns about the county's efforts to repair and pave SW 11th Street in Cedaredge.
At their Oct. 2 meeting, the county commissioners dealt with the following matters:
• Merriam Helmsing, Ute Jantz, Joey Montoya Boese, Cheryl Oeltjenbruns and Julie Barton were ratified as members of the Delta County Community Services Block Grant Program.
Officers and parent leaders of the Delta County 4-H Council met with the county commissioners Monday for an annual exchange of appreciation in conjunction with National 4-H Week.
The 4-H County Council officers, accompanied by Jackie Shea, Tri-River youth extension agent, thanked the commissioners for the county's support of 4-H programs and facilities through the year.
The intergovernmental agreement between Delta County and the Delta Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) has been finalized, but it came down to the wire. On the evening before a 30-day extension was set to expire, the DURA board officially accepted the most recent proposal from the county.
The Board of County Commissioners officially endorsed a request by DMEA for grant funding to help with the build out of its broadband fiber-optic network.
In a letter to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) the county commissioners stated:
County commission chairman Doug Atchley said on Monday that he has asked the county and state health departments to provide statements on a situation at Eckert where smoke from an allowed open burn operation is impacting residents of Horizons West Mobile Home Park and Horizons Care Center.
Negotiations continue between the Delta Urban Renewal Authority and Delta County concerning the county's commitment to tax increment funding for a riverfront project in the City of Delta. After an executive session Monday night, DURA rejected a proposal from Delta County that modified plan boundaries for sales tax increment and eliminated lodging tax increments altogether.
With the annual budget time approaching, the Board of Delta County Commissioners was presented with two requests for funding on Monday -- one for tourism and one for agriculture -- that promise to help boost the local economy.
The Delta County Commissioners at their Aug. 21 business meeting approved a letter to the BLM reaffirming 2013 support for the FRAM Whitewater Master Development Plan and amendment.
FRAM is a gas and oil operator that is working to develop rights in the sprawling Whitewater Unit which includes some areas in Delta County.
Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee has responded to concerns from the public about increasingly strict enforcement of campsite use on the national forest, and particularly on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Some of the campsites involved have been in continuous use for many years, and even for generations, McKee told the BoCC on Monday.
By state statute, the Delta Urban Renewal Authority has 120 days to reach agreement with taxing districts being asked to give up sales, property and/or lodging tax to help fund a hotel project described as a "catalyst" for economic development.
With that deadline looming, the Delta County Commissioners held a special meeting the morning of Thursday, Aug. 17, to finalize a counterproposal that was presented to the DURA board Thursday night.
At the Aug. 7 meeting of the Delta County commissioners, Andrew Forkes-Gudmundson, associate program director for Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC), provided a follow-up presentation to a recent CHC study on economic impacts from oil and gas development (DCI 7-19-17). He submitted a letter to the commissioners making a number of points including the following:
Representatives of Mountain Coal Company on Monday asked the Board of County Commissioners for words of support as the North Fork mine begins once again the process of applying for a federal lease modification to explore for, and hopefully one day mine, new coal resources.
The company's plans for expansion were halted abruptly five years ago on the day before construction was to begin.
The North Fork Valley's Citizens for a Healthy Community group attended the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Monday to present results of a study the CHC has produced.
The study is titled "Economic Impact of Natural Gas Development in Delta County."
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday, July 17, engaged an attorney specializing in work that will involve the county's interests in negotiations with the Delta Urban Renewal Authority.
In other business on July 17, Region 10 director Michelle Haynes reported that the broadband middle mile system is now providing service to carrier neutral locations in the cities of Delta and Montrose.
Due to extended hot, dry and windy weather, the Delta County Commissioners have placed fire restrictions on all unincorporated portions of Delta County. The fire ban will be enforced until further notice and includes the following restrictions:
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday heard a report that Gunnison Energy LLC is working on decommissioning some of its production facilities in Surface Creek and elsewhere.
Bruce Bertram, local government designee, told commissioners that the work was "the first step" in an area-wide structures abandonment process.
Federal lands management agencies have been planning a prescribed burn on public lands on the Uncompahgre Plateau that was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 27.
Jeff Wright, Delta County emergency manager, reported to the Board of County Commissioners on Monday that smoke from the burn will impact Delta County. Delta Dispatch and first responder agencies are expected to receive many calls about the controlled burn project.
