Friday, July 13, 2018

This Week in Pics

The Board of County Commissioners proclaimed July as Smart Irrigation Month in Mesa County. From left, Commissioner John Justman, Katie Powell, Joe Burtard, Andrea Lopez, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, and Commissioner Scott McInnis. Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape, turf and agricultural irrigation. Munro Companies, Inc., Ute Water Conservancy District, City of Grand Junction, Clifton Water District, Redlands Water and Power, Orchard Mesa Irrigation, Grand Valley Water Users’ Association, CSU Extension, Drought Response Information Project (DRIP), and Mesa County celebrate Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers learn how to save water and see better results.

Katie Munro-Powell with Munro Companies, Inc. thanks the Board of Mesa County Commissioners for proclaiming July as Smart Irrigation Month in Mesa County.

To bring awareness to the many benefits of irrigation practices that improve water use efficiency and because water is a finite resource that is vital to all life, Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed July 2018, as Smart Irrigation Month.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, left, and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese visit at the 2018 Governing Leadership Forum where they learned about building high-performance government.

As part of a regional study, Mesa County Solid Waste staff helped conduct a waste sort at the Adobe Buttes Landfill in Delta County. 

Waste Management crews go through waste to identify and better understand the contents of the waste stream in the region, this allows solid waste management representatives to know what percentages of specific waste are in the waste stream to help with mitigation, diversion, and recycling.

Mesa County will be leading waste sort studies in Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, and Montrose counties, the study will conclude in 2019. If you are interested in participating in the waste sorts, please contact Solid Waste Management at (970) 241-6846.
Mesa County Elections and representatives from the political parties performed the statewide Risk-Limiting Audit July 9.  The election results are official and final. From left to right: Tim Long, Maria Keenan, Laureen Gutierrez, and Deborah Erbisch. 

Democrat and Republican representatives join forces to audit the hardware, software, and procedures used by Mesa County Elections to verify that it is all working correctly and accurately at the end of the canvass.

The Colorado Secretary of State defines a Risk-Limiting Audit as a method that provides statistical assurance that election outcomes are correct by manually examining portions of the audit trail—paper ballots or voter-verifiable paper records. For more information about Risk-Limiting Audits, visit https://bit.ly/2KR8idM.

It’s Blue and White day in the Clerks Office! Arna Hoffman, Jackie Campbell, Janika Harris and Amanda Golightly got the memo! 
Purple Loosestrife has been spotted again in the Grand Valley. The Noxious Weed Management crew will be treating this invasive species in the Redlands and Fruita in wetland areas and the Colorado River corridor to prevent it from crowding out native plants and degrading wildlife habitat.

Noxious Weed Management crew members Erik Storey and Willie Wilkins scout for Purple Loosestrife along the Tierra Creek drainage in the Redlands.

Teresa Nees with Noxious Weed Management bagged Purple Loosestrife plant (roots and all) from a pond in the Redlands. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Commissioners to host town hall to receive input on exempting state grants from TABOR cap

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners. From left to right: Commissioner John Justman, Commissioner Rose Pugliese and Commissioner Scott McInnis. 

Give input and express your priorities with your county commissioners

Residents are invited to learn more about the Mesa County Commissioners’ proposed ballot question to exempt state grants from the revenue and spending limitations of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) at a town hall meeting Tuesday, July 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Old Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave., public hearing room on the second floor.

“The commissioners are considering a ballot question to exempt state grants from our TABOR cap, without increasing any taxes. Most of our state grants are for infrastructure projects, so this actually grows the private sector; not county government, which should be limited," Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese said.


Pugliese also said, “This would include pass-through grants for our non-profits like Mind Springs. If we continue to turn away grants, our taxpayer money will continue to go to the state and be used in other communities for their projects.”


“I believe it is time to bring Mesa County taxpayer money home to work for Mesa County residents,” Pugliese added.

Town hall meeting:
Tuesday, July 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Old Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave., public hearing room on the second floor.

Monday, July 9, 2018

July is Smart Irrigation Month


The Board of County Commissioners proclaims July as Smart Irrigation Month in Mesa County. From left, Commissioner John Justman, Katie Powell, Joe Burtard, Andrea Lopez, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, and Commissioner Scott McInnis.

To bring awareness to the many benefits of irrigation practices that improve water use efficiency and because water is a finite resource that is vital to all life, Mesa County Commissioners today proclaimed July 2018, as Smart Irrigation Month

Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape, turf and agricultural irrigation.

Munro Companies, Inc., Ute Water Conservancy District, City of Grand Junction, Clifton Water District, Redlands Water and Power, Orchard Mesa Irrigation, Grand Valley Water Users’ Association, CSU Extension, Drought Response Information Project (DRIP), and Mesa County celebrate Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers learn how to save water and see better results.

Friday, July 6, 2018

This Week in Pics


The Veteran's Memorial Fairgrounds Detention Pond project is a 30.2 acre-foot detention pond and park adjacent to the BMX track at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50. The detention pond increases the capacity of the Orchard Mesa Drain system, which was initially built and sized for agricultural tailwater drainage and is now undersized due to development in the area. Part of the detention pond includes the enhancement of a wetlands area (pictured above).

