Friday, October 20, 2017

Animal Services receives recognition for keeping pets safe



Mesa County Animal Services was honored with The Unsung Heroes Award by Hilltop's Latimer House and Domestic Violence Services Oct. 18 for partaking in serving those impacted by domestic violence.

The award recognizes unique situations in which Mesa County Animal Services collaborates with LINK, a local group of volunteers working to help keep animals safe. LINK refers to the connection between domestic violence and animal abuse.The volunteer organization is a sub-committee of the Mesa County Domestic Violence Task Force.

“I want to thank Mesa County Animal Services for all the help they provide. We have never acknowledged all the work that they do,” Latimer House Program Coordinator Karla Kitzman said. “So I wanted to take the opportunity to thank them.”

In 2013, LINK was formed to provide animal safe housing resources for victims who want to leave domestic violence relationships in collaboration with Latimer House. Latimer provides counseling, advocacy and safe housing for domestic violence victims.

LINK helps locate shelter for animals so domestic violence victims can leave an abusive situation knowing their animals are safe.


Resources:
  • Report animal abuse to Mesa County Animal Control, by calling (970) 242-4646.
  • For questions about domestic violence or educational resources, contact the Latimer House business line at (970) 241-0324.
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence seeking safe housing for yourself and/or your animals, call Latimer House 24-hour crisis line at (970) 241-6704.
  • For Information on the LINK program, call (970) 257-3611

Friday, October 13, 2017

This Week in Pics

Health Promotion Specialists Katie Smith, left, and Kelsey Fife presented "Activating Spaces: an inclusive and data-driven approach to outdoor recreation" at the Public Health in the Rockies conference in Keystone, last week. Activating Spaces was a Colorado Health Foundation funded project that Mesa County Public Health implemented, bringing outdoor improvements to five local elementary schools.

Child Care Licensing Specialist Audrey Osgood, left, Mesa County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Kuhr and Nurse-Family Partnership Nurse Amber Ladd smile for the camera on October 2. Audrey and Amber were the first recipients of the Mesa County Public Health Spotlight on Excellence Award. The award shines a light on team members who exemplify Mesa County Public Health's Vision and Commitment to Excellence. These individuals have modeled professional, productive and agency-minded behavior in the workplace. Way to go, Audrey and Amber! We are lucky to have you at MCPH!
 Mesa County Department of Human Services and Workforce Center staff members participate in a "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" training with Jeff Carney from the Franklin Covey Company.

From left to right: Becca Chase, Susan Skyberg, Amy Joy, Dalys Otberg  Matt Furphy, Larua Kinson intently listen to the afternoon session of the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on Thursday.  

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden presents a budget proposal on Monday (Oct. 9) to the Board of County Commissioners.

In the proposed budget, the general fund is balanced at $56,662,487 proposed revenue and $56,662,487 proposed expenditures. View the proposed budget PowerPoint presentation here, or to view the hearing go here.

Mesa County Commissioners Scott McInnis and Rose Pugliese present the Conflict Resolution Month proclamation to Annette Ferriole (center) a representative of the Mesa County Peacemakers. Learn more about Conflict Resolution Month at https://goo.gl/hixhPS
Mesa County Commissioners honor and recognize Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mesa County for their 20 years of dedication and invaluable service to the community. CASA is the only organization in the county that provides a voice in court for children and youth who have been abused. Read more...

Stacy Beaugh and Karen Jefferson, co-chairs of the Riverfront Commission, brief the Mesa County Commissioners regarding the rebranding of the Riverfront project.
Economic Assistance Team Meeting it is all about teammate support!

Economic Assistance 4DX Jeopardy Winner Haydon Harrell and Division Director Michelle Trujillo.

Sharon Tenace, Physical Education teacher at Thunder Mountain Elementary (TME) School, has taught road-safe skills to students since 2013. She said, "Thank you so much for implementing this crucial program into our schools. It saves lives!” The Safe Routes to School curriculum has reached over 2,400 students at TME alone. In 2014, Mesa County constructed a 1.25-mile sidewalk that connects TME to residences, dramatically increasing safe pedestrian and bicycle access.

The goal of Mesa County's Safe Routes to School program is to enable more school-aged children to walk and bicycle to school more often. More information is available at https://rtpo.mesacounty.us/.

Some of the road-safe skills taught to students include scanning behind you for traffic, using hand signals to communicate your next move to drivers, and maintaining control while bicycling slowly. Consider chalking out a road-safe skills course at home and practicing with your children!
Did you know that exercise wakes up your brain? Research has shown that kids who walk or wheel to school do better in school. That means you can boost your brain power by biking! October is Walk and Wheel to School Month in Mesa County. Give it a try!
Mesa County Road and Bridge will start construction to replace the culvert at 1474 P Road (between 14 1/2 Road and 15 Road) in Loma Monday, Oct. 16. The road is expected to be closed from Oct. 16 to Dec. 15.