The Delta County commissioners met on Monday with GMUG officials to discuss the forest management plan revision process that the Forest Service announced earlier this month.
Delta County's policy on public lands is one of strong support for the doctrine of multiple use, and commissioners took the opportunity to emphasize that point once again on Monday.
The Board of County Commissioners dealt with routine business at a recent meeting:
• Constituent Tony Sarver of Austin said he made agreement with the county nine and a half years ago for two fire hydrants in subdivisions on Ash Mesa.
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday, April 24, met with Greg Larson, the BLM's new manager for the Uncompahgre Field Office, during its regular meeting in Delta.
The county has deep interest in public lands issues.
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday chose Alpine Bank as the local financial institution to provide the county's financial service needs.
Alpine's offer for the county's business included no requirement for a minimum balance, no bank fees charged for four years, and a free supply of the first 250 checks.
Delta County has announced that Elyse Ackerman-Casselberry has accepted the position of community and economic development director. She will take up her duties here on May 1.
At its regular business meeting on Monday, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a change in makeup and representation of the county planning commission.
The Delta County Planning Commission will be expanding from seven members to nine members.
The Delta County Commissioners agreed on Monday to write a letter of support and/or adopt a resolution in support of a grant request by The Nature Connection.
Three board members of The Nature Connection -- Steve Rist, Anita Evans and Anne Janik -- explained to the BoCC that even with this county's extensive public lands resources, the area's youth are not experiencing the outdoors nor developing the skills needed to become successful in outdoor activities.
Delta County's contractor for the master plan rewrite, RPI of Durango, has said it needs an additional month of collecting information from county staff and others before the "public input phase" of the rewrite begins, according to a report given to the county commissioners on Monday.
Also, the company has not completed work on a public access website that's been promised.
The Delta County Commissioners have directed staff to prepare a resolution which if adopted will expand the county planning commission from seven members to nine. The three commissioner districts would all have equal representation with three members from each district.
Commissioners heard a report from Chair Doug Atchley during their March 6 regular meeting on a threat to county revenues from proposed state legislative action.
If carried out, the legislation would affect every county in the state by cutting residential property assessment rates from 7.95 percent to as low as 6 percent.
The county commissioners named members to volunteer boards and commissions at their Feb. 21 regular meeting.
Named to serve on the Youth Shooting Sports Advisory Committee for were Marci Germann and Terry Welt. They join continuing members George Baier, Jerry Read and Kathy Welt.
Following a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Board of County Commissioners approved changes to development regulations that had been forwarded by the county planning commission.
According to discussion held at planning commission meetings, the changes were proposed as a way of speeding up the process of required hearings and approvals on specific developments.
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Gunnison Energy LLC for activities on a parcel in the Iron Point Federal Exploratory Unit. Commissioners also approved a letter to the Bureau of Land Management supporting Gunnison Energy's bid to have the parcel, which was formerly leased, re-nominated and re-leased.
The parcel is located just north of the Elk Creek Mine.
As the county moves forward with its master plan rewrite process and simultaneously with a master county trails plan, there may also be an effort to look at, and perhaps make changes in, the composition of the county planning commission to ensure it represents the entire county fairly and equally.
Commissioner Don Suppes suggested an evaluation of the planning commission because it has only one member from his commissioner district #2.
During a work session on Monday, the county commissioners received a heads up on three bills introduced into the General Assembly which, if adopted, would significantly cut revenues to county government.
All three of the bills are being opposed by the government trade group Colorado Counties, Inc., commissioners were told.
What is planned as a year-long process of rewriting the Delta County master plan is set to begin following a presentation to planning officials and county commissioners Monday.
Gabe Preston, owner of planning group RPI Consultants of Durango, outlined his plans for conducting the rewrite during Monday's planning commission work session.
At its Monday, Jan. 23 business meeting, the Board of County Commissioners approved the appointments of Mariah Wood and Josh Roeling to seats on the Delta County Fair Board. Their terms of service will run until Jan. 31, 2020.
The Delta County Commissioners recently heard an annual report on the Grand Mesa Nordic Council from council president Dave Knutson. The council has received a $190,000 grant from a private foundation that went a long way toward helping complete the recent purchase of a new trails grooming machine.
