County Beat: April 11, 2019

RBC | County building inspector Jeff Kummer presented proposed amendments to the county’s building code during a work session with commissioners Monday. The amendments would bring the county in line with the 2018 International Residential Code.

According to Kummer, “If you live in Colorado you don’t have to have a building code.” There are some particulars that are required by state law, but counties are not required to have their own set of building codes. Delta County is one example.

“To be quite honest, I constantly hear complaints about how we enforce our codes … before we start adopting anything let’s get an evening public input session and see what they [the public] would like us to do,” said Commissioner Gary Moyer.

Currently, the county’s codes are from 2006. As the county is also handling Rangely’s building inspection, Rangely’s codes, previously from 2000, will be the same as the county’s. The Town of Meeker uses building codes from 2003.

“We have an opportunity here to make this countywide,” Kummer said, adding that in prior discussion with Meeker’s former town administrator “Meeker was interested” in bringing its codes in line with the county’s.

“We do have the discretion to enforce codes how we want based on our county and I think we need to hear from our citizens. This is definitely an area where we want to hear from our citizens,” Moyer said.

Kummer said the codes he gets the most complaints about are things “that have been in place since the ‘80s.”

County Attorney Todd Starr said if the code a county or municipality is using is “too old,” it can cause a dramatic rise in homeowner’s insurance rates.

The commissioners will be scheduling a public input meeting regarding building codes in the near future.

4-H Shooting Sports

Bernie Roybal, representing the Meeker Sportsman’s Club, updated the commissioners on the 4-H Shooting Sports program and its needs.

Roybal said the club is “working out the logistics” of transporting kids to Rangely or to Garfield County to use the shooting ranges there.

“We’ve got a ton of kids involved,” Roybal said. The commissioners agreed to help with funding for the program.

Commissioner Updates

Woodruff said he attended the Northwest Colorado Outfitters meeting, where he was told recreation permit numbers are increasing on BLM lands. Outfitters on BLM land generated $2.2 million in 2017-18, and 16 local outfitters on Forest Service lands generated $2.2 million. Cow elk licenses will be limited statewide except in Northwest Colorado.

Woodruff also attended the CNCC Foundation dinner and auction, an EMS Council meeting, a presentation on invasive species—a Northern pike was recently caught in Kenney Reservoir, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado teleconferences, and met the new officer for the Town of Rangely.

Moyer, Rector and attorney Starr met with the state director of the Bureau of Land Management in Denver.

“It was a really good meeting with the BLM, they were really receptive,” Starr said.

Moyer also attended the Waters of the U.S. meeting in Denver where new rules were discussed. Moyer said he was pleased to learn that Colorado’s withdrawal from a lawsuit about the 2015 rule does not mean the state will be forced to comply with the 2015 rule.

“The SBA (Small Business Administration) said that’s not true. We’ll revert to the 2008 rule.” Moyer said the new rules being prepared will be “much better for folks in the West.”

Moyer also said he testified via teleconference at the house on a climate change bill that would set carbon emission levels at “virtually unobtainable levels.”

Rector also testified on that bill in Denver. “They want to reduce our carbon footprint by 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2050,” he said.

In other business, the commissioners:

Heard updates from the Road and Bridge Department.

-Approved renewals of ambulance service licenses for the Rio Blanco Fire Protection District and Rangely District Hospital.

-Approved a contract with Civic Forum Associates for $159,900 for the Columbine Park Multi-Purpose Indoor Arena Design Project.

-Approved a contract with CKC Asphalt for $42,186 for the 2019 Crackfill Project. The out-of-state contractor was the low bidder, saving the county $25,352.

-Approved the purchase of broadband tower components for $22,454.

-Approved an agreement for the County Planner to assist the Public Health Department in providing administrative grant support for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Grant for $5,000.

-Approved a contract modification with Stewart Welding increasing the total amount for the purchase of brackets and mounts by $6,224.

-Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sheriff’s Office, the USDA and the Forest Service for $3,900.

-Approved a liquor license renewal for Ripple Creek Lodge and approved a permission letter to the Town of Meeker authorizing the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council to provide alcohol at four summer events to be held on county property.

By Niki Turner | editor@ht1885.com