Friday, May 13, 2016

This week in pics

On Monday, the Commissioners proclaimed May Building Safety Month. From left, Commissioners John Justman and Rose Pugliese, Darrell Bay (the county's chief building official) and Commissioner Scott McInnis. Bay accepted the proclamation.
The Commissioners on Monday declared May Foster Parent Appreciation Month. From left, Commissioner John Justman, Josh Stewart, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Erica and Dan Waalkes (and kids) and Commissioner Scott McInnis.  
Commissioner Rose Pugliese, left, with County Road and Bridge Supervisor Rudy Bevan. 
Community members listen to county officials at the Loma Community Coffee Wednesday morning. 
Commissioner Scott McInnis, far right, talks during the county's community coffee in Loma Wednesday morning. After informal conversations for about an hour, the Commissioners and other county officials introduced themselves and answered questions from the audience. The event - at Loma's Strayhorn Grill - was well attended. Next to McInnis are Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner, Treasurer Janice Rich, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Commissioner John Justman and Assessor Ken Brownlee. 
Commissioner Rose Pugliese, far right, talks to a constituent at the county's community coffee in Loma Wednesday morning. Commissioner John Justman is also pictured. 
Jason Talley, clinical director at Criminal Justice Services Department, talks about science-based practices in substance abuse treatment at the Colorado Association of Community Corrections Boards annual meeting in Grand Junction.
It's National Nurses Week, and the Mesa County Health Department has some of the best nurses around! A special thanks to back row, from left: Marjorie Allen, Janell Cook, Stephanie Mothersell, Erin Andrews, Laurie Perla, Diane Banta, Rene' Landry; second row, from left: Kate Grice (with her son, Conner), Heather Ligon, Michelle Howland, DeeAnna Christensen, Jillian Miller, Katherine O'Reilly, Kara Hotard, Ashley Adams; front row: Jana Joramo. 
MCHD also has great medical assistants. From left, Kelsey Reddin, Mindy Christman, Adrianna Quinonez and Fatima Herrera.
Veronica Daehn Harvey, left, hands a certificate of completion to Wes d'Aponti at the Commissioners' administrative hearing Monday. Daehn Harvey coordinated the Inside Mesa County class this spring. 
Congratulations to the Spring 2016 Inside Mesa County graduates (pictured here with the Mesa County Commissioners)! 
Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner, top right, leads the final Inside Mesa County class of the spring session. 
Spraying weeds on Glade Park. Teresa Nees of Mesa County's Noxious Weed and Pest program rode along with the contractor this week. 
A view from up on Glade Park. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Commissioners urge governor to veto bill about restaurant inspection fees

The Mesa County Commissioners today are urging Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto House Bill 16-1401, pertaining to the Regulation of Retail Food Establishments.

"We appreciate the work that has been done in Colorado to remedy the lack of funding toward the inspection and licensing of retail food establishments," the Commissioners wrote in a letter to Hickenlooper. "However, we are disappointed that the additional funds will be coming from the retail food establishments themselves, as most of these are locally owned small businesses. Given the current state of Mesa County’s economy, we do not want to impose additional financial burdens on our local business owners."

Mesa County operates a model food safety program in partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Commissioners support the Mesa County Health Department and are able to continue to cover the program costs that are not covered by state funds or current license fees.

"We feel strongly that the costs to regulate Colorado’s retail food establishments vary so much from one local health department to another that it is inappropriate to impose a statewide increase in license fees," they wrote. "When planning for House Bill 16-1401, there should have been an assessment of each local health department to determine their cost to administer the retail program, and the extent to which that cost differed from other local health departments in the state. We suspect the results from such an assessment would have called in question the practicality of moving forward with House Bill 16-1401."

Colorado Counties, Inc. proposed an amendment to the bill, which would have allowed counties, like Mesa County, the flexibility to set license fees. If House Bill HB16-1401 is passed into law, Mesa County will be prohibited from making its own decision about how to allocate general fund revenue to support the program, thereby restricting local control. 

"We believe the bill was passed without full respect to the unique and varying needs of each county and region in Colorado."

Monday, May 9, 2016

Commissioners like economic development of Monument Road Project

The Mesa County Commissioners today gave their approval for a Federal Lands Access Program project being sought by the City of Grand Junction.

The Monument Road Project would feature a multi-modal path connecting the existing Colorado Riverfront Trail, neighborhoods and downtown Grand Junction to the Lunch Loop Trailhead and Colorado National Monument’s east entrance. The project also would include the creation of “bypass lanes” at the Monument’s east gate, allowing pass holders to “bypass” the lanes used by non-pass holders and go through an automatic gate.

“This is a big deal,” said Commissioner Scott McInnis. “This project would be an economic plus for the community. It is infrastructure that fits with the county mission, and it’s a great partnership with the city.”

If the city is successful with its application, Mesa County will contribute $391,972, a portion of the local government match.

“The Commissioners appreciate the opportunity to support this important economic development project in our community,” said Chairwoman Rose Pugliese.

If the project receives a green light from the Federal Lands Access Program, the county will work to make sure any rights of way designations are made in agreement with property owners, that rights of way are not turned into conservation easements and that Glade Park residents can use the bypass lanes.