Friday, July 10, 2015

Commissioners meet with Delta County to discuss plan for conservation area

The Mesa County Commissioners today met with one Delta County Commissioner and their county administrator to discuss the anticipated release of the Bureau of Land Management's Proposed Resource Management Plan for the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area

The plan is expected to be releasesd in late summer or early fall.

At the meeting, Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese asked officials to schedule a meeting between the BLM and representatives from Delta and Montrose Counties. The BLM should tell the counties details of the plan (what roads they plan to close, etc.) before the plan is released, Pugliese said. 

Other points discussed at today's meeting:   
  • A commitment to true multiple use is a primary concern.
  • Both Delta and Montrose Counties are represented on an advisory council.
  • The Travel Management Plan will be part of the Resource Management Plan, as is the case with the Grand Junction Field Office's Proposed Resource Management Plan. The counties, though, agree that the travel plan should be removed from the Resource Management Plan, so that each plan could be considered individually under two separate Records of Decision.
  • The counties will send a letter to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper requesting a timely and thorough "Governor's Consistency Review" report is submitted to the BLM.
  • Both counties have submitted to the BLM  lists of routes they want to remain open to the public in the Travel Management Plan.
  • Recreation and grazing can co-exist.
The draft RMP had about 802.5 inventoried total miles of routes, 144.5 miles to be closed and 87 miles of admin routes, which are closed to the general public. The closed and admin numbers might change in the PRMP.

Of the 240.9 Vested Interest Route miles the counties submitted in their comments on the draft plan:
  • 41.9 miles would be closed
  • 30.3 miles would be admin

Around Mesa County: This week in pictures, July 10

Mesa County government is wide in its services and scope. From Elections to Road and Bridge to the Department of Motor Vehicles to Health to Human Services to the Commissioners and beyond, Mesa County is a diverse operation.

Check out some photos from this week:

This was the scene Monday at the Clerk and Recorder's Motor Vehicle division. 

A Plant Strong Potluck takes place at the Mesa County Health Department the second Wednesday of every month. Anyone interested in incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet is welcome. The staff has a lot of fun bringing new recipes to share. 

Regina Clark shows off her plate of healthy food at Wednesday's Plant Strong Potluck at the  Mesa County Health Department.

Cindy Barnett does her thing in Mesa County Human Resources.
A view of the 38 Road Hill construction project.

Arna Hoffman at work in the Mesa County Treasurer's Office

Chris Horner, Mesa County Treasurer's Office

This is Drago and Officer Doug Frye at Mesa County Animal Services, discussing snack time. Drago was dumped in Animal Services' after-hours dropoff kennels about 10 days ago and was literally starved. After a couple of touch-and-go days, Drago has gained more than 10 pounds in the last week and has become very persistent about his afternoon snacks. Here, Frye was a little late, and Drago was nicely reminding him.
This is a photo of Officer Bozarth and Jewel sharing some mutual affection! Jewel was running loose north of town and was quite the Houdini. Animal Services officers followed her for five days and set humane traps, to no avail. On the sixth day, they got lucky. After some veterinary treatment and some TLC from staff, she has fully recovered and is a trusting, loving dog. Officers picked the name Jewel because they knew immediately when they found her that she was a diamond in the rough.

Melinda Henderson, Mesa County Treasurer's Office

This is one of six new Grand Valley Transit buses arriving this month. Yes, new buses do have that new car smell!
Mesa County Department of Human Services employees at work. 

Mesa County Department of Human Services employees at work. 
A shot of the landslide on I-70 this week, from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

With this week's rain, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office parking lot was a bit, uh, wet. 

Learn about native, noxious plants and pull weeds to win a prize

Community members are invited to Colorado State University Extension Arboretum and Demonstration Gardens Monday, July 13, from 8 a.m. to noon.

The morning will include learning how to identify native and noxious plants – and pulling a few weeds! (Those who pull at least one bag of weeds in the gardens will receive a “Pulling for Colorado” prize.)

The group will meet at 8 a.m. in front of the CSU Extension building, 2775 Hwy. 50 (at the west end of the Mesa County Fairgrounds parking lot).

Drinks, snacks, weed bags and gloves will be provided, but participants should bring their own hats (and gloves if they have them).

This event is sponsored by WCCC, Mesa County Weed & Pest, CSU Extension and the Tamarisk Coalition.

For more information, please contact Susan Honea at (970) 244-1841.

Ribbon-cutting for new Mesa County Fairgrounds arena is Tuesday, July 14

Mahindra Arena at the Mesa County Fairgrounds has been in use since February, but leaders will officially celebrate its opening next week.

A ribbon-cutting is planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. 50.  This is opening day of the Mesa County Fair.

The new arena, which is a 37,000 square foot covered and partially enclosed space, allows the Fairgrounds to host more events each year. Total project cost was more than $2.5 million.

“This arena will draw bigger and more horse shows,” said Jo Carole Haxel, Mesa County Fairgrounds manager. “The old covered arena has been booked with a waiting list every season. The new one will allow us to accommodate larger shows, which draw people to the community for more days. It’s a really good thing.”

Fun facts:
  • More than 1,255 cubic yards of concrete are under the arena.
  • More than 1,600 bolts were used in the arena’s steel structure.
  • The project included more than 8 miles of electrical wire.
  • The fabric used for the wind screens on the south side of the arena could cover 71 king-sized beds.
At the fair, Mahindra Arena will house vendors and stage acts.

Members of the media and the community are invited to Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting, which will include comments from speakers and light refreshments.

For a great aerial shot of the new arena, click here

Thursday, July 9, 2015

County road work for the week of July 13

This was what recent chip and seal work looked like in Mesa County.
Mesa County's Chip and Seal program continues next week. Expect short delays on these roads:

  • 32 1/2 Road between B 1/2 and C Roads
  • 33 Road between C and C 1/2 Roads
  • 33 1/2 Road between C and C 1/2 Roads
  • 33 1/2 Road between C 1/2 Road and Barr
  • 33 3/4 Road between C and  C 1/2 Roads
  • Forelle Street between D 3/4 and E Roads
  • Silver Fox Court between Fox Run and CDS
  • Swift Fox Court between Fox Run and CDS
  • Fox Run between D 3/4 and E Roads
  • Red Fox Court between Fox Run and CDS
  • Kit Court between Fox Run and CDS
  • Gray Fox Court between Fox Run and CDS
  • 21 Road between J and K Roads
  • 23 Road between J and L Roads
  • I Road between 24 and 25 Roads
  • I Road between 25 and 26 Roads
  • Mountain Vista Drive between D 3/4 and E Roads
  • Shadow Ridge Court between Mountain Vista and CDS
  • Misty Ridge Court between Mountain Vista and CDS

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

D.A. will not file charges in death of 3-year-old hit by GVT bus

The District Attorney's Office will not file charges in the death of Virgil Stansbury, the 3-year-old who died after being struck by a Grand Valley Transit bus on May 19.

Virgil was hit by the bus while crossing the intersection at North Avenue and 29 Road with his mother.  

After careful review, the District Attorney's office has declined to file criminal charges against the driver of the bus, Joseph Sparn. 

"After reviewing the video evidence and subsequent discussion, it was the unanimous position of the staff that no charges would be filed," wrote Mark Hand, chief deputy district attorney. "There are several issues, which make the case difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

"The District Attorney's office does not believe that a jury would find that Mr. Sparn acted in a careless or imprudent manner on the date of the accident."

Further questions can be directed to the District Attorney's office at (970) 244-1730.