During the BoCC's final meeting of 2016, commissioners received a report about programs being offered at Fort Uncompahgre. Chris Miller of the Western Colorado Interpretative Association, who gave the presentation, got a pledge for some financial help from the county to help with the fort's expanding list of projects and attractions.
County Commissioner Doug Atchley, District #2, was chosen Tuesday to serve as chairman of the Delta Board of County Commissioners during 2017. District #3 Commissioner Mark Roeber was chosen vice chairman at the new commission's first meeting.
Reports from the Delta County Health and Human Services Department indicate program case loads are leveling off.
In recent years, there have been noticeably large increases in the number of food stamp and Medicaid cases in Delta County.
On Monday, the Board of County Commissioners were visited by two constituents from Paonia who expressed concerns about inadequacies they see in the Bureau of Land Management's Draft Resource Management Plan (DRMP) document.
Mary DiFranco and Susan Friar told commissioners there are "unanswered questions" in the BLM's plan document.
The Board of County Commissioners Monday selected planning consultant RPI of Durango to lead the upcoming county master plan rewrite process.
The rewrite will possibly include changes to the "county land use code," a term applied collectively to county regulations for subdivisions, specific developments and septic systems, according to county staff.
The Board of County Commissioners met with staff on Monday in a special session to refine final comments on the BLM's Uncompahgre Field Office (UFO) Draft Resource Management Plan -- comments which will re-emphasize the doctrine of multiple use as the basis of the county's position on public lands.
During the discussion Monday, Commissioner Doug Atchley noted, "Multiple use is the key, and that includes mining.
Release Monday of the county's preliminary budget for 2017 shows projected general fund spending of $11.1 million, up from $10.6 million estimated for 2016. The 2017 general fund amount includes $3.9 million from property tax receipts.
Three candidates are hoping to bring an end to the Republican-dominated Delta County Board of County Commissioners. Two are Democrats who call themselves men of ideas; the third is an independent candidate who says he's frustrated by the "status quo."
Representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation gave their annual report on activities to the Delta County Commissioners on Oct. 3.
CDOT spent just over $1 million on maintenance in Delta County last year.
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday received a courtesy visit from members of the Delta County 4-H Council.
The occasion takes place annually during National 4-H Week and provides an opportunity for the county 4-H council members, their volunteer parent advisors, and the CSU Tri-River extension agent for youth, Jackie Shea, to thank the county for its support of 4-H programs.
A unique private, non-profit social services organization based in Olathe and which serves Delta County residents asked the Board of County Commissioners for financial support on Monday.
Commissioners heard a presentation from two representatives of Haven House of Olathe.
The Delta County Commissioners want some light shed on a "clean energy" financing program that would involve joining a statewide special improvement district and use county offices for some program administration.
The BoCC on Monday heard a presentation from representatives of Solar Energy International of Paonia about a state program designed to encourage owners of commercial properties to install energy and water saving devices to their buildings.
The Board of County Commissioners is considering an ordinance that will apply to new residential or commercial construction in the county.
The ordinance would establish the Delta County Health Department as the office where application for a county septic system permit is made.
The animal welfare group CAWS is seeking the county's help with a feral cat and dog spay/neuter project.
At the county commissioners' Sept. 6 meeting (held on Tuesday because of the Monday Labor Day holiday) CAWS representatives John Martindale, Rand Kokernot, Jacque Koehler and Christel Pretorius explained their plans for funding a "kick-off spay and neuter clinic" project.
The Board of County Commissioners is making a second request to the state government for information on the amount of monthly payments made to Delta County medical providers under the federally funded Medicaid program.
The BoCC had asked the county health department to make the request previously.
The county commissioners on Monday appointed Lance B. Boren as county coroner. He accepted his oath of office from Judge Sandra Miller later that day.
The Board of Delta County Commissioners is recruiting interested volunteers to serve as representatives on the Delta Fair Board. Positions are available in each district -- North Fork, Surface Creek and Delta areas.
The county administration and commissioners are finding their resources stretched thin in order to meet deadlines for submitting official comments on federal public lands policy documents.
On Monday, the BoCC issued a request to Brian St. George, a BLM deputy director, asking for a 60-day extension of time for commenting on the Gunnison Sage Grouse Rangewide Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The Board of County Commissioners has gone on record stating opposition to an executive order being drafted by Gov. John Hickenlooper aimed at reducing climate change.
