Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Concerning proposed Ordinance Allowing Operation of Off Highway Vehicles on County Roads

In an effort to clarify facts surrounding Mesa County’s proposed Ordinance allowing the operation of “Off Highway Vehicles” (OHVs) on County roads, the Mesa County Commissioners offer a summary of the procedural steps involved in considering the Ordinance, and the conduct the proposed Ordinance would allow. (Links to view the proposed Ordinance are found within this advisory.)

Definition of Off Highway Vehicle: Off-Highway Vehicles are defined as any self propelled vehicle designed to travel on wheels in contact with the ground, primarily off of public highways, and generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes.

Agricultural use: Operation of Off Highway Vehicles for agricultural purposes, including on County roads, is allowed under Colorado Statute and will not change with the adoption of this ordinance.

Why are the Commissioners considering such an Ordinance? Colorado statutes allow for the use of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on county roads upon adoption of an ordinances and regulations. (C.R.S. §33-14.5-101 through -110.) Several rural counties in central and western Colorado have allowed OHVs on their county roads. Mesa County is well-suited for such an ordinance.

The Commissioners believe an ordinance allowing the use of these vehicles on County roads will benefit the residents of Mesa County by increasing recreation and travel options, easier access to public lands and increased economic development opportunities.

Proposed Ordinance would allow:
1. Use of OHVs on all Mesa County roads in unincorporated Mesa County.
2. A person with a valid driver’s license, who is at least 16 years of age and who possesses minimum liability insurance coverage on the subject vehicle, to operate an OHV as a vehicle on Mesa County roads.
3. Maximum speed the lesser of: posted limit or 35 miles per hour.
4. OHVs equipped with muffler, spark arrester, breaking system, headlamp and tail lamp.

Proposed Ordinance would NOT:
a. Require additional licensing or fees assessed for use on County roads by Mesa County.
b. Allow use of OHVs on the State Highway System.
c. Allow use of OHVs within Municipalities (such as Fruita, Grand Junction, Collbran or Palisade).

Procedural timeframe: Any ordinance that the Board of Commissioners considers must adhere to the requirements of C.R.S. §30-15-405 and -406.
1. Notice that the ordinance will be “read” at a public hearing (Oct. 22);
2. First reading at public hearing (Oct. 27);
3. Publication of the complete ordinance in the Daily Sentinel;
4. Second reading at public hearing (to be determined);
5. If changes made at second reading, publish changes;
6. Ordinance may take effect 30 days after publication.

Public comments may be made at any of the public hearings (i.e., First reading, or Second reading) or sent to commissioners via email, phone or through social media.

Please check the Mesa County webpage or contact Administration staff (970-244-1885) if you have questions about the public hearing dates.

Text of the proposed Ordinance: Proposed Ordinance may be found below and within the October 27, 2014 hearing binder

New TV Channel for Local Government

MESA COUNTY, COLO October 22, 2014 - Mesa County's Government Cable Access Channel 12 will be Charter station #191 after October 28, 2014.

Programming on Channel 191 includes: 
  • Governmental Decision Making programs
    County Administrative Public Hearing broadcasts (live and pre-recorded), City Council Meetings, City Planning Commission Meetings, Mesa County Land Use Hearings (live and pre-recorded) and other special forums. 
  • Community information and community affairs
    Crime prevention, environmental, public safety and neighborhood information.
  • Cooperative/Community Programming
    School events/information, performing arts, recreation activities, family, senior citizen, health and educational programs that promote the mission of any Mesa County department. This also includes programs that would be of special interest during a particular time-frame, such as; ballot and voting information and community events.

Check us out on the web at 
or go to, and click on "I'm looking for...Channel 191"

Mesa County provides staff support of this channel with the goal of educating, supporting families, and encouraging community involvement. 

For further detail, see the attached summary of the history of Mesa County's Government Access Channel.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Commissioners' letters of support and request for action

Mesa County Commissioners’ letters of support and request for action this week:

Secretary Jewell, Department of the Interior, Washington DC: Roan Plateau, potential settlement of litigation involving Barrett Corporation, BLM and others.
“….On behalf of the citizens of Mesa County, the Board of County Commissioners respectfully request that the finalization of any legal settlement between plaintiffs and Bill Barrett Corporation, BLM and others includes specific provision that Mesa County, Colorado is held harmless for repaying any amounts that may be connected with the settlement of the above referenced litigation...”

Representative Tipton: Roan Plateau, potential settlement of litigation involving Barrett Corporation, BLM and others.
“…Mesa County supports settlement contingent upon the State legislature approving State payment and holding Mesa County, and other local jurisdictions, harmless.
We anticipate that you will include the above sentiments in your letters urging support of, and implementation of any agreement related to the Roan Plateau issue...”

