Friday, May 8, 2015

Mesa County sends message to Deer Creek wastewater disposal facility

Shape up or risk losing your right to operate is the message Mesa County officials are sending to operators of the Deer Creek wastewater disposal facility.

Linda Dannenberger, Mesa County Planning Division Director, drafted a letter that was sent late Thursday to the president of Alanco Energy Services, which operates the facility at 5180 U.S. Hwy. 50.

In the letter, Dannenberger wrote: “Mesa County has received a steady number of complaints over the past week regarding odors emanating from the Deer Creek Facility. This problem has been reported intermittently by residents located in a wide radius of the facility since the fall of 2014.”

Whitewater residents shared their concerns about the facility’s odor at the Commissioners’ Administrative Hearing Monday, May 4. Residents also attended a meeting with Alanco that evening, asking the company to address the smell. Alanco officials indicated the problem would be resolved in 36 hours.

In her letter, Dannenberger wrote: “It is important for you to know that although county staff attended the meeting, the County Commissioners could not attend due to the high probability that the conditional use permit will come before them for review in public hearing.… If the situation persists, a public hearing will be scheduled immediately to review the permit. Immediate attention to this matter would be prudent. The County will exercise little patience on matters that are determined to be a threat to public or environmental health.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Commissioners ask for extension to comment on travel plan

Mesa County Commissioners today sent a letter to Colorado's director of the Bureau of Land Management, asking for a longer review period for the Travel Management Plan.

The travel plan is part of the BLM's Proposed Resource Management Plan for the Grand Junction field office that was issued last month.

The specific route designations in the travel plan are appealable only after a Record of Decision for the plan has been signed. Records of Decision for the Travel Management Plan and the Resource Management Plan do not have to be signed at the same time.

"We believe separation of the two RODs will minimize confusion with the public and could result in a vast reduction of the number of appeals filed on the TMP after the ROD is signed," the Commissioners wrote.

The Commissioners in their letter are requesting the BLM delay the approval of a Record of Decision for the Travel Management Plan portion of the Proposed Resource Management Plan for at least six months.

The letter states: "This will allow Mesa County to continue our voluntary role of collecting concerns and issues from the public on the TMP to share with the BLM and adequate time for a transparent, concerted and focused review of the TMP."

To read the full letter, go here.

The Commissioners this morning met with Mesa County staff to discuss the letter of protest Mesa County will send to the BLM about the Proposed Resource Management Plan, if the Commissioners vote to do so at their Administrative Hearing on Monday, May 11.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

National Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 6

Approximately 1,000 students from Shelledy Elementary and Bookcliff Middle School with parents and teachers will bicycle to school on Wednesday, May 6in celebration of the fourth annual National Bike to School Day.  More than 2,200 schools across the country have registered their Bike to School Day events on The total number of events is expected to grow as celebrations continue throughout May, which is National Bike Month.

 The event is part of the local educational program Safe Routes to School (SRTS). Since 2011, SRTS has reached more than 6,000 elementary-aged students and their families with road-safe curriculum aimed to increase the number of students who safely walk, bike and scooter to D51 schools. SRTS is currently hosted at half of the community's elementary schools with the goal to reach 100 percent of D51's elementary and middle school community.

 Bike to School events raise awareness of the need to create safe routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Commissioners say 'thanks' to Western Slope ATV Association

Members of the Western Slope ATV Association accept a Certificate of Appreciation Monday, May 4, 2015, from the Mesa County Commissioners. Commissioner John Justman, far left, is pictured here.
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Western Slope ATV Association.

The gesture was in appreciation of the many volunteer services the association provides for the community.

As an example of the group's contributions:

  • In 2014, the association contributed more than 4,500 volunteer hours on local forest service lands and 2,000 hours on local BLM lands. Volunteers not only picked up a huge amount of trash, but they also maintained a wide variety of trails, making them more sustainable and safer for all user groups.
  • In 2014, the group also put in a 60-foot-long trail bridge nine miles south of Vega State Park using all volunteer labor and equipment.
  • Some members also volunteer for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office to help with Search and Rescue efforts. 

Kudos, Jack Cassidy!

Jack Cassidy of Loma talks to the Commissioners after receiving a certificate of recognition Monday, May 4, 2015.
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning honored Loma resident Jack Cassidy for being the first Coloradan to receive the Safari Club International's North American Professional Hunter Award.

The award honors professional hunters who have been acknowledged by both peers and clients as top in the field.

Cassidy is a big-game outfitter who was an original member and first president of the Colorado Outfitters Association. He and his guides have hosted hunters from across the world and have pursued almost every wildlife species in Colorado.

Cassidy is owner and manager of Jack Cassidy Colorado Hunts.

Commissioner John Justman, left, gives Loma outfitter Jack Cassidy a certificate of recognition.

Commissioners proclaim May 3-9 as Correctional Officers Week

A joint color guard of the Grand Junction Police Department and Mesa County Sheriff's Office presented the colors this morning at the Commissioners' administrative hearing. 
Art Smith, detention division captain for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, accepts a proclamation Monday, May 4, 2015, for Correctional Officers Week in Mesa County from the Mesa County Commissioners. 
May 3-9 is Correctional Officers Week in Mesa County, thanks to a proclamation this morning by the Mesa County Commissioners.

The Commissioners saluted the service of detention deputies in our community and in communities across the nation.

Correctional Officers Week honors the brave men and women who work in the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Detention Facility and correctional officers who work in the jail and are responsible for the safety, containment and control of more than 350 inmates a day in Mesa County.

Commissioners proclaim May Teen Substance Abuse Prevention Month

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, left, gives a proclamation to teens involved with Neural Activity Monday, May 4, 2015.
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning proclaimed May Teen Substance Abuse Prevention Month for 2015.

The proclamation was in honor of the work being done by teens of Neural Activity, a teen drug prevention club whose members use peer advocacy to create a drug-free culture for teens and ultimately end teen substance abuse.

Neural Activity is hosting a Sober Hero Party on May 21 from 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. at Lincoln Park Pool. The event is for incoming high school juniors and seniors, as well as 2015 high school graduates.

For more information on Neural Activity, go here or here.