The order would impose a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions from electricity generating plants by the year 2030.
Delta County is in line to land a new business that could bring the kind of economic development local officials have hoped for.
Forgeworks found a dream-come-true location for its business expansion as a company principal driving from Ridgway to Grand Junction noticed a vacant building sitting amid 300 acres of row crops on B-50 Road.
As the county works toward selecting the consultant to guide a "grassroots based" re-write of the master plan, members of the county planning commission last week voted to advise the BoCC to approve proposed language revisions to the county's specific development regulations.
The proposed language revisions recommended for approval are as follows:
The Board of Delta County Commissioners is soliciting letters of interest for the position of county coroner. Kevin Lucy is resigning effective Sept. 2 and by state statute, the county commissioners are to appoint his replacement.
County assessor Debbie Griffith got BoCC approval for a large tax abatement on a 1,267-acre parcel during the commissioners' meeting Monday, Aug. 15.
The abatement amount was $12,912. By state statute, Griffith explained, any property tax abatement over $10,000 needs BoCC approval before being sent to the state for additional approval.
Mark Eckhart, independent candidate for Delta County commissioner district #2 has successfully petitioned onto the Nov. 8 ballot with a total of 326 valid signatures. The minimum requirement of 238 signatures was exceeded and the campaign will now move forward.
In a letter addressed to Secretary Sally Jewell, U.S. Department of the Interior, County Commissioners Bruce Hovde, Doug Atchley and Mark Roeber told Secretary Jewell, "Coal is the backbone of our nation's electric grid and Delta County."
The letter enumerates costs to the coal industry which add to the companies' expense in doing business.
Delta County Board of Commissioners Bruce Hovde, chair, Mark Roeber and Doug Atchley, convening in their role as the Board of Equalization for property tax assessments, heard three petitions for adjustments to county assessor's tax assessments on Aug. 1.
Hearing officer Allen Black had made recommendations to the commissioners regarding the three properties.
To help develop tourist amenities and aid local economic development efforts, the Board of County Commissioners on Monday added its support for a grant request to CDOT. The money, if awarded, would be used to develop and interpret part of the Old Spanish Trail that runs through Delta and Mesa counties.
A flood of federal paperwork and data on public lands issues released recently by the BLM has left the county staff treading water trying to deal with all the material in order to offer meaningful comment.
The BLM's paper tide of proposed regulations, management plans and environmental impact statements, coming within a few days of each other this summer, has led the county government to seek an extension of time to review it all -- especially the all-important BLM Uncompahgre Field Office Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) released in May.
To improve access in an area where timber sales that will benefit forest health are to be conducted, the Board of County Commissioners Monday signed an agreement with the Forest Service for road work on Grand Mesa.
Under terms of the accord, Delta County will be compensated for up to $100,000 by the Forest Service for work its road crews do on almost seven miles of Trickle Park Road between mile posts 3.50 and 10.10.
The Delta County Commissioners have dealt with a number of business matters at recent meetings including the following:
• Commissioners approved the budgeted purchase of a tandem axel dump truck for road and bridge district 3.
The board of county commissioners is pushing for a speedy review of the Colorado Roadless Rule Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Shaun Donovan, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, has delayed final approval of the U.S. Forest Service Supplemental EIS calling it "a significant regulatory action."
On June 27, the Board of County Commissioners began the process of developing comments on the BLM's Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Uncompahgre Planning Area.
The Draft RMP, once finalized, will define land use for 675,800 surface acres of local BLM managed public lands for at least the next 20 years.
In Delta County, voter turnout topped just 34 percent for the June 28 primary election. In the only local contest, Republican commissioner candidate Mark Roeber edged out Roger Bentley 1,809 to 1,627.
The Board of County Commissioners has taken a strong stand in opposition to national planning rule changes proposed by the Bureau of Land Management, saying they will negatively impact county interests and citizens.
The commissioners contend the proposed Resource Management Planning Rule (also known as Planning Rule 2.0) fails in its aim to modernize agency resource management planning in four key areas:
The county commissioners have adopted several more private subdivision roads into the county road maintenance program.
Added to the list on Monday were Violetta Road and LJ Road in the Hilltop Minor Resource subdivision; Dry Creek Circle in the Dry Creek subdivision; and Harold Drive and Ruth Lane in the Sun-Rise subdivision.
