Friday, April 10, 2015

Collbran ceremony honors memory of Road and Bridge employees killed

Mesa County officials this afternoon dedicated the Road and Bridge maintenance facility in Collbran to three county employees who lost their lives on the job. 

Owen Click died in a trucking accident in 1952, Mike Lane died while checking a bridge during high water conditions in 1984 and, most recently, Clancy Nichols died in a landslide while monitoring roads in 2014.

Mesa County Road and Bridge crews and families of the deceased gathered for a private ceremony to honor the three men by dedicating the building, 15620 57 1/2 Road, to their memory with a brass plaque.


"We just want to make sure everyone knows the commitment those people made to Collbran Road and Bridge and to the community," said Rudy Bevan, Mesa County Road and Bridge supervisor.

The building, which is six years old, has also been outfitted with a new lighted flagpole in honor of Nichols.


BLM releases Grand Junction Resource Management Plan


The Bureau of Land Management today released the Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the approximately 1 million-acre Grand Junction Field Office in northwestern Colorado.

To view the proposed plan online, go here. For videos on how to navigate the proposed plan on the BLM's website, go here.

The Grand Junction Field Office includes some of the public’s most diverse landscapes and provides some of the nation’s premier recreational opportunities.

The proposed plan includes a 700,900-acre Shale Ridges and Canyons Master Leasing Plan with oil and gas restrictions ranging from limiting visual impacts to no surface disturbance and timing limitations to protect wildlife.

The Master Leasing Plan also includes two Wilderness Study Areas and three additional Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. Approximately 70 percent of the MLP is already leased.

The BLM developed the Resource Management Plan with close coordination from local and state government, regional interest groups and public input.

“We understand how important public land is to our community and we have listened to your input,” said Wayne Werkmeister, Grand Junction Acting Field Manager. “This area of rural western Colorado is an amazing place to live because of the popular recreation, energy and public land resources right in our back yards. We’ve worked hard to strike a balance between resource use, development and conservation that will allow us to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations."

Key decisions in the proposed plan include:

  • Managing five areas for specific recreational opportunities, including the Grand Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Special Recreation Management Area for cross-country riding and adventure 
  • Identifying 10 areas where wildlife habitat will receive focused emphasis and priority 
  • Travel management decisions that provide public access to quality recreational opportunities and commercial use of public lands while protecting sensitive resources 

The planning process identified trends and public expectations of public lands. The BLM says it can now act on user expectations within the framework of a plan that can stand the test of time.

Local government agencies including Mesa County provided critical assistance to develop the plan through feedback, constructive comments and working groups.

A 30-day public protest period and 60-day Governor’s consistency review begins today.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grand Valley Transit celebrates completion of West Transfer Station

Officials cut the ceremonial ribbon at the grand opening of the GVT West Transfer Station, 612 24 1/2 Road, Wednesday morning, April 8, 2015. 
Grand Valley Transit leaders, local elected officials and state and federal transportation officials this morning celebrated the opening of GVT’s West Transfer Facility.

The 2,846-square-foot facility at 612 24 1/2 Road in Grand Junction should make public transportation more convenient for bus riders with extended hours for pass purchases, easier transfers, on-site restrooms and a Park ‘n’ Ride lot with space for 49 vehicles.

The facility will be open for business on Monday, April 13.

Total project cost was $3.4 million, contributed by the Grand Valley Regional Transportation Committee, the Federal Transit Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The ribbon-cutting was held in conjunction with Stand Up for Transportation Day, highlighting the need for long-term investment in U.S. transportation Infrastructure.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, the current federal transportation funding bill, is set to expire on May 31. Mesa County and communities across the country will face uncertainty without a long-term federal transportation funding bill.

Here are some other photos from this morning's event:

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese signs a banner in support of Stand Up 4 Transportation Day at this morning's grand opening of the GVT West Transfer Station.

Officials mingle outside after the ribbon-cutting for the GVT West Transfer Station.  

This sign welcomes bus riders and others to the new GVT West Transfer Station at 612 24 1/2 Road.

This GVT bus welcomed visitors to the grand opening celebration of the new GVT West Transfer Station Wednesday morning.


Commissioners meet with area land and resource managers


The Mesa County Commissioners this morning met with local representatives of state and federal resource management agencies.

The quarterly meetings are held to update all attendees on projects and issues of interest.

Involved were representatives of:

  • Mesa County
  • Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife
  • Colorado National Monument
  • Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
  • Colorado State Forest Service
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Natural Conservation Service
The next quarterly meeting is June 18, 2015. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 9 is Stand Up for Transportation Day

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman, left, stands with Todd Hollenbeck and Biz Collins of the Regional Transportation Planning Office.
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning proclaimed April Stand Up for Transportation Day. 

Stand Up for Transportation is a national transportation infrastructure day that highlights the need to invest in updating our nation's transportation infrastructure. 

The Commissioners wrote: "Transportation is the economic backbone of our nation's economy, and public transportation is an important part of our nation's transportation system. Federal funding for public transportation infrastructure needs to increase and Congress needs to pass a long-term, multimodal transportation bill by May 31, 2015."

Read the full proclamation here:


April is Autism Awareness Month

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese stands with Doug Sorter of STRiVE at this morning's public hearing. The commissioners proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month.

The Mesa County Commissioners this morning proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month. Doug Sorter of STRiVE accepted the proclamation. 

The Commissioners wrote: "Autism is the fastest growing disability in the United States, affecting more than 3 million people ... and the incidence of autism is an urgent public health crisis that demands support from all levels of government."

Read the full proclamation here: 



April 16 is National Healthcare Decision Day

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, left, stands with Dyann Walt of the Mesa County Department of Human Services and Martha Jones of Rocky Mountain Health Plans. The Commissioners this morning proclaimed April 16, 2015, as National Healthcare Decision Day. 
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning proclaimed April 16, 2015, National Healthcare Decision Day.

The Commissioners wrote: "Advance care planning is the act of making decisions about the medical care you want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself ... heightening awareness in the 18-30-year-old age group around the need for young people to create advance medical directives is critical. It is estimated that only about 20 percent of people in Colorado have executed an advance directive."

See the proclamation below:



GVT celebrates grand opening of West Transfer Facility



Grand Valley Transit leaders are celebrating the opening of GVT's West Transfer Facility this Wednesday, April 8, at 11 a.m.

Federal, state and local transportation officials will be on hand for the ribbon cutting at the new facility, 612 24 1/2 Road in Grand Junction, as will local elected officials including all three Mesa County Commissioners. 

The event will be at 11 a.m. at 612 24 1/2 Road in Grand Junction. Parking is available behind the building in the Park 'n' Ride lot off F 1/8 Road. 

The new GVT facility should make it more convenient for bus riders to use public transportation through easier transfers, extended hours for pass purchases, on-site restrooms and a Park 'n' Ride lot that accommodates 49 vehicles. 

The new facility is 2,846 square feet and has six bus transfer areas. Total project cost was $3.4 million. It was possible thanks to the support and work of the Grand Valley Regional Transportation Committee, the Federal Transit Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

Wednesday's event also marks Stand Up for Transportation Day, which emphasizes the need for long-term investment in U.S. transportation infrastructure. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act expires on May 31. Without a long-term federal transportation funding bill, Mesa County and communities across the country will face uncertainty. A long-term transportation bill is needed for better and expanded transportation options, and to continue to grow the economy. Follow the conversation on Twitter: #StandUp4Transportation. Learn more at standup4transportation.org.