Friday, May 19, 2017

This Week in Pics

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners declares May 15-21, 2017, as National Police Week in Mesa County. From left, Commissioner McInnis, Captain Rowell, Grand Junction Police Deputy Chief  Zen, Commissioner Pugliese, Commissioner Justman, and Captain Smith.

A joint Color Guard of the Grand Junction Police Department and Mesa County Sheriff's Office proceeds to the public hearing room to present the colors in honor of Police Week, which honors the brave men and women who work to serve and protect our community.

In celebration of Police Week, Mesa County Facilities participates in the Bearcat pull competition at the Mesa County Sheriff's campus, 215 Rice St.

Although the Mesa County Facilities did not win, they sure gave it their best effort. Proceeds from the competition were raised for the Special Olympics. 
Congratulations to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Detentions Team for beating out all law enforcement teams and taking home the trophy for the Bearcat pull! 

Commissioners declare Mesa County as a Certified Work Ready Community and call upon all residents to recognize the Mesa County Workforce Center for their vital role in the economic development of Mesa County.
Mesa County Workforce Center Director Curtis Englehart accepts the Work Ready Community Initiative proclamation in public hearing. “This Initiative has finally given us an objective tool to map our skilled workforce. We also have 124 Mesa County businesses participating as a Work Ready Community Partner, Mesa County Workforce Center Director Curtis Englehart said. "This has been a huge community effort that should pay economic dividends in making Mesa County more attractive to businesses thinking to relocate and for current businesses that are looking to be more efficient in their hiring process.”

Health Promotion Specialist Emily Roberston, left, Environmental Health Specialist Michelle Colon, center, and Health Promotion Specialist Katie Smith take a break for a photo at the 2017 Ute Water Festival at Colorado Mesa University earlier this week. The team taught Western Slope fifth graders about healthy and safe water.

BLM PIO Chris Joyner, left, Regional Epidemiologist Andy Tyler, center, and Regional Epidemiologist Tom Orr talked about spring diseases such as tularemia, plague and hantavirus on KAFM Radio on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Mesa County Criminal Justice Service Shift Supervisor Nick Brutosky, left, and Criminal Justice Officer Chad Music grilled burgers to help raise funds for the CJSD Partners Superstars Team.  

Mesa County Criminal Justice Service Shift Supervisor Nick Brutosky, left, and Clinical Director Jason Talley help out at the CJSD Employee BBQ to benefit Mesa County Partners, a program that makes a difference in the lives of young people by helping them develop a positive self-image, a sense of belonging, and acceptance of responsibility for their actions.
Mesa County employees and Surveyor Patrick Green, right, enjoy food and refreshments at the CJSD BBQ. Tickets for the meal were priced at $10 to raise money for Partners, a local youth program. 

Criminal Justice Service Clinical Director Jason Talley, left, looks to his right in shock. What was he looking at? Perhaps he was surprised to find out CJSD raised over $1,200 for the CJSD Partners Superstars Team. Great job!

Adult Services Director Grant Jackson presents Supervisor Adult Protection Candace McGuire with the DHS/WFC Monthly Values Champion award. 

On Monday, Mesa County Road and Bridge crew members seal cracks on the roads in District C.

On Thursday, Mesa County Road and Bridge crews snow plow in District C.  

Mesa County Road and Bridge District C is prepared for whatever the weather throws at them. This week they started crack sealing on roads under sunny skies, but by the end of the week, they dealt with snow on the road.

Mesa Commissioner Scott McInnis kicks off this spring's Inside Mesa County class.

Mesa County Commissioners Pugliese and McInnis talk to the IMC class about the importance of community involvement in local government and encouraged attendees to apply to a Mesa County volunteer board. 

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden talks to the IMC class about the current economic state of the county.

Out with the old, in with the new! Upgrades start at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Pavilion, which are expected to be completed before the fair starts.

The lights at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Pavilion will be replaced with more efficient ones.

Progress continues on Buckskin Hill Road, 58 1/2 Road just south of Collbran. The gravel road opened for through traffic on Wednesday evening.

This September Buckskin Hill Road will be paved. A two-week closure is expected to complete the paving work.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Division Director Jackie Campbell speaks on marriage license issuance time at the Denver Peak Academy. 

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner, left, at the Peak Academy in Denver. Peak Academy trains and coaches employees at all levels to improve the way government works. 
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Division Director Jackie Campbell, left, at the Denver Peak Academy. 

The Fun Bunch at DHS/WFC and Public Health, collect sunscreen to be donated to area Child Care Centers that provide care for low-income families in Mesa County. From left, Heidi Belatti HHS, Kezia Schmidt DHS, Lisa Snyder HHS, Jane Hart DHS, Amy Joy, DHS,  Brynn Jestes, DHS, Kiira Moore, DHS.

They couldn't be the Fun Bunch without a silly photo demonstrating sunscreen use.

Volunteers and employees from CCA, BLM, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Tamarisk Coalition and Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management taught lessons at various stations within the Devil's Canyon area.

Colorado Canyons Association hosted Nature Knowledge Days at Devil's Canyon in the McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area for approximately 800 D51 students in May.

Students learned about the ancient people, early settlers, wildlife, archeology, plants and more during a scavenger hunt field trip to Devil's Canyon.

Teresa Nees with Noxious Weed & Pest Management and Nina Louden with the Palisade Insectary taught students about invasive weeds and the tamarisk beetle biocontrol.

Mesa County Noxious Weed Management is on location at Valley Grown Nursery to help solve your weed worries and offer gift cards to purchase a new plant in exchange for your ornamental noxious weeds!

