Friday, August 2, 2019

This Week in Pics

Acting Mesa County Administrator Pete Baier is a licensed engineer and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Pete has worked as a development engineer, engineering director and public works director during his 23-year tenure with Mesa County. Pete is looking forward to continuing to work with the community.

A sign at the Intermountain Veterans Memorial Park on Orchard Mesa (2785 U.S. Highway 50) welcomes visitors and pets with a friendly reminder of rules of conduct and regulations to abide by while enjoying the grounds.

Carrie Gudorf, Regulatory Programs Manager, welcomes 5-2-1 Drainage District members to the Intermountain Veterans Memorial Park to share with them a Mesa County drainage project that incorporates multiuse facets for the benefit of outdoor recreation. 

5-2-1 Drainage District representatives tour the Intermountain Veterans Memorial Park to learn more about the drainage project, which is incorporated into the park.

The Intermountain Veterans Memorial Park features a 30.2 acre-foot detention pond to increase the capacity of the Orchard Mesa drain system. The system was initially built and sized for agricultural tailwater drainage and is now undersized due to development in the area. Part of the detention pond includes the enhancement of a wetlands area.
The visually appealing drainage project integrates form and function to deliver better service mixed with outdoor recreation opportunities for residents.

The views from the Palisade Plunge will feature diverse terrain. A portion of the Whitewater Creek will cross part of the trail.
A Palisade Plunge crew is working from the southern side of the City of Grand Junction's gate to rough cut the trail toward Cliff Lake. Approximately 2,700-feet has been cut and cleared so far. Another crew is working on the opposite side to expedite the process.
Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf leads 5-2-1 Drainage members and City of Grand Junction and Town of Palisade officials on a tour of the Bosely Wash Detention Pond project. Detention ponds are more common in the arid West and serve as flood control structures. They are typically dry except during or after rain or snowmelt.

The Bosley Wash Detention Pond project is located north of I-70 and east of the Clifton interchange around 34 Road, west of Mount Garfield. The purpose of the detention pond is to slow down water flow and hold it for a short period of time to avoid flooding that can overtop onto I-70. The emergency spillway (pictured above) will help settle stormwater particles and reduce peak flows for additional safety during flood events.

The Bosley Wash Detention Pond project was implemented to stop flooding occurring both upstream and downstream of I-70. In 2006, heavy rains caused severe flooding, which overtopped the freeway resulting in a fatality. 

Wildflowers are in full bloom near the Bosely Wash Detention Pond. Bosley Wash is a mixed desert and agricultural watershed located northeast of Grand Junction.
Before the Bosley Wash Detention Pond was built, stormwater originating from Bosley Wash would flow through residential, commercial, and agricultural areas, which caused flooding and severe property damage. The wash extends from the rim of the Book Cliffs south to the Colorado River. 
Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf talks about the consistency of the ground, which is clay-like and does not absorb water. Detention ponds usually hold stormwater long enough to settle sands and larger silt particles. Fine silts and clays will not have a chance to settle and will continue down the watercourse.
The barren desert floor near the base of Mount Garfield waits for the rain. Mount Garfield is the high point of the Book Cliffs, north of Grand Junction, and overlooking the town of Palisade. Two classic hiking trails ascend the mountain. The mountain was named after President James Garfield a year after Garfield's death.

WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Mesa County educating folks about enrollment and the benefits of breastfeeding during the Market on Main as part of World Breastfeeding Week.
Congratulations, Mesa County Coroner Victor Yahn and family on your new bundle of joy! Brody Yahn was born today, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, at 12:28 a.m.
The Clerk and Recorder's Office staff represent their favorite football teams! From left to right: Sabrina Roberts, Vicky Chambers, Matt Vigil, Christina Pierce, Karin Vanderminden, Windy Aitkens and Kelli Jessop.
Go Broncos!

Residents are invited to an open house, which includes a complimentary taco bar, to learn more about the E Road Improvements project (Phase 2A: 31 Road to Agape Way). A postcard will soon be sent out to all landowners affected or living within one mile of the proposed project location. The open house will be hosted at the Pear Park Baptist Church, 3102 E Road, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, from 5 to 7 p.m.
National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Kimwood Park, 3240 White Ave. in Clifton.

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden Resigns

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden submitted a letter of resignation yesterday afternoon, Aug. 1, 2019, stating that he is resigning his position of County Administrator effective immediately to pursue other opportunities.

Frank worked for Mesa County since 2011 and has served as County Administrator since December 8, 2014. Mr. Whidden succeeded Tom Fisher after Mr. Fisher resigned to pursue another employment opportunity.