A stormwater detention area was recently added to the Veterans Memorial Park, which will help alleviate flooding in downstream areas of Orchard Mesa.

The Veteran's Memorial Fairgrounds Detention Pond project is in its final stages of completion. The new site includes park amenities such as walking trails, turf area for general recreation, park benches and landscaping. This project is partially funded by a $1 million grant from the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Sorter Construction started work on this project Oct. 25, 2017.

The new, expanded Intermountain Veterans Memorial Park is a 9.4-acre multipurpose lawn space at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
The Bosley Wash Detention Pond project sits near the base of Mt. Garfield. Bosley Wash extends from the rim of the Book Cliffs south to the Colorado River. Development within the wash is limited to the portion of the watershed south downstream of I-70. Last spring, Mesa County hosted an open house to share information on the intentions of the project and to gather citizen input from residents that live in the area.

Mesa County Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf points at where the detention pond will be located. “Mesa County applied for a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program grant in 2014 and was awarded the grant in December 2015,” Gudorf said. “Mesa County has been working with an engineering firm since spring 2016 to develop plans to construct a detention basin.”

Flooding from Bosley Wash occurs both upstream of I-70 overtopping or nearly overtopping the freeway, and downstream in developed residential and agricultural properties. The proposed project focuses on reducing the potential for losses in the community by reducing the flood risk and loss of life that is presented with the current drainage system. The Bosley Wash Detention Pond project is a high hazard dam, which will be 62.8 acre-feet.

The Bosley Wash Detention Pond project is located on 34 Road, north of I-70.  The project will consist of excavation and embankment of dam and privacy berm, construction of concrete spillway, block drop structures, stilling basin, and realignment of the 34 Road right-of-way. Mesa County received a grant from FEMA for this project that covers approximately 88 percent of the cost.

Crews mill near the bottom rim of the Book Cliffs and Mt. Garfield as they continue work on the Bosley Wash Detention Pond project. Detaining stormwater will help protect lives and property.

As dirt work gets underway for the Bosley Wash Detention Pond project, crews use a water truck to help with dust suppression and control. 

Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf catches up with Construction Manager Pete Mathes as he stops by the Bosley Wash project to make sure everything is going well and on schedule.

Flooding due to the Bosley Wash has affected properties between 34 and 35 roads. The project will help reduce the flood risk that happens with the current drainage system.

Mesa County Surveyor Patrick Green is serving his final term in office and presents one last time to Mesa County residents on the functions and responsibilities of his office.  

From left: Mesa County Road Supervisor Rudy Bevan, Engineering Director Scott Mai and Deputy Administrator Operations Pete Baier get ready to present to the 2018 Inside Mesa County class.

Pete Baier talks about some of the accomplishments of his departments for 2017. Road and Bridge put in place 2,100 tons of asphalt patch material. The landfill was awarded the 2017 Program Innovation Award from the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA) for being one of the first landfills to utilize waste latex paints in conjunction with the spray on slurry for alternative daily cover. Fleet maintained 638 units, which range from dump/plow trucks, police cruiser, pickup trucks, and dozers. Planning and Code Enforcement implemented a new permitting process. Building hired two new staff (1 Plans Examiner & 1 Building Inspector) to support the building community. Traffic maintained 16,940 signs and has already replaced 1,600 signs this year. The Grand Valley Transit made 793,031 passenger trips. Engineering completed Phase I and II of the Buckskin Hill project, and Public Works Administration oversaw 22 separate budgets and is managing over $8 million in active grants.

Mesa County Fair Ambassadors attended the Fourth of July Parade in Downtown Grand Junction to promote the fair. Admission to the Mesa County Fair is free this year!

Hundreds of people participated in the 2018 Downtown Grand Junction Independence Day Parade. Thank you to the men and women who serve and have served our country. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese asks for public comment


Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese

Mesa County constituents: I need your guidance, please. The Commissioners are considering a ballot question to exempt state grants from our TABOR cap, without increasing any taxes. As you know, I am a huge supporter of TABOR and want to protect it. But, capping state grants does not make sense to me. Federal grants are not capped so we can take as much federal money (with all of the strings!) as we can justify without limit. Most of our state grants are for infrastructure projects, so this actually grows the private sector; not county government, which should be limited. This would include pass-through grants for our non-profits like Mind Springs. If we continue to turn away grants, our taxpayer money will continue to go to the state and be used in other communities for their projects. I believe it is time to bring Mesa County taxpayer money home to work for Mesa County residents. But, I want to know: what do YOU think? Post or email me your thoughts: Rose.Pugliese@MesaCounty.us.

Thank you!

Rose Pugliese
Mesa County Commissioner
District 3

Thursday, June 28, 2018

This Week in Pics

Mesa County Department of Human Services staff members pause for a picture alongside the Board Mesa County Commissioners, Monday morning. The Commissioners proclaimed June 2018 as Adult Protection Awareness Month.