The staff of Delta County Health and Human Services Department has been honored with state awards for distinguished performance during 2015.
The awards came as recognition from the Colorado Department of Human Services during state conventions held June 6-8.
The Delta County Planning Commission review of a specific development application for Farm Fresh Chickens LLC has been delayed until the commission's June meeting.
The hearing was originally scheduled for May 25, but was pulled from the meeting agenda at the last minute.
The Delta County Planning Commission is set to review a specific development application on Wednesday, May 25, for a "small poultry processing plant to serve local producers of chickens and turkeys."
The operation is planned for 3085 Last Chance Road.
In a telephone conference held on Monday, the Board of County Commissioners received an update on the Region 10 broadband middle mile project from director Michelle Haynes.
She noted some progress, but also indicated that work has slipped months behind schedule in other areas.
The county commissioners, acting at their regular bi-monthly meeting on May 16, adopted terms of a policy for taking private subdivision roads into the county system for future maintenance.
In addition, the commissioners designated a list of seven roads that immediately qualify for inclusion in the county system.
The county commissioners have continued their traditional support of the cross-country ski programs on Grand Mesa sponsored by the Grand Mesa Nordic Council, saying the programs are a tourism draw that can be developed.
On Monday, the BoCC endorsed the GMNC's grant request to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for a grant that will help purchase a new trails grooming machine.
The Delta County Commissioners have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny Tri-State's request for a punitive rate tariff on electricity generated by local alternative energy projects. The county letter to the FERC states, "Since 2012, Delta County has lost over 800 mining jobs and three supporting businesses.
On Monday, the Delta County Commissioners reviewed staff reports that prompted a discussion of statistical indicators for the local economy.
They dug into numbers being generated by the health and human services department including the relentless increase in the number of Medicaid-eligible cases here.
Delta County businessman Mark Eckhart last week officially announced his run as an unaffiliated candidate for Delta County Commissioner, District 2.
Eckhart was elected to the DMEA board of directors in 2014, after a previous stint on the board. He is the owner of Long Haul Folding Kayaks located on Ward Creek Road west of Cedaredge.
Members of the Delta County 4-H Hot Shots are ready for work.
Club members Drew Harris, president; Derrek Johnson, county council president; and Ryan Gibson, club treasurer, attended the BoCC meeting last week with their club advisor, John Harris.
A Democratic Party candidate has submitted necessary paperwork to the county and will appear on the primary and general election ballots as a candidate for Delta County Commissioner District 2, the elections department reports.
Travis Mills, a resident of Cedaredge, was named by the local Democratic Party vacancy committee as the chosen District 2 candidate for the party at its assembly last month.
The Board of County Commissioners is considering a policy stand on proposed regulations by the Bureau of Land Management. If adopted, the new regulations could establish a rules regimen that would affect gas exploration and development here in negative ways, commissioners believe. The proposed regulations would add considerable financial uncertainty to the business decisions made by exploration and production companies.
The Board of County Commissioners has asked the Bureau of Land Management to extend the time for making comments on a proposed national rule change that would affect the agency's definition of "multiple use."
The commissioners approved a letter to Neil Kornze, BLM director, asking for a 120-day extension for comments on the BLM's draft planning rule. The original deadline for comments was April 25.
At a forum last week in Hotchkiss that was open to all candidates, four Republicans seeking their party's nomination to run in the November general election responded to questions from the public.
Participating in the forum hosted by the Delta County Republican Women were District 2 candidates Nancy Hovde and Don Suppes, and District 3 candidates, incumbent Mark Roeber and Roger Bentley.
Candidates for Delta County commissioner attending the open forum in Hotchkiss last week found themselves in broad agreement on several issues raised by the audience.
For example, responding to a question on concealed carry and the Second Amendment, all the candidates said they would oppose any attempts to curtail Second Amendment rights.
A contractor for the county will be conducting an aerial photographic survey here before trees begin leafing out.
The Board of County Commissioners has approved a proposal to conduct the aerial survey, called an oblique/orthogonal aerial imaging.
Volunteers from all areas of the county who put their names in for unpaid service on the various boards and commissions of county government were officially appointed to their desired posts by the commissioners on Feb. 16.
