Monday, May 20, 2019

County Commissioners Adopt Proclamations

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners this morning adopted proclamations for, Clinical Trials Awareness Day, Emergency Medical Services Week and Toastmasters Month.

Jonathan King, MD, medical oncologist with Community Hospital’s Grand Valley Oncology, and staff members accepted a proclamation from the Board of Mesa County Commissioners for National Clinical Trials Awareness Day.
The Board of Mesa County Commissioners declared May 20, 2019, as Clinical Trials Awareness Day in Mesa County to help foster education and awareness surrounding the safe and ethical pursuit of new knowledge necessary for the development of treatments and cures.

Mesa County Commissioners officially declare this week as Emergency Medical Services Week. Fire Chiefs and EMS personnel from all over Mesa County accepted the proclamation, including Clifton Fire Protection District, Grand Junction Police Department, Orchard Mesa Fire Department, Debeque Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System Coordinator who is a part of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
The Board of Mesa County Commissioners declares May 19-25, 2019, as Emergency Medical Services Week in Mesa County, which recognizes the value and accomplishments of EMS providers. EMS teams consist of emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, emergency physicians, emergency nurses, administrators, dispatchers, and others. 

Reed Orr, center left, from the Mesa County Assessor’s Office and members of local Toastmasters’ Clubs in the Grand Valley accept the Toastmasters Month proclamation in public hearing Monday morning.
The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed June 2019, as Toastmasters Month in Mesa County and encouraged citizens to join in this observance by attending and participating in a Toastmasters Club meeting during June.

County Offices Closed on Memorial Day

Many Mesa County offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2019, in observance of Memorial Day.

This 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, Landfill 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.

This closure does NOT include:
Coroner's Office
Criminal Justice Services (all locations)
Sheriff's Office - Jail, Patrol, Emergency Services (215 Rice St.)


Extended Dash Shuttle Service during JUCO Week

Take the Dash Shuttle to JUCO

Grand Valley Transit will be extending service hours for the Dash Shuttle during JUCO week. For those that are unfamiliar with the Dash, it is a free local shuttle that is an extension of Route 1 and typically runs free service every Thursday-Saturday from 4:15 PM-12:15 AM from the downtown transfer, up Main Street, along 12th Street, over to Horizon Drive, and the airport. The Dash also runs every 30 minutes.

During JUCO week, Dash will have extended hours and will continue to be free to the public May 25-June 1 with a bus schedule catered to each day of games. Dash service will begin one hour and 45 minutes prior to the first game and extending into the evening, with service after the last game. See below for the complete schedule of service.

Baseball fans can get to the games without the hassle of finding parking and they can easily visit the downtown area in between games.  Dash service includes stops near JUCO affiliated hotels including Clarion Inn, Courtyard by Mariott, DoubleTree by Hilton, Grand Vista Hotel, Holiday Inn & Suites(nearest stop on Horizon Drive), and Spring Hill Suites.

In addition to the Dash Service, JUCO ticket holders can also ride all other GVT routes, during regular service times, for free when they show their JUCO ticket to the bus driver at the time of boarding. Dash service will be the only bus service operating on May 26 & 27. For real-time bus info, download Spot Mobile Ap.

Friday, May 17, 2019

This Week in Pics

The Board of County Commissioners honors law enforcement by declaring May 12-18, 2019, as Police Week in Mesa County in public hearing Monday morning. The Board publicly salutes the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation.
There are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States, including the dedicated members of our local law enforcement agencies: Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Junction Police Department, the Palisade Police Department, the Fruita Police Department, and the Colorado State Patrol. Pictured above: the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and Grand Junction Police Combined Honor Guard perform the Presentation of Colors.
Mesa County honors the sacrifices local law enforcement make every day to make Mesa County a safer place to live. Sheriff Matt Lewis, accompanied by members of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Junction Police Department, and the Colorado State Patrol, accept the proclamation on behalf of all the men and women that serve Mesa County.
On Saturday, Jennifer Richardson, from Mesa County's Solid Waste Management Campus, taught families attending Kite Day how to plant with compost.
Solid Waste Management's booth at the Kite Day event was a hit. Attendees planted over 300 petunias, snapdragons, and dianthus just in time for Mother's Day.
Jennifer's daughter, Kairi, (left) got in on the act and sported her green thumb at the fun booth.
Solid Waste & Sustainability Division Director Jennifer Richardson and daughter, Kairi, teach residents how to plant with compost at the Kite Day event.