Eliminate noxious weeds and receive a gift card to a local nursery. Learn more here.

Mesa County Road and Bridge crew members lay a concrete pad to install a new feature at the Coffman Road facility. Stay tuned.

Mesa County Weed & Pest seasonal employees trekked to Montrose on their first day of work for the Colorado Weed Management Association regional training class to learn the beginnings of weed identification and management.

Mesa County Weed & Pest seasonal employees traveled to the Colorado Weed Management Association regional training course in Montrose, Colorado to learn more about weed identification and management. 

Expect short road delays the week of May 22


Here is the list of construction work planned for the week of May 22, road delays should be expected. The schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions.

Asphalt Paving (Fruita, Redlands Area):
K Road, from 21 1/2 Road to 22 1/2 Road
25 Road, from Grand Junction City limits to I-70 Overpass
S Easter Hill Drive, from the cul-de-sac to SE S Broadway
Easter Hill Court, from the cul-de-sac to N Easter Hill Drive
N Easter Hill Drive, from the cul-de-sac to SE S Easter Hill Drive
S Broadway, from Vista Grande to Highway 340
Vista Grande, from Highway 340 to S Broadway
E Alcove, from Highway 340 to S Broadway
23 Road, from Highway 340 to end of pavement

Shoulder Work (Fruita, Redlands Area):
14 Road, from O Road to Q Road
17 ¼ Road, from Fruita city limits to K ¾ Road
K 6/10 Road, from 17 ½ Road to 18 Road
17 ½ Road, from K 6/10 Road to N 3/10 Road
K ¾ Road, from 17 Road to 17 ½ Road
L Road, from 18 Road to 20 Road
18 ½ Road, from M Road to M ¾ Road

Concrete (Redlands Area): 
Monument Village Subdivision

Chip & Seal (Palisade Area):

Monday, May 22
Rapid Creek Road, from end of pavement to BLM turn around

Tuesday, May 23
Cherokee St., from Bower Ave. East to the end of the street
Alley, from Kluge to Peach (by C&F)
Brentwood Drive, from 2016 chip seal to end of pavement
S Granada Drive, from East Brentwood to Creekside Circle
N Granada Drive, from East Brentwood to Creekside Circle

Wednesday, May 24-25
36 1/4 Road, from Highway 6 to Riverbend Park gate
Palisade Cemetery (all streets within)

Inside Mesa County kicks off with a presentation by Commissioners

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis kicks off this spring's Inside Mesa County class.  

Inside Mesa County, the eight-week course that gives participants an up-close look at inner workings of their county government, began Wednesday evening.

Nearly 20 residents are taking the free course this spring, held Wednesday evenings at the old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave.

Mesa County Commissioners Pugliese and McInnis talk to the IMC class about the importance of community involvement in local government and encouraged attendees to apply to a Mesa County volunteer board. 

On the opening night, attendees heard from Commissioners Scott McInnis and Rose Pugliese, as well as County Administrator Frank Whidden, Park and Facilities Director Greg Linza and Fairgrounds Manager Donna Redd.

Future sessions will feature the Assessor, Clerk and Recorder, County Attorney, Coroner, District Attorney, Sheriff, Surveyor, and Treasurer, as well as Animal Services, Criminal Justice Services, Department of Human Services, Public Health, and Public Works.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Staffing levels to increase at the Mesa County Building Department


Collaboration between the business development community and Mesa County proves fruitful.

After many months of joint efforts among county staff, Western Colorado Contractors Association and the Home Builders Association of Western Colorado to find private sector solutions to enhance government services, a resolution was brought to the Board of Mesa County Commissioners to amend the Mesa County building code to update fees.

The focus group reviewed costs and processes and agreed on solutions before presenting their recommendations to the Commissioners.

"Our function as a building department is strengthened by well-established community engagement,"  Mesa County Senior Development Services Manager Dan Caris said. "We have been working on establishing best practices and betters ways of conducting business."

On May 1, 2017, at the Commissioners' public hearing, Western Colorado Contractors Association and the Home Builders Association of Western Colorado urged the Commissioners to increase building fees to better staff the Mesa County Building Department.

The commission considered the plea and unanimously voted to increase building fees for the first time since 1988.

As a result, beginning May 15, 2017, the Mesa County Building will dedicate a full-time employee to serve as a Senior Plans Examiner. Additionally, Mesa County is looking to hire a building inspector. Applications for the new position are due by Friday, May 26, 2017, at 5 p.m.

"These changes are expressly indicative of a commitment to the building and development community,"  Caris added. " It is our goal as a department to provide exceptional service at the level that expressly mirrors our Board of County Commissioners' commitment to economic development."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

County saves thousands by managing landfill operation in-house


The Mesa County Landfill recently underwent a change in management and operational structure to reduce costs.

In January of 2016, Mesa County Landfill started operating with its own employees rather than continuing to outsource, a move that proved beneficial.

“Bringing the operation in-house has given us more control over all aspects of the operation, including monetarily,” Mesa County Public Works Director Pete Baier said."We've saved approximately $900,000 in costs that will go into funds to find a new landfill site and to ensure that the existing one is monitored when it closes."

The cost to operate the landfill went from approximately $3,456,615 to $2,556,816.

“The Mesa County landfill offers the most comprehensive services on the Western Slope,” Baier added. “The landfill has been able to provide professional, high-quality waste management for our residents and businesses while reducing costs.”

The Mesa County Solid Waste Management Division, maintains an enterprise fund that operates on fees collected for services. Taxpayer money is not used to provide services at the landfill.

Mesa County 2017 Property Values