Friday, January 12, 2018

This Week in Pics


The Board of Mesa County Commissioners convenes for the first public hearing of the new year. To watch the meeting, visit  http://www.mesacounty.us/commissioners/webcast.aspx
Commissioners approve the Mesa County Commissioners' 2018 committee, panel and board assignments in public hearing on Monday.

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis gives a report on his last day as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners regarding the accomplishments and challenges the county faced in 2017. 

On Jan 8., 2018, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners voted Commissioner John Justman as the 2018 Chairman of the Board. Commissioner Justman succeeds Commissioner Scott McInnis, who served as Chairman in 2017. Commissioner Justman was elected to office in January of 2013 and is currently serving his second term which expires January of 2021.
Women, Infants & Children Educator Kandis Fuller was selected for a January Spotlight on Excellence award at Mesa County Public Health (MCPH). Kandis, pictured with MCPH Executive Director Jeff Kuhr, was honored for her hard work and dedication to MCPH and Mesa County residents at an all-staff meeting this week. 
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) Regional Epidemiologist Andrew Tyler, left, and MCPH Executive Director Jeff Kuhr pause for a picture after Andrew was presented with a January Spotlight on Excellence award earlier this week.

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese talks to KKCO News Channel 11 Reporter Joey Prechtl about starting a community conversation about how state grants are treated under TABOR. To view the interview, visit https://goo.gl/2Yb6yt.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Motor Vehicle Manager Bobbie Gross work on customer flow via conference call with their vendor, Qmatic, for a new queuing system that is expected to be implemented at the end of February at Motor Vehicle. Qmatic is a company that specializes in technology solutions and insights using software platforms and hardware systems to streamline services.

Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Customer Service Specialist Amanda Golightly work on a unique project Tuesday afternoon. 
In preparation for the Clerk and Recorders's state conference next week, Clerk Reiner works on one of her assignments. The theme of the conference is "change," and since huge statewide changes are coming down the pike for 2018, the leadership wants to make sure everyone gets comfortable and ready for it.  

Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Customer Service Specialist Amanda Golightly pause for a picture after cutting out images of coins/change for their assignment, which requires them to attend a statewide meeting (that revolves around changes) and dress accordingly. A staff member suggested they dress up as coins to represent change. 

Life-size coins lay on a table in the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder's conference room before they are made into costumes to represent metaphorical change. 

Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Amanda Golightly get started on their costume creation.

Clerk Reiner dresses up as "change" in preparation for a statewide meeting that will discuss innovation and modification processes that will be implemented in the Clerk and Recorder's Offices across Colorado in 2018. For example, this year Elections will manage the first primary for unaffiliated voters, while Motor Vehicle will adopt a new software system in August. 

Motor Vehicle Customer Service Specialist Katie Conner stops by the Clerk's conference room and asks what is happening. Clerk Reiner replies, "We are becoming change."

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner is a change agent.

Mesa County Animal Services Manager Doug Frye, right, and Noxious Weed and Pest Management Coordinator Teresa Nees break for a photo at KAFM Community Radio. Frye and Nees were on the Know Your County show discussing tips on how to keep pets safe during the winter months as temperatures drop.

Mesa County Commissioners and County Attorney Patrick Coleman, left, meet with Mesa County Director of the Board of Directors of the Colorado River Water Conservation District (CRWD) Steve Acquafreca, right, regarding expectations, policy and budget changes for the district.

Construction for the new and improved scales near the entrance of the Mesa County Landfill is now complete. The new scales replace deteriorated scales used to weigh vehicles when entering and exiting the campus. 

The new 70-foot scale on the outbound lane at the Mesa County Landfill is an improvement over the 40-foot deteriorated scale it replaced.

Mesa County Solid Waste Management Scale House Attendant Cheryl Reece greets customers at the Mesa County Landfill with a friendly smile.

Mesa County Solid Waste Director Barrett Jensen explains that older vehicles with four-wheel drive often have locking hubs (or freewheeling hubs) that have to be manually turned to lock the front wheels.

On Wednesday, due to inclement weather and hazardous road conditions, Mesa County Landfill closed to the general public but remained open for commercial waste haulers.
Mesa County Solid Waste staff help pull out a garbage truck that is stuck in the mud at the Mesa County Landfill.
Mesa County Solid Waste Site Manager Brandon Hoskin works to keep roads safe and get them open as soon as possible at the landfill.