Pete Baier, the Mesa County Deputy Administrator Operations/Public Works, is serving as the Acting County Administrator until the Board of County Commissioners determines its plan to replace Mr. Whidden. Pete is a licensed engineer and obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Pete has worked as a development engineer, engineering director and public works director during his 23 years working for Mesa County. Pete said he looks forward to continuing to work with the community.

For more information, contact Mesa County Commissioner and Acting Chair Scott McInnis (970) 244-1885.

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden's letter of resignation.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Comtemplation of Plastic

Solid Waste Director Jennifer Richardson and Deb Bonzek with "The Plastic Monk."

The Solid Waste Management team is thrilled to share with you the newest team member —The Plastic Man!

In January 2019, Solid Waste Director Jennifer Richardson was invited to the Member's Exhibition at the Western Colorado Center for Arts by Deb Bonzek, a local Grand Junction artist and teacher. At the art show, she was showcasing her sculpture titled "The Plastic Monk."

Plastic recycling has been a challenging and oftentimes confusing venture for many years, and about 10 years ago Deb began thinking about the wonders of plastic. Plastic is useful and cheap, but once it is manufactured it is pretty well destined to be on this planet forever. Only about 20% of all plastic is recyclable which can be very difficult for consumers to grasp when they have to sort and separate their recyclables. Deb started saving plastic packaging, and she found inspiration when she heard a female scientist on NPR speak about plastic. Below is an excerpt from Deb's Artist Statement.

"Dr. Garcia, though, has already had a test tube moment, creating a plastic that is fully recyclable. She is not stopping with early success. She is working on finding a way to revert post-consumer plastic into its universal, usable building blocks. That idea kept me going. Maybe this work of art would have a higher purpose.

The plastic monk humbled my lofty artistic aspirations, turning out to be more kitsch than fine art. And, like monks hope to do, tested my resolve and raised my consciousness.

The monk isn’t mad at plastic or anyone who uses it. It IS plastic!

The monk just sits there, like most of us, wondering about creation, frustrated by the 10,000 things, thinking about change, stuck in the now, contemplating transitions, hoping for the mercy of transformations that are fun, prosperous, and effective."

Solid Waste Management intends to take the Plastic Man with them to the various community outreach events, they hope that Deb's beautiful sculpture will get people thinking about the things we buy and where this waste ends up when we are no longer have a use for it.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Clifton Nature Park Clean-Up with Grand Valley Ducks Unlimited and Toxic Calls

Join us in maintaining and creating healthy landscapes to live and play on by participating in the clean-up of Clifton Nature Park!

The event is Sunday, August 11, 2019, from 8-10 a.m. and includes the opportunity for a descriptive nature walk after picking up trash and clearing out some weeds.

Make sure you pack sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, and water. We recommend you wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes. We will have some gloves available, but if you have a favorite pair— please bring them along!

Meet at the Clifton Nature Park parking lot, which is located on the south side of D Road between 32 1/4 and 32 1/2 roads, next door to Clifton Sanitation District.

This Clifton Nature Park clean-up is sponsored by Mesa County, RiversEdge West, Clifton Sanitation District Grand Valley Ducks Unlimited and Toxic Calls.  Families are invited, but please be aware that some hand-held power tools will be in use at this event, so extra caution is advised.

For more information, please contact Teresa at (970) 257-9336

Friday, July 26, 2019

This Week in Pics

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners during the administrative public hearing of July 22, 2019, recognized 2019 Inside Mesa County graduates for furthering their county government knowledge. Participants were recognized for their dedication in completing a 9-week course that helped them acquire a deeper understanding of their Mesa County government. Classes included interactive presentations from elected officials and county departments as well as tours of several Mesa County facilities. Inside Mesa County participants were awarded a Certificate of Recognition for their dedication and willingness to further their awareness of the internal operations and financial responsibilities of their county government. Certificates of Completion were issued to the following: Shane Allerheiligen, Sue Benjamin, Kelly Britton, Jessica Burford, Seth Cahalan, Michael Day, Cody Davis, Jamie George, Kelly Johnston, Daniel Jones, Belinda Knisley, Rowland Knisley, Andrea Lopez, Trisha Martinez, Randi McNulty, Joe Neuhof, Libby Olson, Hogan Peterson, Robert Prescott, Stacey Smith, Darcy Weir.
Singletrack Trails, the contractor for the Palisade Plunge Trail, started work this week on the project with a six-member crew and two mini-excavators starting at Lands End Road (MP14.73) and heading to Cliff Lake (MP17.50).