DHS Adult Services Director Grant Jackson accepts the Adult Protection Awareness Proclamation and tells the Mesa County Commissioners that raising awareness is a fundamental prevention strategy. The elderly and people with disabilities are vital members of families, communities, and society. Often, these residents are vulnerable to assault, burglary, fraud, abuse, neglect, exploitation and other crimes since they may not be able to provide their own care and protection.

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners highlights Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Reporter Gary Harmon in public hearing Monday morning for his fairness and dedication in sharing information about Mesa County government.

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Reporter Gary Harmon gets the inside scoop from Commissioner Scott McInnis.

Reporter Gary Harmon hits the gavel and adjourns the last public hearing he will be reporting on. Congratulations, Gary, and best of luck in your future endeavors.
This week the Board of Mesa County Commissioners met with the Daily Sentinel's Editorial Board to discuss a ballot question the Board is considering which would exempt state grants from our TABOR cap, without increasing any taxes.

Commissioner Pugliese told the editorial board, "As you know, I am a huge supporter of TABOR and want to protect it. But, capping state grants does not make sense to me. Federal grants are not capped so we can take as much federal money (with all of the strings!) as we can justify without limit. Most of our state grants are for infrastructure projects, so this actually grows the private sector; not county government, which should be limited. This would include pass-through grants for our non-profits like Mind Springs. If we continue to turn away grants, our taxpayer money will continue to go to the state and be used in other communities for their projects. I believe it is time to bring Mesa County taxpayer money home to work for Mesa County residents."
Mesa County Public Works leaders gave the commissioners and the county administrator a capital infrastructure and transportation project update Monday afternoon.

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis listens to a briefing from Rudy Bevan, road supervisor, regarding road work and chip seal. Over 50 percent of the chip seal project for this year has been completed.

Mesa County Fleet Supervisor Eric Brown gives the Board of County Commissioners an update on what his division is doing as well as a budget update. Their operating budget is $2,495,555.

A couple hours after having a minor surgery on his foot, Commissioner Scott McInnis is back into the office and ready to work.

On his way into the office, Commissioner McInnis spotted two tiny, hummingbirds in a nest next to the old Mesa County Courthouse. Fun fact: hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly both forward and backward.

The hummingbirds' nest is made mostly of spider webs. This is the second year that hummingbirds have come back to the nest.

Elections Coordinator Jesse Redmond works on Election Day, which was also his last day with Mesa County. Redmond has taken a position with a local non-profit. Best of luck, Jesse!

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila gets a very early start on the Election's Day workload! This is the first election where non-affiliated voters were able to vote in the primaries.

Clerk to the Board Lori Westermire, Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Division Director Jackie Campbell pause for a picture on Election Day, June 26.

Mesa County Recording staff Rose Tafoya and Kathrin Gardea pause from reviewing recorded documents for a picture. 

Mesa County Fairgrounds Manager Donna Redd and some of the 2018 Fair Ambassadors stopped by KAFM Radio to talk about the Mesa County Fair.   
Ambassadors are the face and voice of the Mesa County Fair. Don't forget, admission is free this year!
KREX News Channel 5 Reporter Colette Bordelon visits the Mesa County Landfill to report on the waste characterization study that is currently taking place for the Western Slope region.

Volunteers help sort through waste at the Mesa County Landfill to get a better understanding of what items are being discarded that can be diverted and re-purposed.

Adoption Supervisor, Dena Neujahr is retiring after 28 years with the Department of Human Services. Dena and Tracey Garchar share one more great story.

Child Welfare Director, Kari Daggett shares a memory about Dena during her retirement celebration on Tuesday.

Child Welfare Supervisors, Dena Neujahr, Hannah Webster, and Joni Bedell celebrate Dena's retirement Tuesday.

It was a great turn-out of co-workers to wish Dena a fond farewell. Best of luck Dena!
U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt made a presentation regarding Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Wednesday morning in Grand Junction.


U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt announces that Colorado counties will be awarded $40,144,620. Mesa County will receive $3.6 million.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman, center, and other neighboring counties' commissioners attend U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt's presentation regarding PILT. "This funding is just one more example of promises made and promises kept by the President and Secretary Zinke," Bernhardt said.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman, left, and Rio Blanco County Commissioner Jeff Rector talk to KKCO News Channel 11 Reporter Megan McNeil about the importance of PILT funds for western Colorado counties. See the interview, here.

Commissioner Justman tells Channel 11 News that the PILT program helps Mesa County provide services such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and fire protection, which are essential services to the public and to users of public lands.


U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt, left, and Commissioner John Justman.

Commissioner John Justman talks to KREX News Channel 5 Reporter Camila Barco and tells her, "In Mesa County, more than 70 percent of the land is managed by the federal government. The federal government owns approximately 28 percent of all land in the U.S., and these lands are not taxable by local governments. PILT helps to offset these losses in tax revenues and help communities provide essential services to federal employees and families, the public and users of public lands."