County Beat: December 13, 2018

RBC | Updates to the fair board bylaws kicked off the work sessions on Monday, Dec. 10 at the Rio Blanco County Courthouse with a few of the presiding fair board members in attendance. The presented bylaws were a compilation by county attorney Kent Borchard with reference to similar bylaws by Garfield and Mesa counties. The commissioners and available fair board members went through each section with the intent to come to an agreement. It was eventually decided that more time was needed to comb through the bylaws, present them and get feedback at the Dec. 27 fair board meeting, and then be approved and adopted by the BOCC in January. A few of the changes proposed include revolving term limits, number of board members, and structuring and rotation of officers. Asked if all county-appointed board bylaws are being reviewed, commissioners said that they would start looking at them a lot more frequently now.
“We have all these boards and considering what has taken place, that’s the reason we’re reviewing this. We would want to look at all the boards especially if there’s funding and things like that,” said Commissioner Si Woodruff.
Board Chair Shawn Bolton expanded that by saying, “One of the things that makes this one a little bit more to the front of the line is the fact that it is taxpayer dollars that are expended. As far as a lot of the boards that directly have an effect on the county operation … this one is probably more critical unlike the planning board because they are attached to our county EIN number. Anytime you start dealing with taxpayer funds within the county and under our EIN number that affects the chances of us having a clean audit.”
Budget and Finance Director Janae Stanworth went over the supplemental budget in the next workshop and what would be presented in Resolution No. 2018-41, which was unanimously approved in the regular commissioner’s meeting that was held at 11 a.m.
A list of the items being adjusted included the county receiving $1,588,286 in the 2018 direct distribution of Federal Mineral Leasing and $399,274 in the 2018 direct distribution of Severance Tax which shall be allocated to the BOCC General Fund. The final amounts are uncertain, which is why Stanworth likes to take a more conservative approach in the adoption of the upcoming budget in order to prepare for a worst case scenario.
Unplanned additional costs in the attorney’s department of $7,000 for an increase in expenses due to DHS cases will be reclassified from contingency in the General Fund. Unplanned additional costs of $10,000 in the clerk and recorder’s office will be reclassified from the contingency in the general fund and was the result of vacation/sick time earned and accrued and “paid out” for two employees who resigned in November. Unplanned additional costs in the treasurer’s department of $8,000 will be reclassified as a pay-out as the newly elected treasurer takes office Dec. 31. An unplanned additional cost of $2,243 for a new desk in the Capital Expenditures Fund will be reclassified from contingency as that money was set aside with the first furniture purchase for the courthouse when employees moved back in and the residing treasurer wanted to continue using her own desk. Unplanned additional costs in the wildfire department of $190,000. Later in the day in conference with Stanworth she explained that the total amount spent on wildfires could still change as there could still be bills coming in from 2018.
Unplanned additional costs in the coroner’s department of $5,000 for an increase in training and $15,000 in purchased services due to the increased request for autopsies this last year.
Grants received were $5,000 from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the improvement plan under the Public Health department, $18,000 for tobacco awareness and $9,000 for taking back environmental health duties from the state under the environmental department in the Public Health Agency Fund.
In other business, the BOCC:
– Moved to approve a CDHS Certification of Compliance with County Personnel Merit System Form for Year 2019 from the BOCC on behalf of the 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.
– Approved the 2018 Annual Report for Discharges from the Application of Pesticides GOG860000 from the BOCC to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
– Approved a letter from the BOCC to Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, and Congressman Scott Tipton supporting legislation removing wolves from the Federal Endangered Species Protection Act.
– Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the BOCC and Prowers County, to facilitate the Prowers County Hotline County Connection Center to answer and process child welfare related hotline calls in an amount not to exceed $1,292.
– Approved the 2019 Child Support Purchase of Services Agreement between the BOCC for the use and benefit of the Rio Blanco County Department of Human Services and the Board of County Commissioners of Garfield County, on behalf of the Garfield County Department of Human Services, in an amount not to exceed $24,000.
– Approved Contract Modification No. 4 between the BOCC and Phil Vaughan Construction Management Inc., increasing the not to exceed amount by $6,000 to $24,500, due to an increase in planning services. It was noted during the budgeting work session that this amount is actually a pass through as it’s a customer requested assistance and thus the customer will be responsible for payment on this service.
– Approved Resolution No. 2018-41, appropriating additional sums of money to defray expenses in excess of amounts budgeted, in the various funds and spending agencies, in the amounts and for the purposes as set forth therein for the 2018 budget year.
– Approved Resolution No. 2018-42, establishing the 2019 observed legal holidays for Rio Blanco County Government.
The final commissioner meeting of the year will be next Monday, Dec. 17 in Rangely at the Annex building. 11 a.m.

By EMMA VAUGHN | emma@ht1885.com