Site Manager Brandon Hoskin blades dry material into the mud to improve slippery road conditions at the Mesa County Landfill.

Solid Waste staff member Cody Schmalz helps keep roads safe at the Mesa County Landfill Wednesday.

Conditions at the Mesa County Landfill are so muddy that even heavy equipment is slipping and sliding. 

Commissioner Rose Pugliese talks to KKCO News Channel 11 Reporter Joey Prechtl about a letter the Board of Mesa County Commissioners sent to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper Tuesday. The letter urges Gov. Hickenlooper to support new natural gas-fired electricity facilities to be fired up in western Colorado. "The Front Range continues making headlines for their economic prosperity while rural Colorado continues to lag behind," the Mesa County Commissioners wrote. "Locating new natural gas power plant capacity in western Colorado is an opportunity to create economic prosperity in rural areas of Colorado." To see the interview, visit https://goo.gl/UrTpYM. To read the letter, go to https://goo.gl/m53XeY.
Meet Mesa County Clerk & Recorder's Office Land Records Technician Kim Cole.

Many Mesa County offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This one-day closure does not include the Coroner’s Office, Criminal Justice Services, Grand Valley Transit (GVT), Mesa County Landfill or the emergency functions of the Sheriff’s Office. Animal Services will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a detailed list of closures, visit https://goo.gl/ZfxzKz.

Commissioners urge Governor Hickenlooper to support Natural Gas Facility on Western Slope

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners signed a letter on Tuesday, urging Governor Hickenlooper to support building Xcel's new natural gas electricity facilities on the Western Slope to help create opportunities for economic prosperity in the rural areas of Colorado.



Having the facilities located on the Western Slope would create permanent jobs while creating local demand for local energy projects.

Additionally, locating a facility near the source of Colorado's largest dry gas reserves reduces the potential for methane leakage and lowers transportation costs by using local gas.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Commissioners Appoint New Chairman


Mesa County Commissioners unanimously vote Commissioner John Justman as the 2018 Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

On Jan 8., 2018, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners voted Commissioner John Justman as the 2018 Chairman of the Board. Commissioner Justman succeeds Commissioner Scott McInnis, who served as Chairman in 2017.

Commissioner Justman was elected to office in January of 2013 and is currently serving his second term which expires January of 2021.

Commissioner Justman has lived in the Grand Valley for over fifty years and has owned and operated a successful farming business on K Road for 45 of those years. He and his wife, Frances, raised their two sons on their farm. The Justmans instilled in their children abiding respect for higher education and, after attending Fruita Monument High School, Anthony graduated from Stanford Law School, and Craig earned his Ph.D. at Harvard.

“I am honored to assume the role of Chairman for 2018,” Justman said. “It is a privilege to continue to serve the residents of Mesa County."

“After a downturn in the economy, it appears we are reaching a point where we are growing and recovering, Mesa County has finally reached the lowest unemployment rates since the recession,” Justman added. “There are a lot of positive signs in our community for an economic recovery in 2018."

The Board will continue to focus on prioritizing core government services and needed infrastructure while working within their budget to enhance economic development in Mesa County.

"New businesses are relocating and expanding in the Grand Valley. The tourist industry appears to be doing better, and the oil and gas industry is picking up again, which is the largest property taxpayer and provides well-paid jobs," Justman said. "Based on the past year, sales tax has increased from previous years. The national economy is recovering, and that will positively affect Mesa County's recovery as well."

County offices closed Jan. 15 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Many Mesa County offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Image result for martin luther king jr
Martin Luther King Jr.


Closure includes:
Administration, Assessor, County Commissioners, County Attorney, Financial Services, Human Resources, IT, Surveyor, Treasurer (544 Rood Ave.)
Clerk & Recorder: Motor Vehicle, Recording, Elections, Clerk to the Board (200 S. Spruce St.)
District Attorney's Office and the Justice Center (125 N. Spruce St.)
Department of Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road)
Facilities and Fairgrounds (2785 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Public Health (510 29 1/2 Road)
Public Works, Building, and Planning (971 Coffman Road & 200 S. Spruce St.)
Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth St.)
Sheriff’s Office: Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice St.)
Solid Waste Campus: Composting, Hazardous Waste and Transfer Stations (3071 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Tri-River Area CSU Extension (2775 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road)

Alternate hours:
Animal Services (971A Coffman Road) will be open from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Closure does NOT include:
Coroner's Office
Criminal Justice Services (all locations)
Grand Valley Transit fixed and paratransit services (525 S. 6th St.)
Mesa County Landfill (3071 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Sheriff's Office: jail, patrol, emergency services (215 Rice St.)

