COUNTY BEAT: MARCH 24, 2022

RBC | RBC Extension Agent Linda Masters updated commissioners on the possibility of a specialist position paid for by a CSU program. The program is “still very fluid” she said, and details have yet to be confirmed. Masters also sought direction regarding the open position at the extension office being turned into a part-time seasonal position instead of a year-round position. 

RBC Road and Bridge Director Scott Marsh told the commissioners there has been an 18% increase in a bid for dump truck equipment. 

Sheriff Anthony Mazzola updated the board regarding the sheriff’s department, including the continuation of prescription transports while Pioneers Medical Center gets its new retail pharmacy ready to open. For the jail, Mazzola said the cost of housing an inmate in the Moffat County Jail in January was $10,339. In February the cost was $5,526.

The numbers are based on average daily inmate population, and are “under what we’ve been budgeting,” Mazzola said. The projected budget was for $181K for the year. “We’re looking at coming in well below that if we keep these numbers. I think I”m going to be coming in between $400-500K below the 2021 budget. That’s real dollar savings.”

The department is still down by two employees.

Mazzola also shared with the board about the $275,000 donation received from Marvine Ranch, with those funds earmarked for two patrol vehicles and license plate readers. In the regular meeting, commissioners approved the purchase of the two patrol vehicles.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT/IT

Emergency Manager Eddie Smercina and IT Director Dylon Merrell said they have conducted an internal review of the county’s cybersecurity plan, which is required now on many federal grant applications. The review concluded that there are improvements that could be made, but they come at a cost of between $35K and $350K a year. Grant opportunities are available. 

FACILITIES 

Facilities Director Eric Jaquez updated the board on the Meeker Airport waterline project. Delays and cost increases in supplies make the full project untenable at this time. Jaquez recommended moving ahead with the drainage project, but not going forward with the waterline replacement at this time and “sticking with the drainage project, which was the original problem.”

REGULAR MEETING

In the regular meeting, commissioners Ty Gates and Gary Moyer (Jeff Rector was not present due to illness), awarded the bid for the purchase of two patrol vehicles for the sheriff’s department to Grand Junction Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep for $173,000. 

During public hearings, the board approved resolutions allowing for a minor subdivision off CR 17 (Buford/New Castle Road). The Aspen Estates minor subdivision will be rezoned rural residential and subdivided into five covenant-controlled lots. Also approved were a property line adjustment at Ridge Estates and a final amended plat at Bob Regulski’s Sleepy Cat property. 

WORK SESSION 

The board returned to a work session Tuesday afternoon to discuss prioritizing projects to be funded by the American Rescue Plan. Of the approximately $1.2 million, $200K was set aside for a Department of Human Services eligibility position. The county needs to prioritize additional projects to meet reporting requirements at the end of April. 

Up for discussion were a “sand shed” at Road and Bridge, aerial imagery for GIS and the assessor’s office, rural water development expansion in Rangely, expansion of Rangely sewer system, expansion of raw water irrigation system for Columbine Park and Rangely airport, moving more applications to the cloud to allow for working off-premise along with a virtual desktop interface, cybersecurity, and a backup generator for the Fairfield Center complex. 

Projects have to fit into government guidelines for funding.

“It’s not a free-for-all,” said Budget and Finance Director Janae Stanworth. 

Further discussion will be held.


By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com