Mesa County Noxious Weed and Pest Management joined Colorado Canyons Association to treat Russian knapweed in a remote area along the Colorado River. Alan Barbee with Noxious Weed and Pest Management and Ryan McConnell with Colorado Canyons Association get ready for dinner after a day on the river and set up camp.

Teresa Nees and Alan Barbee with Noxious Weed and Pest Management fill backpack sprayers with settled river water and fresh water hauled in on the boat to treat Russian knapweed.

Alan Barbee with Noxious Weed and Pest Management sprays the highly invasive noxious weed Russian knapweed in an area near the Colorado River that had been disturbed by historical agriculture uses. Hopefully, by reducing the number of non-native plants, native species can have better access to resources like sunlight, water, and nutrients.

Alan Barbee and Teresa Nees with Noxious Weed and Pest Management enjoy their surroundings on the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River.
Kaye Simonson observed painted lady butterflies enjoying the valerian in the Old Courthouse's garden.

Residents are invited to learn more about Mesa County’s proposed 2018 budget at three upcoming town hall meetings hosted by the Board of County Commissioners. For details, visit https://goo.gl/ZJq1dD

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Commissioners host town halls to talk budget


Give input and express your budgetary priorities with county officials 

Residents are invited to learn more about Mesa County’s proposed 2018 budget at three upcoming town hall meetings hosted by the Board of County Commissioners.

Town hall meeting dates include:
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Starvin Arvin’s, 3247 F Road in Clifton
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson Ave.
  • Monday, Nov. 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Old Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave., public hearing room on the second floor
Comments on the proposed budget are also encouraged through the following venues:
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/mesacounty
  • E-mail: mcadmin@mesacounty.us.
  • Board of County Commissioner Hearings
    • Hearings are typically held every Monday morning at 9 a.m. at 544 Rood Ave. The hearings include an unscheduled business portion of the agenda. Community members are welcome to provide feedback on the proposed 2018 budget at that time. For future Commissioner hearing agendas, go to https://goo.gl/Vfwg5N.
Details on the budget outlook are available at www.mesacounty.us/finance/2018-budget.aspx. Final adoption of the budget will take place Monday, Dec. 4, at 9 a.m. in public hearing at 544 Rood Ave.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CDOT to host open house on US 6 Clifton safety improvement plan

The Colorado Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Clifton Community Hall, 126 2nd St. about the US 6 Clifton project.

Can't attend? To provide feedback online, go to https://www.codot.gov/projects/us-6-clifton-improvements


Road closure in Loma area




Mesa County Road and Bridge will start construction to replace the culvert at 1474 P Road (between 14 1/2 Road and 15 Road) in Loma Monday, Oct. 16. The road is expected to be closed from Oct. 16 to Dec. 15.

Please note, the schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Administrator presents financial forecast and projections

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden presented the proposed 2018 budget to the Mesa County Board of Commissioners this morning in public hearing.

In the proposed budget, the general fund is balanced at $56,662,487 proposed revenue and $56,662,487 proposed expenditures.

View the presentation here:












Public comment period is now underway. Comments are encouraged through the following venues:

Budget town halls:

  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Starvin Arvin’s, 3247 F Road in Clifton
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson Ave.
  • Monday, Nov. 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Old Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave., public hearing room on the second floor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mesacounty

E-mail: mcadmin@mesacounty.us.

Board of County Commissioner Hearings

Hearings are typically held every Monday morning at 9 a.m. at 544 Rood Ave. The hearings include an unscheduled business portion of the agenda. Community members are welcome to provide feedback on the proposed 2018 budget at that time. For upcoming Commissioner hearing agendas, visit http://www.mesacounty.us/commissioners/template.aspx?id=23925

In November, county staff will finalize the budget, and in late November, the board will give staff final direction.

Final adoption of the 2018 budget is planned for the Dec. 4 public hearing at 9:00 a.m.

CASA of Mesa County celebrates 20th Anniversary

Mesa County Commissioners honor and recognize Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mesa County for their 20 years of dedication and invaluable service to the community.

CASA is the only organization in the county that provides a voice in court for children and youth who have been abused.

Mesa County Commissioners present a proclamation to CASA of Mesa County for their dedication to helping children in need. 

CASA has trained over 380 advocates and serves as the “voice” of more than 1,785 children who have found themselves, through no fault of their own, in the juvenile court system of Mesa County.

Mesa County Commissioners encourage residents to reach out to those who may be affected by child abuse in order to help ensure that all Mesa County children may live free of abuse, abandonment and neglect.

Read the full proclamation here.

To learn more about CASA or to become a volunteer, visit http://www.casamc.org.

Friday, October 6, 2017

This Week in Pics


Many Mesa County Road and Bridge trucks travel to the Redmond Salt Mine in Utah to retrieve several tons of salt in preparation for the winter weather. During the winter, Road and Bridge’s priority is to ensure the traveling public’s safety by removing accumulated snow, providing traction materials on ice-covered roads and maintaining public access to the county roadway systems. Learn more about their methods for snow plowing and sanding icy roads at https://goo.gl/kGf4i4

On Wednesday, Road & Bridge Construction Crew Member Thomas Hillard received a plaque for completing the Roads Scholar Program from the Colorado Local Technical Assistance Program (CLTAP). This included training on drainage, safety on the job, signing/pavement markings, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and roadway safety & work zone traffic control.