Colorado Water Conservation Board: Comments on the draft State Water Plan.
“…On behalf of Mesa County residents, the Mesa County Commissioners thank you for your work and attention to the critical matter of preserving water for Colorado communities.
Mesa County sits in both the Gunnison Basin and the Colorado Basin….
The mainstem of the Colorado River, as it bisects Mesa County, is the lifeline of our community, our economy, our environment and our entire culture. The very senior water rights associated with the Colorado River diversions in Mesa County are legally established entitlements and must be recognized, respected and fully protected in the development of the Draft Colorado Water Plan…”

Colorado Tourism Office: Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Fruit & Wine Byway, grant application.
“…Mesa County Commissioners applaud the collaborative efforts of our community and fully support the Palisade Chamber of Commerce’s efforts on the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway. We urge the Tourism Office to award the requested grant to Palisade Chamber of Commerce.”

Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Western Slope ATV Association, grant application.
“…We believe that supporting this type of grant request is not only important to the recreating public, but that the dollars generated by the recreationists help Mesa County’s economy.
We understand that a large portion of the grant funds would be used to provide annual maintenance to portions of the trail systems that experience erosion problems and resource damage, which then can become dangerous for the users. We appreciate and applaud WSATVA for taking time to care for and improve the areas it uses for recreation…”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mesa County Fairgrounds at Veterans Memorial Park Receives Daniels Fund Grant

Mesa County is pleased to announce that it has received a $300,000 Daniels Fund grant to support the Mesa County Fairgrounds BMX Improvement Project.

It is estimated that 1,400 youth (local and from elsewhere) will participate at the new complex annually, with numbers/membership anticipated to grow in the coming years.

On March 3, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners approved a partnership commitment to Grand Valley BMX and USA BMX to construct a new BMX venue and track at the Mesa County Fairgrounds at Veterans Memorial Park. The commitment included the possibility of grant funding from outside sources. On June 30, 2014, Mesa County Commissioners approved a grant application to the Daniels Fund, requesting $300,000 to help fund the BMX venue.

Based on budget presentation provided at public hearing on Monday, October 13, Mesa County's Capital Improvement Plan estimates expenditure for BMX venue components at $517,119. Offsetting that expenditure estimate with award of the grant, the estimated contribution by the County is $217,119.

Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need, established the Daniels Fund to provide grants and scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, please visit

"One of the guiding principles of the Daniels Fund is our belief that boundless opportunity can exist for each and every individual. The work of organizations such as Mesa County Government helps make this a reality. On behalf of the Daniels Fund, we wish you every success."

2014 General Election Ballots Mailed Week of October 13th

Ballots for the 2014 General Election will be sent to all active registered voters in Mesa County the week of October 13th. The ballot must be received by the Election officials by 7 P.M. on November 4th, Election Day. A postmark does not count.

Clerk and Recorder, Sheila Reiner stated, “Our Elections team is ready and excited to deliver another quality election to our community. Colorado has one of the most advanced election models in the nation, balancing voter access with security.”

There are three ways to return your ballot:
  • By mail. Use proper First-Class postage and drop in mailbox, leave for your carrier, or take to a Post Office. Mail early enough for the ballot to return to the Elections office by Nov. 4. Postmarks do not count. The ballot in Mesa County requires one first class stamp.
  • In person at one of the Voter Service and Polling Centers by 7 P.M. on Nov. 4.
  • Deposit in one of the 24-7 Ballot Drop-Off Boxes by 7 P.M., Nov. 4. 

Go to for locations of Voter Service and Polling Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes.

Go to to track receipt of your ballot by the Elections office. 

If you haven’t received your ballot by Monday, October 20th, contact the County Clerk and Recorder, Elections office at 244-1662.

The Postal Service encourages all ballots be returned early and with proper postage.

“The Postal Service has a long history in communications, democracy, and the very fabric of our nation,” said David Rupert from the Colorado Postal Communications Office. “We are honored to be part of this process.”
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International Walk to School Month October 2014

Yesterday, during Public Hearing, Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed October as International Walk to School Month.

School District 51 elementary schools will celebrate by participating with the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) educational program, and the Grand Valley 2040 Regional Master Plan.

The Proclamation from was accepted from Commissioner Rose Pugliese by Elizabeth Collins, Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office and Greg Rajnowski, Mesa County Health Department

For more information visit
Walk to School Day in the USA -
National Center for Safe Routes to School -
International Walk to School Day -
Grand Valley 2040 Regional Transportation Plan -

Mesa County Manufacturing Month - October 2014

Commissioners Proclaimed October 2014 as Mesa County Manufacturing Month. At yesterday's Public Hearing Mesa County Commissioners encouraged citizens to learn more about our local manufacturers and how they positively impact our local economy. The Manufacturers' Alliance of Mesa County invites area students and residents to learn about their various industries through a series of public events, tours and open houses throughout the month of October.

Those accepting the Proclamation from Commissioner Steve Acquafresca:
Jon Maraschin, Business Incubator Center
Diane Schwenke, Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce
Eric Goertz, Capco, Inc.