Friday, July 17, 2015

Around Mesa County: This week in pictures, July 17

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:

The Mesa County Fair started Tuesday!

From left, Sundae Montgomery, Patrick Coleman, Scott McInnis, Rose Pugliese and John Justman at Monday's Administrative Hearing. 

The view from the back at Monday's Board of County Commissioners administrative hearing.

Nearly 20 volunteers and several Weed and Pest and CSU Extension staff members participated in the weed pull at the CSU Tri-River Extension office  July 13. This is the BEFORE picture.

Nearly 20 volunteers and several Weed and Pest and CSU Extension staff members participated in the weed pull at the CSU Tri-River Extension office  July 13. This is the AFTER picture!
Paving began Thursday on 38 Road Hill.

Crews work on the BMX track at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

The BMX track at the  Mesa County Fairgrounds is well underway. 

A peek at the weekly staff meeting of clerical staff at the Mesa County Department of Human Services and Workforce Center.
Noxious Weed and Pest Management searching for purple loosestrife in the "swamps."
Mesa County Health Department Executive Director Jeff Kuhr addresses employees at the July 14 Quarterly All-Staff Meeting. During the meeting, Jeff welcomed new employees, recognized five employees for outstanding work, talked about safety and updated staff on Board of Health activities.

At the end of the Quarterly All-Staff Meeting, Shane Chatfield played host during Health Department Trivia. Teams are pretty competitive and it's a great, fun way for employees to gain an understanding of what their coworkers do everyday and what other programs are working to achieve.
Hazardous Waste Specialist Ann Opitz crushes oil-based paints while wearing a supplied air hood. 
This is the inner portion of a very old cathode ray tube television at the Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.
Mesa County Search and Rescue bringing a dog up a 70-foot cliff near Land's End Observatory. Deputies and Search and Rescue members from the technical ropes team conducted the rescue on Monday. The dog, who was chasing chipmunks, had only mild injuries. 
Another shot of rescuers helping the dog.
Dave Norman from the Department of Human Services has been AAA director for 41 years.
Fairgrounds Manager Jo Carole Haxel at the ribbon-cutting of Mahindra Arena Tuesday. This week was also the Mesa County Fair - it ends Saturday. 
Commissioner John Justman at the ribbon-cutting of Mahindra Arena at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Tuesday.
Noxious Weed and Pest Management searching for purple loosestrife in the "swamps."
Officer Martinez has an angel on her shoulder!  Rosa (the kitten), was dumped in a box in a dumpster and near death when the officer arrived.  After several days of intensive veterinary care, Rosa has spent the last couple of weeks recovering and learning how to be a kitten all over again!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fairgrounds officially opens new arena with ribbon-cutting

Mesa County officials officially opened Mahindra Arena at the Fairgrounds this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Fairgrounds Manager Jo Carole Haxel spoke at the short ceremony, as did Commissioner John Justman, Mesa County project manager Greg Linza and Steve Erickson of Grand West Tractor.

The Mesa County Fair Ambassadors cut the ribbon.

Attendees enjoyed quintessential fair refreshments: kettle corn and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Today is the first day of the 2015 Mesa County Fair (it continues through Saturday, July 18).

Erickson was influential in the arena's opening, letting the county use the Mahindra tractor, among other assistance.

Here are some photos from the ribbon-cutting: 

Fairgrounds Manager Jo Carole Haxel gives a brief welcome this morning before the ribbon is cut at Mahindra Arena.

The Mesa County Fair Ambassadors do the honors. 

The ribbon has been cut!

Attendees of the ribbon cutting got to enjoy fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman addresses those gathered inside Mahindra Arena at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Here is one view of the new arena.

Greg Linza, Mesa County project manager, says a few words at the ribbon-cutting. 

Here's a shot of the other end of the arena and the crowd listening to the speakers at the ribbon-cutting event.

Steve Erickson of Grand West Tractor talks to those gathered at the ribbon-cutting. He was instrumental in the arena's construction - and name.

Steve Erickson of Grand West Tractor

Giant ceiling fans like this one circulate air within Mahindra Arena.

The Mahindra tractor was used in construction of the arena, thanks to Grand West Tractor.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Construction began today to improve safety at K and 21 1/2 Roads

Road work began today at the intersection of K and 21 1/2 Roads.

Mesa County Commissioners on May 11 approved funding for the project, which will address safety concerns at this intersection.

Work will include paved shoulders and improving a substandard sight distance condition on K Road east of the intersection. Also planned are construction of a block retaining wall and a new guardrail, as well as storm drainage improvements and new road paving and striping.

The project will cost nearly $700,000. United Companies will do the work, which is expected to be complete by Aug. 28.

The intersection will be closed to through traffic during construction.

Commissioners update economic development partners on federal projects

The Mesa County Commissioners today met with economic development partners including the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Topic: federal projects in which Mesa County is engaged.

Mesa County officials updated the economic partners and heard feedback. This was a follow-up meeting to the first, which was held in January.

Among other projects, the county is engaged with:
  • An environmental assessment that looks at transferring land from the Bureau of Land Management to the Grand Junction Regional Airport. The draft is under review now.
  • A Value of Public Lands study being conducted by the BLM and Colorado Mesa University.
  • Gunnison Sage Grouse, Greater Sage Grouse and Yellow-Billed Cuckoo. Mesa County will pay for mapping of proposed critical habitat for the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo. 

Business of the commissioners, July 13

From left, Sundae Montgomery, Patrick Coleman, Scott McInnis, Rose Pugliese and John Justman at this morning's County Commissioner administrative hearing. 
The Mesa County Commissioners this morning conditionally approved a liquor license for a new Mexican restaurant at 569 32 Road.

Agavero's Mexican Experience will open in the old Rooster's location. The Mesa County Health Department has given preliminary approval to the new restaurant. Mesa County's Planning Department had no concerns about the transfer of ownership of the liquor license from Rooster's to Agavero's.

In other business, the Commissioners: 

  • Approved a special events permit for Colorado Discover Ability to hold "The Mud, The Bands and The Beers" at Powderhorn Mountain Resort. The event is planned for July 25 and features a mud run at 11 a.m., live music from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and craft beer tasting from noon to 4 p.m. Commissioner Scott McInnis asked organizers to take extra precautions against underage drinking. Organizers said they have measures in place. 
  • Heard a briefing from Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee.
  • Approved a contract between Mesa County and Mail Managers, Inc., for mail services for the rest of the year. The approved contract amount was $134,772.