As flood waters rise because of melting snow in the high country, free sandbags will be available for residents in the Plateau Valley area at the Mesa County Collbran Road and Bridge shop, 15757 57.5 Road. Pictured above: Inmates fill sandbags for residents in flood zone areas.

Additional "self-serve” sandbagging locations include the main Mesa County Road and Bridge shop, 971 Coffman Road and the Appleton shop, 905 23 Road.

On Thursday afternoon, Public Works personnel hosted a farewell celebration for retiring Construction Project Manager David Wolff.
Public Works sends David Wolff off with all the best wishes on all his future endeavors.

David Wolff, Engineering Department construction project manager, retired Thursday, May 12, 2019, after working for Mesa County Public Works for 12 years. David is ready to "hit the streets" during his retirement. Congratulations and happy retirement, David!

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and Deputy Clerk Heather Benjamin host a class for liquor licensing Wednesday afternoon. Over 30 people from counties and cities across western Colorado attended the course.
Robert W. Darrow, Agent In Charge, Licensing and Complex Investigations, facilitates the Liquor Enforcement Division class for Colorado Clerk & Recorders, and Liquor License Clerks.
Mesa County Criminal Justice Services (CJSD) staff enjoy freshly grilled burgers and hotdogs to benefit Mesa County Partners, a program that helps youth develop a positive self-image and acceptance of responsibility for their actions. 
CJSD Shift Supervisor James Bruner, left, grills burgers and hotdogs while Supervisor Shawn McNamara, right, keeps track of donations and raffle tickets to help raise funds for the CJSD's Partners Superstars Team.

Mesa County employees enjoy food and refreshments at CJSD's fundraising BBQ luncheon. Tickets for the meal were priced at $10 to raise money for Partners, a local youth program.   
Since Dave Wetheral was absent, Nick Brutosky, CJSD case manager, filled in for him and posed while eating.

Clockwise: Terri Norris, Trevor Heffner, Kimberly Fuoco, and Angela Morgan enjoy lunch at CJSD's fundraising BBQ.

Connie Robbins, with CJSD, fixes herself a plate for lunch after donating funds to help staff raise money for CJSD's Partners Superstar Team Wednesday afternoon. In the background, James Bruner is flexing, and Michael Perry is wondering why.  

Malia, victim advocate canine companion, stopped by the luncheon to say hello. The Labrador is a facility dog with a calm, sweet demeanor. Everyone wanted to pet Malia at the luncheon.

CJSD Supervisor Shawn McNamara gives Malia treats. Malia is a professionally-trained dog to provide emotional support for vulnerable individuals in legal settings.

Eileen Wygant, CJSD quality assurance coordinator, asks Malia to shake and high-five. Malia is among a few facility dogs in Colorado that are part of a growing trend toward having facility dogs in courtrooms nationwide.
CJSD staff members Jose Campas and Diane Fox play cornhole Wednesday afternoon at CJSD's fundraising BBQ.

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) Epidemiologist Andrew Tyler presents at the Epidemiology and Laboratory Conference in Colorado Springs.

MCPH Epidemiologist Chelsea Stacy presents at the Epidemiology and Laboratory Conference in Colorado Springs.

MCPH Executive Director, Jeff Kuhr, sits down with Townsquare Media for an in-depth interview on the Mesa County Community Health Needs Assessment.

As part of Bike Month, Healthy Mesa County helped host the Mountain Bike Film Fest at the Avalon on May 16.
Chairwoman of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners, Rose Pugliese, kicks off the Inside Mesa County course Wednesday evening in the public hearing room inside the old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave. Read more at

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis talks to Inside Mesa County participants about the responsibilities and core functions of county government. If you are interested in attending our next class, please submit your application online at

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden explains that the majority of Mesa County’s revenue comes from intergovernmental grants, property tax, sales and use tax. Total budgeted revenues for 2019 are $169,804,586, a 5% increase from the 2018 Adopted Budget.
Mesa County Regional Transportation & Planning Office (RTPO) staff attend the ground-breaking event for the new Monument Road, which is part of the Lunch Loop connector trail.
Dean Bressler, Dana Brosig, and Pete Baier represented Mesa County at the Lunch Loop Connector Trail ground-breaking event and have been involved in the process of this expansion project to connect the trail to the downtown area.

