County Beat: Commissioners wrap up 2019 at Dec. 17 Rangely meeting

RBC | Prior to the regularly scheduled Rio Blanco County Board or County Commissioners meeting, a work session was held on Dec. 17 with Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Barbara Bofinger in Rangely. Bofinger told commissioners that child welfare was now fully staffed in case workers. The newest case worker is expected to be certified by mid-January.

A request for $95,000 to go towards prevention and intervention services was applied for. Bofinger reported that there are five children awaiting adoption. The appeals court upheld the termination on two children, but she said unfortunately those children are not in permanent homes. A meeting has been set up with the specialized recruitment/adoption agency called Wendy’s Wonderful Kids for next week. There are three children in permanent homes and one youth in residential care. There was an Adult Protection Services administrative review last week on two cases where they identified some areas that the county needs to focus on. The new case worker will go through the Adult Protection Services (APS) training in February. Referrals for APS have leveled out. DHS received an allocation for $2,648 to do disability navigation, rather than opt out of the program because of financial concerns, the county is looking at combining services with other Northwest Colorado counties.

Bofinger reported that there is a medical assistance supervisor backlog reduction target grant. The backlog was created after the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) was transformed. Currently there are unanswered questions and every time the case workers run cases through CBMS to determine eligibility for a program it could create a backlog. The grant would allow supervisors to receive overtime. CCI Family First program has been delayed until April.

There are concerns about the White River Round Up budget, Bofinger will talk to Moffat County about how they fund their program. Moyer said that looking into contracting local restaurants might be a more cost-effective way to provide meals.

Bofinger clarified the financial line item “child welfare discretionary grant” and said that it is something the state started for children that are placed out of district and receive education transportation assistance.

The Dec. 17 Rio Blanco County Board of County Commissioners meeting was called to order at 11:13 a.m. Commissioners Rector, Woodruff, and Moyer were present.

NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Woodruff moved to approve a CDHS Certification of Compliance with County Personnel Merit System Form for Year 2020 from the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado on behalf of the Rio Blanco County Department of Human Services to the Colorado Department of Human Services as required by Section 26-1-120(8) C.R.S., and 9 CCR 2501-1 Rule 2.200. Moyer seconded and it passed unanimously.

Moyer moved to approve a Comment Letter from the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado to the BLM Colorado State Office regarding proposed land exchange between the State of Colorado and the Federal Government/BLM. Woodruff seconded and it passed unanimously.

Woodruff moved to appoint Commissioner Gary Moyer as proxy for the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado for CCI steering committees: PROXY 2020. The motion was seconded by Rector and passed with Moyer abstaining from the vote.

MOUS, CONTRACTS & AGREEMENTS

Moyer moved to approve Contract Modification Order No. 01 to an Agreement for Services between the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado and Hurst Roofing, LLC for the RBC 2019 Rangely Airport Hayes Building Project, extending the completion date from Aug. 30, 2019 to Dec. 30, 2019. Woodruff seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Woodruff moved to approve an agreement for services between the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado and Melanie Hendershott, MS, RD, CSO in an amount not to exceed $3,500. Rio Blanco County Finance Director Janae Stanworth clarified that Hendershott is the nutritionist for White River Roundup. The motion passed unanimously.

Moyer moved to approve a grant and cooperative agreement between the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado and the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management for BLM-CO: Strengthening Partnerships for Invasive and Noxious Plant Management, Financial Assistance Funding Opportunity No. L19AS00042. Woodruff seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Road and Bridge Director David Morlan updated commissioners about the County Road 73 bridge grant of $1.4 million they applied for and did not receive. The county that the grant was awarded to called and they were awarded $1.2 million. Morlan said the money became available and there is a couple hundred thousand dollars difference but after discussing with the commissioners and Stanworth they can make that work. He said that they are looking forward to getting it built. Moyer clarified that the difference in money will be funded with the 2020 budget contingency. Woodruff asked if the bridge was going to be closed during construction and Morlan said the new bridge will be built alongside the old bridge. The old bridge will be the detour until the completion of the new bridge. The old bridge will be taken care of by the contractor, whether it be that they scrap it or offer it to area landowners, the liability of the old bridge will lie on the contractor.

COMMISSIONER UPDATES

Commissioner Woodruff said that he did not realize that the Rangely Airport does not have jet fuel sales. The request to start selling jet fuel was made by Jason Krueger at the Rangely Airport. Woodruff will be meeting with the Moffat County Airport manager to find out why Craig stopped filling up airplanes during the fire season. He also invited the other commissioners to tour the Cathedral radio site, he said it is one of our most crucial sites. Project Coordinator Eric Jaquez will start servicing the different radio sites.

Commissioner Moyer attended the air quality hearing in Rifle and represented Rio Blanco County. He testified that a “one size fits all” approach for regulation was not in rural counties’ best interests. He said, “We are a very large and diverse state.” Last Thursday and Friday he traveled to Denver and met with the state water engineer and discussed the Wolf Creek Reservoir project water rights hold up. He conveyed Rio Blanco County’s concerns and explained how valuable that reservoir potentially is to Rio Blanco County and perceived it to be an amicable meeting.

Commissioner Rector continues his quest to export gas out of the Rocky Mountain Region. He said they need to leverage some money to get the pipelines delivered. Alberta, Canada is another option he reports that they want to meet, and that their government is very interested in exporting gas out of this country.

By ROXIE FROMANG | Special to the Herald Times