Crews cleared two miles of corridor, roughed out about 2,000 feet of trail, and hand-finished about 1,500 feet on the Palisade Plunge Trail.
A Noxious Weed and Pest staff member scouts and treats the invasive plant Purple Loosestrife. Purple Loosestrife is a damaging plant that can displace native vegetation and block water flows.
Purple Loosestrife likes to grow near water, so the Weed and Pest crew scouts small drainages around Mesa County and the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers to remove and treat the invasive plant.
Palisade Plunge partners and stakeholders on Wednesday, July 24, broke ground on the 32-mile, single-track trail at the Palisade Rim Trail parking lot, Hwy. 6 and N. River Road.
The event recognized the various federal, state and local partners involved in designing, planning and funding the Palisade Plunge, a 6,000-foot trail descent for mountain bikes and non-motorized recreation uses, from the top of the Grand Mesa to the Town of Palisade.
Laura Page, Public Work's Construction Group Manager, talks to Reporter Joshua Vorse about the details of Phase 1 of the Palisade Plunge Trail. Watch coverage at

Rose Pugliese, Chairwoman of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners, speaks at the Palisade Plunge groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning, and says, "I am so proud of our community coming together with local, state and federal agencies to start construction of the Palisade Plunge." Watch her interview with Fox 4 at

Speakers included Pete Baier, Mesa County Public Works Director, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners—Chairwoman Rose Pugliese, Scott McInnis and John Justman, Rick May, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, Roger Granat, Town of Palisade Mayor, Greg Caton, City of Grand Junction Manager, Scott Winans, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) President, Kirk Oldham, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Area Wildlife Manager, and Jerry Krueger, Acting Forest Service Supervisor District Ranger.
Palisade Plunge Partners shovel dirt to mark the beginning of the Palisade Plunge Trail construction.

The Palisade Plunge Trail Project could contribute about $1.9 million annually into Palisade’s economy and an estimated $5 million into the Grand Valley’s economy. The Palisade Plunge will connect with miles of existing trails and offer access to stunning backcountry terrain.

The Palisade Plunge Trail, a $4 million project, is scheduled to be completed by 2021.
From left to right: Scott Winans, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) President, Greg Caton, City of Grand Junction Manager and Commissioner Rose Pugliese celebrate the spirit of collaboration after breaking ground on the Palisade Plunge Trail.
It is Western Slope Navy Week and many agencies have hosted Navy crews at various community events to educate the community about the Navy's role in 2019.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis and Assessor Ken Brownlee stand alongside the USS Mesa Verde crew Thursday morning in honor of Navy Week.
Captain Fred Goldhammer of the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) thanks Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis for his warm welcome and presents him with a picture of the "Ghost Gators" ship.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis thanks members of the USS Mesa Verde crew for their service and dedication.
It was an honor, and a pleasure, to have the opportunity to learn firsthand from the USS Mesa Verde crew about the role of the U.S. Navy and its functions and priorities for 2019. Thank you for coming out to Mesa County to educate and visit our community. We are grateful for your service and dedication.
In honor of Navy Week, Commissioner Scott McInnis and former U.S. Representative for 3rd District, of Colorado, shares a plaque from 2003.
Dana Brosig, Grand Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization Director, talks to kids about transportation at the June 20 Market on Main.

Growl Agency stopped into the Mobile Mesa County Booth on July 11 to spin the Mobility Wheel.

During a Travel Training on July 11, seniors learned to ride the bus with a field trip to Fruita Community Center, and they got registered for the Silver Sneakers fitness program while they were on their tour.

Mesa County Public Health staff celebrate Self-care Day by participating in a walk and light stretching on Thursday afternoon. 

Ahhh! It feels good to take care of yourself.  Members of the Mesa County Public Health team smile after stretching and a quick walk as part of self-care day.
Teresa Nees with the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility tapes the terminals of lithium batteries that are collected, sorted, and sent out for proper disposal.

Batteries, batteries, batteries! Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility will accept all kinds of batteries from Mesa County residents for proper disposal. Help us reduce the risk of fires and increase the safety of our landfill by bringing your batteries to the collection facility instead of disposing of them in your normal trash can.

The Hazardous Waste Facility, at the Mesa County Solid Waste campus, has a free drop-and-swap area so that residents can pick-up household cleaners, fertilizer, and other chemical products. Reuse of items reduces the amount of waste disposed in our landfill. 

A fox has been hanging around the Mesa County Fleet Department in Whitewater.

The fox and her babies have been spotted around the Fleet Department in Whitewater.