County officials say they are anticipating some hits to revenue streams next year, and they're tightening up on employee hiring.
For example, the Board of County Commissioners during its Feb. 15 meeting reviewed a sheriff's report on the victim advocate position.
Delta County Republican Women will hold a forum for county commissioner candidates from District #2 and #3 Tuesday, March 15, at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss.
Often a person will serve quietly in a critical role, protecting public property and residents' interests, with little awareness of that role.
Such a situation exists with Bruce Bertram's service as local government designee (LGD).
The Board of County Commissioners heard from constituents Ralph D'Alessandro of Hotchkiss and Arlie Clark of Crawford during a meeting earlier this month.
D'Alessandro asked commissioners about possible changes in the existing specific development regulations. He said he had been told by a colleague on the Delta Conservation District board about changes that are being made, or that had already been made, which would affect "property values."
Two candidates for District 3 county commissioner announced their intentions at the monthly meeting of the Delta County Republican Party Central Committee on Feb. 2.
Incumbent Mark Roeber, a rancher and businessman, will seek re-election to a second term.
District 3 County Commissioner Mark Roeber has told the DCI he is filing the required paperwork and announcing his intention to run for a second term as county commissioner.
The county commissioners explained on Monday they believe the City of Delta is the jurisdiction that should be "leading the discussion" on having CDOT assume some $22 million in outstanding debt and take over ownership of Delta's new alternate truck route.
District 1 Commissioner Doug Atchley explained the truck route "is in the City of Delta and its citizens approved a bond to pay for it. It is a City of Delta indebtedness."
On Jan. 18, the Delta County Commissioners ratified the county's position on reinstating the North Fork Coal Mining Area Exemption to the Colorado Roadless Rule.
The county had commented during the scoping period for the Forest Service's Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS).
The Board of County Commissioners recently discussed two specific development proposals that involve equestrian projects near Crawford among four planning items overall.
The commissioners approved a specific development application for an eight- to 10-bed residential treatment center, Rights of Passage.
The Delta County Commissioners have adopted a budget for 2016 totaling $27.7 million in spending. That is the largest budget appropriation since 2011 when the county's annual budget appropriation was $28.1 million.
At the monthly meeting of the Republican Central Committee, Nancy Hovde announced she is a candidate for Delta County Commissioner in District 2. The seat is currently held by her husband Bruce, who is term-limited.
County commissioner Bruce Hovde was appointed by his BoCC colleagues to serve as commission chairman for 2016.
The designation took place during the board's annual reorganization meeting Monday, Jan. 4.
The amount of pay increase that will go to newly elected county officials beginning next year is expected to be in the hands of the General Assembly which last year approved a pay hike of 30 percent.
State lawmakers apparently realized that the 30 percent increase could be a tough sell to taxpayers back home who are the ones that actually pay the money for their elected officials' salaries.
The Board of County Commissioners reviewed some details of the new access control plan for Highway 50 north and Highway 92 as it heads east from downtown Delta.
Commissioners were concerned with criteria that are used to determine when traffic studies will be required, or when access to the highway is changed or denied for businesses along the corridors that have been in existence prior to the plan's adoption.
The Board of County Commissioners on a split vote Monday has endorses a legislative proposal that will raise the pay of newly elected county officials by 20 percent.
The Colorado General Assembly had already adopted a measure calling for pay increases of 30 percent for newly elected county officials.
Engineers and managers from CDOT reported to the Board of County Commissioners recently on the much improved railroad grade crossing at SH 50 in Delta, and on other road issues in the region.
The report is an annual review of CDOT activities in the sprawling Region 3 that includes Delta County and 14 other counties, and that is the largest CDOT region in the state.
Orchard City's two-term mayor, Don Suppes, has announced as a candidate for District 2 county commissioner.
Suppes served as an Orchard City town trustee two and a half years before winning election as the town's mayor in 2008. His current term as mayor will end in April next year. The upcoming election for commissioner will be held Nov. 1, 2016.
The Delta District Court last week granted a request from county government to reinstate the commissioners' 2013 specific development approval for Grand Mesa Layers and Western Slope Layers.
The court's action follows the state Supreme Court's recent decision not to hear an appeal of the Colorado Appellate Court's decision that had upheld the county commissioners' original decision.
Ten county employees were recognized for their years of service to the county by the board of commissioners on Monday.
