Monday, December 9, 2019

Commissioners proclaim Dec. 15, as Bill of Rights Day in Mesa County

From left, Commissioner John Justman, Gary Parrott of the Sons of the American Revolution, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Garry Brewer, Sons of the American Revolution, and Commissioner Scott McInnis. 

On December 15, 1791, the founding fathers of the United States of America approved a document that contained amendments to the Constitution that would become the foundation of the freedoms, privileges, and rights we enjoy today.

The first ten amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America are what we know as The Bill of Rights.

The Board of County Commissioners proclaimed Dec. 15 as Bill of Rights day in Mesa County in honor of the 228th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Gary Parrott and Garry Brewer, members of Sons of the American Revolution, accepted the Bill of Rights Day Proclamation Monday morning at Public Hearing. 

Read the full document below:

County Commissioners Adopt $188 Million Budget for 2020

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners adopts a $188,072,077 million budget for 2020 in public hearing Monday, Dec. 9.

Budget prioritizes investments in capital infrastructure and staff

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners today approved a $188,072,077 million budget for 2020 that prioritizes core government services.

The total county budget is $188,072,077, which is 8.8 percent over the 2019 adopted budget. The general fund budget is $65,311,240, which is a 7.2 percent increase over the 2019 adopted budget.

“The 2020 adopted budget is a reflection of the priorities we have heard from our community and our staff, which also aligns with Mesa County’s strategic plan and our Board’s priorities,” Chair of the Board of County Commissioners Rose Pugliese said. “We continue to focus on merit-based employee compensation, and we are grateful for all the great employees we have, and we value how hard they work to serve our community.”

The 2020 county budget invests $38.1 million in capital projects, including:
Public Works including road infrastructure and improvements—$26.5 million
Facilities—$3.1 million
Regional transportation—$1.8 million

For more information on the 2020 budget, visit Additional information will be published online as it becomes available.

Here is the 2020 Mesa County Budget PowerPoint Presentation displayed in public hearing.

Friday, December 6, 2019

This Week in Pics

Apparently, turkeys were not the only animals trying to escape the dinner table last week. On Thanksgiving Day, Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) deputies responded to several reports of a potbelly pig on the road near 33 and D 1/2 roads. The pig was trying to cross the road, but not doing a very good job of it, several cars had to swerve out of the way. Turns out, this cute pet pig was not running away from being dinner, she was just lost. Deputies found her owners and gave her a ride home. This brings an entirely new meaning to the phrase bringing home the bacon. P.S. deputies still have yet to learn why the pig was trying to cross the road. Maybe to get to the market?
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) encourages the community to help Stop the Spread as a highly contagious illness impacts our area over the Thanksgiving holiday. The marquee outside the CSB campus on 29 ½ Road encourages residents to get the latest updates on the agency’s Facebook page.
Working with our partners at District 51, MCPH designed and distributed information to families getting ready to return to classrooms after the holiday break with information to ensure that the illness was not reintroduced to local schools after the closure and clean up.  The guidance included important information to keep kids home if they show any signs of illness.
Your local public health agency, MCPH, is equipped and ready to respond. When a gastrointestinal illness outbreak first began impacting our community, we did. Here’s a picture from one of what have been nearly daily updates to track and identify the illness. Regional Epidemiologist, Andy Tyler, pictured standing here, uses a timeline to explain how this illness spread through our community. With regular consultation with our community and state partners, we’ve worked to Stop the Spread.

MCPH Executive Director, Jeff Kuhr, listens and answers questions from a local reporter about the illness outbreak.  This was one of more than a dozen interviews from local, regional, national, and international media coverage this incident received.  
Jane White, with Mesa County Motor Vehicle, helps a customer renew license plates tags Monday afternoon at the Clifton MV office. Did you know you can Skip the Trip and renew tags online? Visit for more information.
Mesa County Commissioner John Justman attended a press conference by the US National Forest Service where it was announced that the 2020 United States Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests.
Headed to the Grand Junction Parade of Lights? Skip the hassle of finding parking, take Grand Valley Transit. Ride GVT Fixed Routes for FREE all day on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Plan to use GVT?  Check out the trip planner or download the mobile app ETA SPOT to determine which route is best to take and see the bus arrival times.