Last Friday (Sept. 29), Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) held a press conference at the Lunch Loop trailhead parking lot to announce their $1.5 million grant award to the City of Grand Junction to construct the remaining 1.5-mile of paved and shared use path to the Lunch Loops/Three Sister trails. The award was part of collaborative efforts by the Bureau of Land Management, City of Grand Junction, Mesa County, Mesa Land Trust, One River, and the National Park Service to create multi-use trails that connect across the Grand Valley.

Commissioner John Justman attends GOCO's press conference to hear about the project to improve transportation and recreational trail access through the path connecting the Colorado Riverfront Trail to the Monument corridor.The project is expected to be completed by June 2019.

The grant that will be used to complete the link between the riverfront to the monument via the Lunch Loop/Three Sister trails as part of a statewide project called the Connect Initiative. 

Mesa County Natural Resource Liaison Keith Fife, right, arrives at the press conference on his bike. Commissioner Justman tells him he left his bike at home.

Mesa County Engineering Division Director Scott Mai briefs Commissioner Justman on the details of the project.
A constituent shares his priorities and opinions with Commissioner Justman after the press conference concluded.

Mesa County Noxious Weed and Pest Management scramble up and down the cliffs behind East Orchard Mesa looking for ornamental noxious weed Chinese clematis. 

Alan Barbee with Noxious Weed and Pest Management cuts a makeshift trail on loose shale down a steep cliff above the Colorado River in Palisade. This is a lot more difficult than it looks!
The Noxious Weed and Pest Management crew scoot and slide down the cliff to search for and access the Chinese clematis vine. Chinese clematis is a rare noxious weed in Mesa County. It is an escaped ornamental with pretty yellow flowers and unique puffy seeds.

Alan Barbee with Noxious Weed and Pest Management displays the large Chinese clematis vines that he and the crew were able to locate and pull from the steep shale cliffs in Palisade.

Chinese clematis is a rare noxious weed in Mesa County, it most likely escaped from an ornamental planting in a flower bed somewhere on East Orchard Mesa and planted itself here on the cliff. Chinese clematis can be confused with a very common native clematis that can be found along the river and highways and has small white flowers in the summer. 

Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility makes it easy to drop off your unwanted hazardous waste, and it's free. The facility, located at 3071 Highway 50, is the first building on the left as you enter the Mesa County Solid Waste campus. Stop by Thursdays or Fridays, at any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Hazardous waste includes cleaning products, automotive cleaners, garden chemicals, aerosol cans, antifreeze, old gasoline, paints, motor oil and more. You may also find something you need on their shelves to take for free!

October is Walk and Wheel to School Month in Mesa County. School communities are celebrating by coordinating walking school buses (a walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults) for neighborhoods, meeting at a central location and walking and wheeling together to school, and holding prize drawings for participants. You can also celebrate by walking or biking with your children to school. If you live too far to walk or bike the whole way, consider parking a half-mile away and walking the rest.
Walking and wheeling to school helps kids become independent and ready to take over the driving someday! When they get themselves to school, they practice the rules of the road, and they learn the route between home and school. Student travel maps can be found at https://rtpo.mesacounty.us/

Safe behavior helps to create safe roads in Mesa County. Drivers: give pedestrians and bicyclists at least three feet of space on the road. Kiddos: walk and ride on the sidewalk if there is one, wear your helmets for riding, obey all rules of the road, and use lights and bright clothing for visibility.
Department of Human Services (DHS) Single Entry Point team members from Adult Services always want to be inclusive Shawna Paletta, left, and Eden Martin, right, found a creative way to include staff members who were out of the office to participate in the You Brighten My Day presentation.

September's You Brighten My Day winner is Heather Jones. Congratulations! Adult Services Director Grant Jackson presents the recognition.

On Thursday, the Mesa County Workforce Center (WFC) held a JobFest Job Fair. Fifty-five different employers and nine resource booths were at the event. According to WFC Director Curtis Englehart, "Our job orders are up over 30 percent from this time last year. Full-time permanent job orders are up over 60 percent from this time last year. This is the lowest unemployment rate we have seen in ten years at 3 percent and job orders up, now is a great time for our job seekers to obtain the career they have been wanting."

Halliburton human resources recruiters talk to potential employees ar the JobFest at the Workforce Center, 529 29 1/2 Road.
Hundreds of people looking for career opportunities attended the Workforce Center's JobFest.
Progress continues at the Animal Services facility, this week a freezer is being installed.

The mechanical room at Animal Services facility got a few water heaters installed this week.

Water-resistant wall panels are in the process of being installed in the Animal Service's laundry room.

Water-resistant wall panels go up in the food preparation area at the Animal Services facility.

Preparation for door installation and epoxy floor in dog quarantine room just got underway.