Clifton Clerk’s Satellite Office On Public Hearing Agenda

Mesa County, CO. - Tina Peters, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, has secured a lease with PeachTree Center, LLC to re-occupy the DMV space formerly utilized by the Mesa County Clerk, in Clifton. The office space is on the east end of the PeachTree shopping center just off Patterson Road and the I-70 Business Loop.

The public is invited to join Peters in the public hearing room, at 544 Rood Ave., for the weekly County Commissioner’s public hearing this Monday, May 20, at 9am. She will be presenting the County Commissioners with the lease for their final vote and approval to occupy the office space. Peters is fulfilling a campaign promise to provide satellite offices on both ends of the County after the offices were closed in 2016.

“We are one step away from continuing my plan to expand much needed motor vehicle services to Mesa County citizens,” Peters said. “The feedback from citizens has been steady about their desire for Mesa County to have more than one DMV office.”

The negotiated rent and expenses to re-open the Clifton office are a fraction of the costs paid by the County when it previously occupied the space and less than half the cost annually in previous years.

An anticipated open date for the Clifton office will be determined after all the logistics are finalized, which can’t be done until the lease is signed and formalized by the County Commissioners. The office would open this summer and would be open five days a week.

In March of this year, a partnership with the city of Fruita made it possible to open the Fruita satellite office. The cost for that office space is $150.00 a month for janitorial services and a portion of the utilities. The Fruita satellite office is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 5pm, and is located at 325 E. Aspen Ave.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Residents start journey to learn more about county government

Chairwoman of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners, Rose Pugliese, kicks off the Inside Mesa County course Wednesday evening in the public hearing room inside the old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave.
On Wednesday evening, community members wanting to acquire more in-depth knowledge on how local government works, began Inside Mesa County, a nine-week course that gives an inside look into Mesa County's departments and budgets including interactive presentations from elected officials and county departments as well as tours of several facilities.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis talks to Inside Mesa County participants about the responsibilities and core functions of county government.

Over 25 people are taking the free course this year, held Wednesday evenings at the old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave.

On the opening night, attendees heard from Commissioners Rose Pugliese and Scott McInnis, as well as County Administrator Frank Whidden. 
Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden explains that the majority of Mesa County’s revenue comes from intergovernmental grants, property tax, sales and use tax. Total budgeted revenues for 2019 are $169,804,586, a 5% increase from the 2018 Adopted Budget.

If you are interested in attending our next class, please submit your application online at

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

This Week in Pics

On Saturday, many Mesa County departments participated in a mock evacuation drill organized by the Grand Junction Fire Department and the Deer Park Subdivision Homeowners Association. Residents received a notification of a wildfire in the area and were given directions to evacuate to a specific area.  The drill was an opportunity for Deer Park residents to talk to the fire department about creating defensible space on their property and what to expect should there be a wildfire near their neighborhood.
The Red Cross provided information on the importance of having an evacuation kit and plan ready.  The fire departments (Grand Junction Fire Department, Grand Junction Regional Communications Center Incident Dispatch Team, Lower Valley Fire Department and Bureau of Land Management Fire) used the event as a drill to identify strengths and weaknesses in their response to the mock call.  

Mesa County Health Department, Mesa County Emergency Services, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, and members of Mesa County Public Works are a part of the Two Rivers Wildfire Coalition and participated in the mock evacuation drill on Saturday.  The Coalition's mission is: “To reduce wildfire risk in our community through collaboration, education, mitigation and outreach.”

The Grand Junction Fire Department (GJFD) did a demonstration of fire movement through a "neighborhood." The houses with no defensible space and on the hillsides quickly succumbed to the fire while the house with a wide defensible space was spared. The Grand Junction Regional Communications Center Incident Dispatch Team also registered 10 people for emergency notifications.  Thank you, GJFD for organizing the drill!