The holiday season is here! Save money and ride the GVT for FREE on Saturday, Dec. 7. Shop local and ride the bus to Olde Fashioned Christmas in Palisade.

Over 400 commissioners and other county officials from across the state met in Colorado Springs, Colo., Dec. 2-4 for Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI) Foundation's annual winter conference, including Mesa County Commissioners John Justman and Scott McInnis, County Administrator Peter Baier, and other Mesa County leaders. Keynote speakers included Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who outlined the state's priorities for 2020.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis asked Governor Polis about the effects, and unintended consequences the Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) will have on small businesses across the state. A recent study shows that the program would cost Colorado approximately $2 billion.
Mesa County Commissioner John Justman talks to Governor Polis about the plan to be carbon-free by 2050. Commissioner Justman highlighted the effects the plan would have on farmers.
Palisade Plunge Trail Week 20 Update: a total of 8.15 miles of total finished trail has been completed. The photograph above captures crews as they pull a boulder onto the trail.

Mesa County Workforce Center hosted a hiring event for the MCSO this week. Learn more about the career opportunities available with MCSO at
In addition to distribution in Mesa County buildings, businesses and other facilities across Mesa County requested clean up kits to be prepared to clean up if there were to be a public vomiting event. The MCPH team has provided the supplies, along with education on resources to ensure these incidents are cleaned up quickly and with the right chemicals.  It’s imperative to stop the spread of viruses like the norovirus-like one that has been impacting Mesa County.  The public vomit reporting line also remains open and is accepting reports, so far more than 20 verified incidents have been recorded. If you witness or experience a public vomiting event, please call 970-462-7074.  You can also report the incident online. Click here for a reporting form in English or here to submit in Spanish.

Emergency Preparedness and Response specialists, Carmen Pipe (left) and Vincent Burkhardt help plan and execute and exercise for the Mesa County Communications Officer’s Association (MCCOA).
Deputy Ralphie reporting for duty! After spending the year at the North Pole, he's back in uniform and ready to help the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. Keep an eye on the MCSO Facebook page and Instagram to follow Deputy Ralphie's adventures! 

Back on patrol. Deputy Ralphie is spending the day answering 911 calls with our Rural Area Deputies. Did you know the Mesa County Sheriff's Office provides services to unincorporated Mesa County? That's 3,300 square miles! They have deputies who specialize in helping areas like the Grand Mesa, Glade Park, and Gateway. Learn more about the Rural Area Deputy program at…/law-oper…/rural-area-deputy/

Deputy Ralphie learned what it takes to be on the Wildland Fire Team. The team was helping to mitigate the fire danger in one Clifton neighborhood by clearing dry brush and overgrown bushes and trees. Thanks for the help, Deputy Ralphie! You can learn more about the MCSO Wildland Fire Team at…/special…/wildland-fire-team/

Friday, November 22, 2019

This Week in Pics

A highly contagious illness is spreading through our community. The main symptom is vomiting. Please share this information so we can all be informed about how illnesses like this spread—and the best way to protect you and your family from getting sick. For more info:

Mesa County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Kuhr interviews with a CBS News crew about the illness outbreak in Mesa County.

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) hosted a Facebook live Q & A session at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. They had experts on hand to answer questions on the illness outbreak in Mesa County.

Heidi Dragoo, Epidemiology Program Manager, talks to KREX after hosting a Facebook live event on Thursday about the illness that’s been impacting our community. 

Help stop the spread! Washing your hands and staying home while sick are important steps to take to keep you and your family healthy. MCPH is distributing these signs around the community as a reminder of what you can do!

