Friday, June 12, 2015

Letter: Commissioners support Colowyo Coal Co.

The Mesa County Board of Commissioners this week sent a letter to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement about the Colowyo Mine Environmental Assessment.

"The Mesa County Board of Commissioners strongly supports Colowyo Coal Company and its 220 employees doing their part in providing affordable and reliable electricity to the families and businesses of Colorado and the Intermountain West," the letter states. "Coal mining is an important industry for western Colorado, and regulatory impacts on it directly affect Mesa County, the region, our economy, workforce and residents.

"We understand the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement intends to conduct an Environmental Assessment for the Colowyo Mine in response to a judge's order on a lawsuit. ...

"The OSM should do all it can to ensure the EA for this project is completed as soon as possible and no later than Sept. 5, 2015."

To read the full letter, go here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mesa County officials meet with company driving Jordan Cove Energy Project

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman met with officials from Veresen, Inc., in Calgary as part of the Western Colorado Delegation to the Global Petroleum ShowView a newspaper article, with pictures of the Western Colorado delegation, here

Veresen is leading the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Oregon.

From the meeting, Veresen's investment in the existing Ruby pipeline was clear. 

The final step in opening up Western Colorado's natural gas to the Asian Rim countries is what officials call the Pacific Connector; it is the last link needed for the pipeline to reach the Jordan-Cove facility on the U.S. Pacific coast.

Most western governmental agencies, including the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, have been vocal in their support of the pipeline and the Jordan-Cove project.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Second tax payment due June 15

The Mesa County Treasurer's Office wants to remind taxpayers that Colorado law requires payments in two equal installments. The first payment is due on or before the last day of February, and the second installment is to be paid no later than the 15th day of June.

"We invite all taxpayers to utilize our website,, to check out property taxes owing," said County Treasurer Janice Rich. "It is very easy to click on Pay/View Property Taxes. Follow the directions from there to see taxes owing for 2014, due in 2015."

For more information, please call the Mesa County Treasurer's Office at (970) 244-1824.

County Commissioner John Justman promotes Mesa County at Global Petroleum Show

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden mans the Western Colorado Delegation booth at the Global Petroleum Show. He and Commissioner John Justman joined others from Grand Junction at the show in Calgary this week.  
Mesa County Commissioner John Justman and County Administrator Frank Whidden are in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, this week as part of the Western Colorado Delegation to the Global Petroleum Show.  

The delegation has about 17 members including Grand Junction Mayor Phyllis Norris, Grand Junction City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Marty Chazen and Grand Junction City Manager Rich Englehart. Other members include Diane Schwenke, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce; Bonnie Peterson, executive director of the Associated Governments of Northern Colorado; and Mike Sampson, Garfield County Commissioner.

When the members of the delegation aren't manning their booth at the Global Petroleum Show, they are making the rounds on the floor, working hard to network with companies and agencies to establish relationships and to inform them of economic initiatives such as Jump Start Colorado.  

Commissioner Justman also has been promoting Mesa County through prearranged meetings with companies such as Veresen, Inc. (which is leading the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Oregon) and CalFrac Well Services, among others. The networking extends far into the evenings, as contacts are made at after-hours events.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Photos of West Salt Creek Landslide

These pictures were taken late last week of the West Salt Creek Landslide by Mesa County Emergency Manager Andy Martsolf. (Photos courtesy: Mesa County Sheriff's Office)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mesa County officials attend Colorado Counties Inc. annual conference

Mesa County Commissioners John Justman and Rose Pugliese, along with County Administrator Frank Whidden, joined commissioners and other county officials from 56 counties in Keystone, Colo., June 1-3 for the Colorado Counties Inc. annual conference. 

The three-day conference featured meetings on a variety of issues affecting Colorado counties. Those sessions included economic development and public finance, as well as updates on caregivers, taxation, infused product testing and local land use authority with regard to marijuana. Commissioners also received information on and discussed sharing of services across counties as well as cooperation and coordination relationship opportunities with other local and federal entities.

CCI Board President and Yuma County Commissioner Trent Bushner commented that there was a large number of outstanding and informative sessions for commissioners to attend and participate in. In addition, he said “the networking opportunities and dialogue occurring between county officials across regions of the state was remarkable and invaluable.”

CCI is a non-profit membership association whose purpose is to offer assistance to county commissioners, mayors and council members and to encourage counties to work together on common issues. Governed by a board of directors consisting of eight commissioners from across the state, CCI's focus is on information, education and legislative representation. CCI strives to keep its members up-to-date on issues that directly impact county operations. At the same time, CCI works to present a united voice to the Colorado General Assembly and other government and regulatory bodies.

Follow @MesaCountyRose on Twitter to see what she shared from last week's conference.

West Salt Creek Landslide response returns to Level One

Today, Mesa County officials are downgrading their response to the West Salt Creek Landslide on the Grand Mesa to a Level One.

On Wednesday, officials decided to transition to a Level Two because conditions indicated the "sag pond" that had formed near the top of the slide from rainwater, snowmelt and other runoff was likely to spill. The Level Two response designation put residents in low-lying areas on alert that something could happen and they may need to seek higher ground.

Since Wednesday's designation, though, snowpack in the basin above the landslide diminished. Also, storms that were forecast for the weekend did not produce substantial rain in the landslide area.

Officials spent the past five days engaged in intense, on-site monitoring. Though they noted new water-related features and minor landslide activity, the stability of the slump block does not appear to be deteriorating.

Mesa County officials will continue to actively monitor the landslide area and will elevate the response level again if conditions deteriorate.

U.S. Forest Service restrictions remain in place, and trespassing is prohibited on private property.

June is Adult Protection Awareness Month, Commissioners proclaim

Mesa County Department of Human Services staff stand with Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, center, Monday morning. The Commissioners proclaimed June 2015 as Adult Protection Awareness Month. 

The Mesa County Commissioners this morning proclaimed June 2015 as Adult Protection Awareness Month.

The elderly and people with disabilities are vital members of families, communities and society. Often, these residents are vulnerable to assault, burglary, fraud, abuse, neglect, exploitation and other crimes since they may not be able to provide their own care and protection.

Raising awareness is a fundamental prevention strategy.

Read the full proclamation below.

Commissioners proclaim June Bike to Work Month and June 24 Bike to Work Day

From left, Amelia Best, Dan Marzullo and Chelsea Wells from the Mesa County Health Department stand with Mesa County Commissioner John Justman and Grand Valley Bikes representative Biz Collins. The Commissioners Monday proclaimed June 2015 as Bike to Work Month and June 24, 2015, as Bike to Work Day.
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning proclaimed June 2015 as Bike to Work Month and June 24, 2015, as Bike to Work Day.

Because Colorado offers premiere bicycling, the state has designated each June as Bike Month to celebrate bicycling for transportation, fun and health.

In Mesa County, bicycling positively impacts the economy and tourism industry.

Healthy Mesa County, Grand Valley Bikes and local governments have scheduled activities centered on bicycling throughout June and are promoting bicycling as a healthy leisure activity and an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation.

Read the full proclamation below.