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis talks to KREX News Channel 5 Reporter Star Harvey about the potential consideration of possibly asking taxpayers to allow Mesa County to keep excess funds from TABOR to use toward the Mesa County Jail expansion. Watch the interview at
On Monday, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed May 6-12, 2019, as Correctional Officers Week in Mesa County, and recognized the importance of the service of detention deputies in our community and in communities across the nation. Read more at Pictured here: Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis stands alongside The Joint Color Guard of the Grand Junction Police Department and Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Matt Lewis (second to the left) and Detention Deputy Michael Hand (second to the right) accept the Correctional Officers Week proclamation on behalf of the men and women who work in the Mesa County Jail. Correctional officers are trained law enforcement professionals dedicated to maintaining secure correctional facilities and ensuring the public’s safety.
Mesa County Commissioners on Monday at their administrative public hearing, proclaimed May 6-11, 2019, as Economic Development Week and recognized the efforts of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and local economic development partners, to reaffirm the importance of business development in Mesa County. Read more at
Foster parents are being recognized for their effort in providing children with a safe, loving home this month. The Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed May 2019, as Foster Parent Appreciation Month. From left: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Mesa County Department of Human Services Manager Joni Johnson, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Foster Parents Alana and Cody Davis, and Commissioner John Justman. Read more at
It's Teacher Appreciation Week! The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed May 6-10, 2019, as Teacher Appreciation Week. From left: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Mesa Valley Education Association President Heather O’Brien, Commissioner John Justman, School District 51 Superintendent Diana Sirko, School District 51 Foundation Executive Director Angela Christensen, and Commissioner Rose Pugliese. Read more at
Mesa County Animal Services Manager Doug Frye and Officer Kevin Bozarth accept a generous donation from the Loma Stars for $425 for the animals in the facility Monday afternoon. The funds will be used for food and treats for the animals in the facility. Thank you so much for your leadership and generous donation, Loma Stars! We appreciate your hard work and dedication.

The Loma Stars, a 4-H Club out of Loma, Colorado, hosted a bake sale during the 11th Annual Farm & Ranch Day at the Fruita Co-Op Country/Ace Hardware, 1650 U.S. Hwy 6 & 50, in March and raised $425 to donate to the Mesa County Animal Services.
The Loma Stars had the opportunity to take a tour of the Animal Services Facility and visit with some of the animals.

Animal Services Officer Kevin Bozarth lead the Loma Stars on a tour of the Animal Services facility and shared the duties and responsibilities of the agency.
Wednesday morning, bicyclists arrive at the old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Road Ave., to take a group picture before heading next door to Grand Junction City Hall for breakfast on Bike to Work Day. The Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed May as Grand Valley Bike Month to celebrate bicycling for transportation, fun, and health.

 Many Mesa County employees rode their bikes from the Community Services Building, 510 29 1/2 Road, to the Old Courthouse at 544 Rood Ave. on Bike to Work and School Day —Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) Health Promotions Specialist Kelsey Fife, right, biked to work with her father, Keith Fife, former Mesa County Natural Resource Liaison. 
Wednesday morning MCPH Community Network Coordinator Sarah Johnson biked from the Community Services Building to the Old Courthouse alongside several of her coworkers.
Mesa County Information Technology Network Administrator Andrew Wetzel and Senior Transportation Engineer Dean Bressler pause for a picture in front of Grand Junction City Hall, 250 N 5th St., after riding their bikes to work.
Bicyclists arrive at Grand Junction City Hall for breakfast. Learn more about the event at
Several Mesa County employees biked to work on a cloudy, windy Wednesday morning.
MCPH staff members take a break for a picture at the Bike to Work Day breakfast on Wednesday.
All sorts of bikes!

Regional Transportation Planning Office staff participated in the event. From left to right: Dean Bressler, Sarah Brooks, Andy Gingerich.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) put on an employee appreciation lunch for staff members Wednesday afternoon. 

MCPH and DHS staff members were all very hungry after Bike to Work Day and enjoyed each other's company, some great food, and fun!
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis speaks at the 2019 State of the Valley, hosted by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. The event featured a valley-wide conversation with elected leaders and key managers from across the Grand Valley regarding the future of the economy and the impacts it will have on the community.

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis gives an update on various economic indicators in Mesa County, including the effects of local regulation and workforce development.
Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden talks about what is on the horizon that will impact the overall business climate in Mesa County at the 2019 State of the Valley Wednesday afternoon.