Friday, January 5, 2018

This Week in Pics

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year. Be on the lookout for many exciting things to come in 2018.

Mesa County Criminal Justice Services Director Dennis Berry shakes hands with Criminal Justice Officer Shawn McNamara as he presents him with recognition for earning Employee of the 4th Quarter. Congratulations, Officer McNamara!  
Mesa County Road and Bridge Crews plow snowy roads for motorists on Glade Park. Learn more about Mesa County's snowplow program, visit https://goo.gl/ftQ263.

Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee talks to KKCO News Channel 11 Reporter Stephanie Bennett regarding the assessment of property taxes and what taxpayers should expect to see this year.

Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee explains that property tax is derived by multiplying the assessed value times the mill levy. In November 2017, passed by the vote of the people, School District 51's ballot initiatives and Clifton Fire district mill levy increase (for Clifton area residents) resulted in a mill levy increase, which will be on average a 12 percent tax increase for the tax year 2017 due in 2018.

Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich tells KKCO News Channel 11 Reporter Stephanie Bennett that the 2017 Property Tax Roll (due in 2018) has been certified. Property Tax Statements may be in the mail stream in the next few weeks, she invites taxpayers to utilize the website http://treasurer.mesacounty.us, and review property taxes owing. “It is very easy to click on Pay/View Property Taxes. From that point, follow the directions to see taxes owing for 2017, payable in 2018. You are welcome to call our office for property tax information,” Rich said.
Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich reminds residents to throw those Denver envelopes away, and use the new envelopes included with the Property Tax Statement – the new envelopes have a Grand Junction address. No more mailing your property tax payments to Denver!
Last week, Motor Vehicle Customer Service Specialists Greg, Matt and Don helped spread holiday cheer at the Motor Vehicle office.

The Mesa County Organic Materials Composting Facility, 3071 Highway 50, offers an easy, free way to dispose of  (real/natural) trees after the holidays. Don't forget to remove lights, tinsel, ornaments and the stand from the tree before dropping it off. Flocked or artificial trees are not eligible and are not accepted.

Customers drop off and unload yard waste and a Christmas tree at the Mesa County Organic Materials Composting Facility, 3071 Highway 50. Trees and yard waste are processed for compost production on-site. For more information, please call (970) 263-9319.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Property Taxes 2017 due 2018

The 2017 Property Tax Roll (due in 2018) has been certified.  While we anticipate Property Tax Statements may be in the mail stream in the next few weeks, we invite you to utilize our website http://treasurer.mesacounty.us, and review property taxes owing.  “It is very easy to click on Pay/View Property Taxes.  From that point, follow the directions to see taxes owing for 2017, payable in 2018.  You are welcome to call our office for property tax information,” said County Treasurer, Janice Rich.

Colorado law [CRS 39-10-104.5] requires payments in two equal installments, the first being due on or before the last day of February, and the second installment to be paid no later than the 15th day of June.  Or, if you are paying your taxes in full, a single payment is due on or before the last day of April

 P.S.  No more mailing your property tax payments to Denver.  Be sure to throw those  Denver envelopes away, and USE THE NEW ENVELOPES included with your Property Tax Statement – the new envelopes have a Grand Junction address!

Friday, December 22, 2017

This Week in Pics


Mesa County Commissioners honor Linda Dannenberger for her 29 years of commitment and dedicated service to the residents of Mesa County. Linda began her career with the Mesa County Planning Department on April 18, 1988, and has served with integrity and distinction. She exemplifies the values of Mesa County and is the epitome of caring and personal customer service.From left to right: Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, Commissioner John Justman, Planning Division Director Linda Dannenberger and Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

Commissioner John Justman, left, thanks Linda Dannenberger for her 29 years of service. 

Mesa County Planning Director Linda Dannenberger poses for the camera with her proclamation that describes her 29 years of exemplary service to Mesa County. Her last day with the county was Dec. 21, 2017. Congratulations on your retirement, Linda!