Receiving recognition for 10 years of service were the following:
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday discussed a pay raise proposal for county elected officials that could amount to 30 percent. But the board has not approved any increase.
The Board of County Commissioners has issued position statements recently on various local issues. They include ending the long-running wilderness study area (WSA) status for local public lands, and ideas for inclusion in Colorado's Water Plan.
Two new members were appointed to the Delta County Fair Board by the county commissioners last week.
In addition, three present members were appointed to new terms.
The commissioners have recently issued 17 specific comments critical of the BLM's work on Gunnison sage grouse.
In addition to the 17 specific points addressed in the BoCC's Sept. 24 comment letter, the county commissioners have expressed their strong disappointment with the agency's procedures in creating its Gunnison sage grouse Rangewide Resource Management Plan Amendment/Environmental Impact Statement.
The county government has finished its round of department budget presentations and has completed its proposed budget for 2016.
A public copy of the proposed budget is available from the Delta County administration office located in Suite 227 of the Delta County Courthouse.
The Colorado Supreme Court announced last week that it will not consider the case involving Delta County Commissioners, Western Slope Layers and Grand Mesa Layers.
The decision of the Supreme Court to deny a "petition for writ of certiorari" filed by plaintiffs means a previous finding by the Colorado Court of Appeals in favor of the county and co-defendant Hostetler will stand.
The Board of County Commissioners wants to see some congressional interest in grazing restrictions being proposed on public lands north of Delta.
The BoCC has put an exclamation point to its recent comments opposing grazing cutbacks proposed by the BLM.
The Board of County Commissioners on Monday approved the specific development application for Kurtz Chicken Ranch on Redlands Mesa.
Approval came on a 3-0 vote.
As part of traditional observances for National 4-H Week locally, the Board of County Commissioners was paid a courtesy visit from Delta County 4-H County Council officers, parent advisors, and Tri-River Area Extension agent - youth Jackie Shea.
The Delta County Planning Commission has recommended approval for the Kuntz Chicken Ranch specific development application.
Commission members, however, added a couple of conditions.
The Leroux Creek Area Planning Committee has forwarded a specific development request for the Kuntz Chicken Ranch to the county planning commission with a recommendation for approval.
The county planning commission will hear and review the application request on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the county courthouse. The board of county commissioners will decide on the application at a later date.
Access for children and their families to needed services of mental and behavioral health are improving greatly for Delta County residents, the county commissioners were told on Sept. 21.
The Families Plus program founded in 1998 by psychologist Brenda Holland and directed by her, along with an associate, John VanDenBerg, presented the Board of County Commissioners with an encouraging update of progress during the BoCC's regular meeting.
The Board of County Commissioners was generous in its thanks to two county elected officials who unraveled and tracked down a property tax snafu that netted county taxing entities $41,000 they had been owed.
County government is issuing a call for "letters of intent" from businesses or other organizations that have a proposal for use of the shuttered CSU agricultural research station on Rogers Mesa.
Delta County's conservative approach to financial management yielded dividends in 2014 with increasing fund balances and spending that came in below budget estimates.
The commissioners received the official 2014 audit during a regular meeting session on Monday.
Matters of emergency preparedness and management occupied the Board of County Commissioners Monday at its regular meeting.
Local government staff has reported anecdotally that federal agencies are heightening funding priorities for emergency preparedness, though there were no federal funding initiatives noted in the BoCC's actions Monday.
The county's first budget meeting for making preparations on its 2016 spending plan is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 20.
Requests are coming in to the county for funding support from various organizations.
Doug Dean, director of Colorado State University Extension Service, discussed the revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) among the Extension Office and the four counties of Mesa, Delta, Montrose and Ouray with Delta County Commissioners Mark Roeber, Doug Atchley and Bruce Hovde at the Aug. 3 commissioners meeting.
At their Aug. 3 regular meeting county commissioners Mark Roeber, Bruce Hovde and Doug Atchley were asked about a letter to the editor in the July 29 issue of the Delta County Independent from Wink Davis of Mesa Winds Farm & Winery concerning the status of oil and gas development in the North Fork.
On May 1 of this year county assessor Debbie Griffith mailed to all Delta County property owners a notice of the valuation of their property, the valuation on which their property taxes will be based for 2015, payable in 2016.
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