The Department of Human Services 2019 graduating Leadership Institute candidates and members of Senior Leadership. (Back row, left to right: Joe Kellerby, Curtis Englehart, Katie Miller, Dyann Walt, Euziveo Muniz, Kaitie Hutton, Miguel Navarro. Middle row, left to right: Manny Tarango, Bek Fingerlin, John Moran, Alexzis McGreer, Lindsey Walt, Andrew Escamilla, Dannie Knutt, Kathy Crowhurst. Front row, left to right: Teri Jasper, Kirsten Barnard, Erica Castillo, Tracey Garchar, Michelle Trujillo, Barbara Golden. Kneeling, left to right: Terra Marshall, Shelby Brown, Lyndee Kees. Not pictured, Joe Suarez. Congratulations!

Victor Carreras, an Employment Specialist with the Workforce Center, was recently accepted into The 3rd Cohort of the Skillful Colorado Governor's Coaching Corps (SGCC). For eight months, Victor will be sharpening his leadership skills, learning new practices and technologies, and building a supportive cohort to better serve their job seekers. Congratulations, Victor!

Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Wildland Fire Team has begun fire mitigation work on the area surrounding the railroad between 32 1/2 and 33 1/2 roads in Clifton. Previously, MCSO worked with Union Pacific to remove hazardous waste in the area. 

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Union Pacific Railroad, began a project to provide a long-term solution to recurring crime and safety issues in an area between 32 ½ Road and 33 ½ Road adjacent to the railroad tracks south of F Road. Now, the MCSO Wildland Fire Team is doing fire mitigation work.

MCSO Wildland Fire Team is working on clearing underbrush to prevent fires in an area between 32 ½ Road and 33 ½ Road adjacent to the railroad tracks south of F Road.
A Palisade Plunge crew member is hard at work, building a portion of the trail on a steep slope. To date, a total of about 7.75 miles of trail is completed, and a total of approximately 0.61 miles of rough-cut trail is left to be hand finished.

The crew members on the Palisade side (four men) continue to work in steep and challenging terrain and have finished another 800-feet of the trail, getting them close to MP 30.8. This crew is working on getting some cargo netting to assist them in their more technical rock work. These nets will allow crews to lower rocks safely without breaking the stone.

Crews are working on very technical rock work. The photo above was taken before crews got to work. 

Here is the finished product after crews moved rocks to continue to build the Palisade Plunge Trail.
Logan Waterman, an MCSO Forensic Computer analyst, is hard at work performing electronic surgery.

MCPH, Epidemiology Program Manager, Heidi Dragoo, talks with Colorado Public Radio about the highly contagious illness impacting our community.
Clean-up buckets are lined up and ready for distribution to facilities across Mesa County In case a public incident of vomiting occurs. MCPH prepared the kits so our community can effectively clean up vomit if someone becomes sick in a public area. MCPH set up a Public Vomiting Reporting Line for community members to report public vomiting incidents that occur in public places within Mesa County. The number to call is 970-462-7074.

Many Mesa County elected officials and department heads got together to meet with County Administrator Pete Baier to discuss priorities. 
This week, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters appointed Belinda Knisley to Chief Deputy Clerk and selected Kelly Bryant to be the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners. Congratulations, Belinda, and Kelly!
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter on the Grand Mesa. Here’s a look at the snow on U.S. Hwy. 65 at the county line. Drive safe!
The holidays are just around the corner, Grand Valley Transit (GVT) wants to help reduce the stress of the season with Free Ride Saturdays on Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14, and Dec. 21. Take GVT for your holiday shopping and avoid the headache of parking and traffic!
In an effort to the reduce risk of person-to-person spread related to the illness outbreak in our community, the CSB Campus, including the Department of Human Services, Workforce Center, and Mesa County Public Health, donated food intended for a staff Thanksgiving luncheon to a local homeless shelter.
Food intended for a staff Thanksgiving luncheon was donated to a local homeless shelter to reduce the risk of person-to-person spread related to the illness outbreak in Mesa County.

Vince Cordova, with the Clerk and Recorder's Office, carves a turkey during their Thanksgiving luncheon.

Most Mesa County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!