Mesa County Fleet Supervisor Scott Forsgren is honored by the Board of County Commissioners for his commitment and dedication throughout his 44 years of employment.

At Public Hearing on Monday, Road Supervisor Rudy Bevan speaks of the many experiences he and Scotty have shared over the years.

Assistant Fleet Supervisor Eric Brown, another co-worker of Scott's, came to say a couple of kind words on behalf of his retirement of 44 years from Mesa County.  
There's nothing like a bond between a father and his daughter! Mesa County Senior Accountant Katherine Boozell speaks to the Board about her father's retirement from the county. Katherine told many stories of her childhood and the time she spent at Mesa County Fleet Services on Saturdays with her dad. 

Many co-workers and friends stood up to congratulate Scott Forsgren as he was presented with a proclamation recognizing his years of service with Mesa County.

Mesa County Fleet Supervisor Scott Forsgren's wife, Karen, left, and daughter, Mesa County Senior Accountant Katherine Boozell, right, stand alongside Forsgren as he accepts the proclamation presented by the Mesa County Commissioners honoring his commitment working for Mesa County for 44 years.

Mesa County Commissioners John Justman, Rose Pugliese and Scott McInnis honor Scott Forsgren on an outstanding 44-year career with the Mesa County Fleet Department and wish him many years of happiness and success.

Mesa County Commissioners recognize Public Health Executive Director Jeff Kuhr, center right, for being awarded the RMHP Bruce Wilson, M.D. Memorial Award last week.

Commissioner Pugliese reads the award into the public hearing's official record Monday. Commissioners congratulate Jeff Kuhr for his commitment and dedication to the community.

Scott Forsgren and Linda Dannenberger celebrate their retirement at Public Hearing Monday with proclamations in their honor. 

Mark Fugere Hilltop Director of Workforce Center Programs retires this week after more than 30 years of service to Mesa County citizens. 
20 staff members from Department of Human Services, Workforce Center, and Public Health competed in an Ugly Sweater competition. 

DHS Economic Assistance Specialist Jessie Ruggiero takes her ugly sweater to extremes.
Jessie leaves no sweater surface unadorned. 

Public Health Promotion Specialist Troy Ward shows off his hungry Santa sweater.

The MCPH Epidemiology Team takes a break from their morning meeting for a picture. The team monitors and investigates illnesses in Mesa County. Left to right: Pediatric Nurse Consultant Heidi Belatti, Data Analyst Shane Chatfield, Program Manager Heidi Dragoo, Regional Epidemiologist Andy Tyler and Regional Epidemiologist Thomas Orr.

Mesa County Assessor's Office donated their time collecting gifts for foster children in Mesa County. Currently, there are over 100 children in foster care in our county. 

Presents, presents, and more presents, oh boy! 

Holiday spirit you say!? Mesa County Assessor's Office loves to spread holiday cheer!  

Mesa County Assessor's Office employees Administrative Coordinator Jessica Sander-Cederlof, left,  and Assessment Analyst Kellie Nelson have worked extremely hard to make sure foster children in the county have a very Merry Christmas!

Regional Transportation Planning Office staff members Elizabeth Collins, left, and Dean Bressler, right, stop by the KAFM radio station to talk to "Know your County" hosts Mesa County Public Information Officer Stephanie Reecy and co-host Noxious Weed and Pest Management Coordinator Teresa Nees about public transportation. 

Senior Transportation Planner Elizabeth Collins and Senior Transportation Planner/Engineer Dean Bressler make discussing transportation planning fun!

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis helps out with physical labor.  This is an example of the physical requirements that are outlined when you apply for a job with the county.

According to County Commissioner Scott McInnis, a little "manual labor" is good for everyone!

Presents from Mesa County employees are on their way to Department of Human Services for foster children in Mesa County.

The presents are loaded and ready to head out to DHS!

Gifts arrive at the Mesa County Community Services Building (CSB), 510 29 1/2 Road.

DHS Kinship Supervisor Laura Kinson helps out with the gift haul.

Is there enough space for all the presents? 

DHS Case Manager Jeff Sheley starts sorting through the gifts to get them to foster children around the valley. 

More Fun Bunch activities at CSB Festive Hat Day! From left to right: DHS Accounting Technician Dalys Otberg, left, Recovery Technician Amy Joy, Fraud Investigator Matt Furphy.

Mesa County Workforce Center Provider Specialist Erica Castillo is ready for the holidays!

DHS Aging & Disability Resources of Colorado employee Renee Patterson.

211's Shonté Felker wears a snowman hat on Festive Hat Day.
It was a winter wonderland Thursday morning at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50, but it was short-lived.  

Within a couple hours the snow melted at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. It was as if nothing happened.
Facilities, Fairgrounds and Parks hosted a holiday luncheon Friday, December, 22nd in appreciation of all the hard work their employees put in this year.



Maintenance Supervisor Federico Vargas, left, and Lead Maintenance Tech Dan Adams enjoy lunch and good company. 

From left to right, Steve Medina, Linda Robinson, Tim Morfin, Federico Vargas, and Dan Adams. 

Administrative Manager Jean Davis, Maintenance Technician Kevin Eaton, and Facilities Director Greg Linza take a break from their crazy schedules to have lunch and reflect on a busy year! 

The Facilities Department maintains Mesa County's physical assets such as buildings, properties, equipment to ensure a safe working environment in a cost-effective manner for its employees and citizens. Fairgrounds maintains all of the property at the Fairgrounds and puts on several special events throughout the year, the biggest is the Mesa County Fair. The Parks Department protects and maintains Mesa County’s physical assets such as parks, landscapes, trails & open space properties to ensure a safe and clean environment in a cost-effective manner for Mesa County citizens. Thank you for all of your hard work! 
Matt Furphy, November's DHS Values Champion winner, left, DHS Director Tracey Garchar, center, and Miguel Navarro, Values Champion Nominee joke around at photo time.
Mesa County Fleet Supervisor Scott Forsgren celebrates his retirement with his Mesa County friends and family after serving for 44 years.

A Mesa County Sheriff's Office patrol car is in for service on one of Scott's retirement cakes. The Fleet Department services the Sheriff's Office vehicles so they are ready when they are needed. 

Mesa County Fleet's direct responsibility is to provide and maintain equipment and vehicle assets in support of the various services provided by Mesa County's Departments and Divisions. This includes all the heavy equipment used by the Road and Bridge Department, as demonstrated by one of his retirement cakes. 

Mesa County Senior Accountant Katherine Boozell made a cake to celebrate her dad's (Scott Forsgren) retirement. 

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis congratulates Scott Forsgren at his retirement party hosted at the Road and Bridge Shop in Whitewater.

Great turnout to celebrate the hard work and dedication of one of Mesa County's finest. 

Scott Forsgren: fearless leader, mentor and friend. 

Public Works Director Pete Baier congratulates and recognizes Scott Forsgren for his 44-year career with Mesa County.
 
Darla Krummel presents an engraved clock to Scott so that he can remember his staff and the good times. 
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Scott Forsgren honored past and present co-workers for their hard work and determination over the years.

Mesa County Risk Administrator Jean Boothe gifts Scott a blanket on behalf of Human Resources (HR). Scott stated he was grateful for the blanket because from this day forward when it snows at 3 a.m. and looks out the window he will think about the many staff that is out plowing roads, and he then will wrap himself in the blanket and will go back to bed.

Recently retired Otis Darnell stops by to say a few kind words about Scotty.

Everyone loves Scott, but his grandson is his biggest fan.

Scott Forsgren and his grandson.

Engineering Technician Lori Seeley, left, and Fleet Administrative Assistant Connie Phelps, right, dish homemade ice cream for everyone who came out to celebrate Scott. Darla Krummel, next to Connie, keeps everything organized and running smoothly.

Mesa County Senior Accountant and Scott Forsgren's daughter, Katherine Boozell, celebrates her dad at his retirement party.

At one point, all three of them (father, daughter and son) worked for Mesa County.
Dan Caris, Development Services Manager, left, and Pete Baier Mesa County Public Works Director, celebrate Scott Forsgren at his retirement party. 

Mesa County Senior Human Resources Analyst Krista Ubersox and her dog, Lambeau, spread a little holiday cheer around Human Resources. Dec. 21, 2017, was Krista's last day at Mesa County, we wish you nothing but the best in your further endeavors! 

Happy Holidays!
Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year.