Friday, September 14, 2018

This Week in Pics

Sept. 9 - 15, 2018, was designated as National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week by the Mesa County Commissioners during Monday's hearing. A proclamation was presented to celebrate and recognize professionals, family members, friends and the community at-large who provide support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping them to create productive and satisfying lives, and to live as independently as possible.

The Board of Commissioners proclaimed September 2018 as Workforce Development Month in Mesa County. The proclamation states: "The Board recognizes the Mesa County Workforce Center, Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Mesa County Library, Western Colorado Community College, Colorado Mesa University, School District 51, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and CareerWise, as vital partners working together to provide stable and sustainable employment to Mesa County citizens."
Commissioner John Justman attends a meet-and-greet hosted by the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) for Lockheed Martin, an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company.

From left to right: Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Stu Taylor (Pembina Senior Vice President), Steve Soychak (Landman Energy Management Program Director at CMU), Diane Schwenke (President and Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce) and Coos County Commissioner John Sweet. Soychack gave a briefing on energy development and production processes.   

Steve Soychak (right) talks to Coos County Commissioner John Sweet about the abundance of natural resources in western Colorado.
Commissioner Rose Pugliese and Betsey Bair, regional director for the United States Senator Cory Gardner, pause for a picture before a meeting on natural gas resources gets underway.

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, federal administration, Mesa County Commissioners Pugliese and Justman and other community leaders met Tuesday afternoon to discuss Jordan Cove, a liquefied natural gas export project.

County commissioners from Garfield, Mesa and Rio Blanco counties, and a county commissioner from Coos County, Oregon, join federal officials at Colorado Mesa University in a roundtable discussion regarding the potential benefits of the Jordan Cove project.

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, left, talks about the ability to export natural gas to allies, which would create an opportunity to provide geopolitical security. He referenced Taiwan as an example. 

 Jordan Cove project roundtable attendees discussions center around economic recovery for rural Coos County and western Colorado counties that have been struggling financially for quite some time.

From left to right: Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Department for Land and Minerals Management Joe Balash, Senior Advisor of the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department Melissa Simpson, and Mesa County Commissioner John Justman at the Jordan Cover project roundtable at Colorado Mesa Univerity Tuesday afternoon.

Mesa County Commissioners along with the representatives from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Economic Partnership, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, and federal administration representatives aboard a Colorado Mesa University bus that will take them to a local drilling rig site.

Commissioner Rose Pugliese (center) has a laugh with U.S. Senator Cory Gardner on the local drilling rig tour.

Elected officials and energy staff listen to a presentation on the local drilling rig tour.

Road and bridge crews test a new product in Glade Park for dust control.

Here is what the road looks like after the application of Earthbind. The product can be used as a dust suppressant as well a stabilizer for roads that are going to be chip sealed. 

The Road and Bridge construction team are working on reclaiming the 29 Road parking to create better access to the river trail from 29 Road. Once reclamation is complete the parking lot will be open to the public. 
The Veteran's Memorial Fairgrounds Detention Pond project is now complete. 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.
Commissioner Rose Pugliese talks to the Young Professionals Network of Mesa County Wednesday afternoon about what it takes to run for office. YPNMC is a sub-group of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.

Commissioner Rose Pugliese speaks to young professionals about the responsibility of being a commissioner and gives an update on the projects and legislation she is working on.

The Department of Human Service hosted a team building session in the park for the TANF Eligibility teams and Case Management team.
Observing Patriot Day MCDHS staff wore red, white and blue. Amy Joy & Sierra Conlon from Fraud and Recovery share a photo moment.

Kiiara Moore Child Welfare started her day in red, white & blue in honor of Patriot Day. 

Solid Waste Director Barret Jensen takes a sample of compost and places it in a one-gallon bag over ice and sends it to get tested at a soil control lab for standard testing assurance approval and certification. 

The construction of a leachate holding pond and construction of a landfill cell at the Mesa County Solid Waste Management Campus is now complete. The 5.08-acre waste disposal cell is waiting for approval from the state for waste placement.

Residents are invited to an informal open house Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Fruita Rec Center, 324 N. Coulson St., to talk about the plans to replace the bridge on 16 Road. The open house aims to share information regarding the project and gather citizen input.

Mesa County Search and Rescue look for a hunter that went missing after she got separated from her husband when they went looking for an elk. The 55-year-old female from Louisiana was found safe after spending the night in the Uncompahgre National Forest. The lost hunter said when she realized she was lost she decided to stay put and wait for help. She had water and a flashlight with her. She told rescue crews that she never lost hope she would be found.

A Rural Area Deputy gives a briefing to Lt. Eric Sperber (left), Emergency Manager Andy Martsolf (blue shirt) and Sgt. Marco Montez (right) about the missing hunter.
Over 30 members from Mesa County Search and Rescue scoured the Uncompahgre Plateau for the missing hunter. Searcher are part of the Ground Team, the ATV team, the K-9 Team, Communications Team, Century Link helicopter, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Gateway Fire Protection District. The operation was overseen by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office as Search & Rescue is a legislative obligation of County Sheriffs in Colorado.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Clifton Nature Park Clean-Up with Colorado Baby

Join us in maintaining and creating healthy landscapes to live and play by participating in the clean-up of Clifton Nature Park!

The event will take place from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, and includes the opportunity for a descriptive nature walk after planting native grasses and maybe pulling a few weeds and picking up trash along the way.

Make sure you pack sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, and water. We recommend you wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes. We will have some gloves available, but if you have a favorite pair— please bring them along!

Meet at the Clifton Nature Park parking lot, which is located on the south side of D Road between 32 1/4 and 32 1/2 roads, next door to Clifton Sanitation District.

This Clifton Nature Park clean-up is sponsored by Mesa County, RiversEdge West, Clifton Sanitation District and Colorado Baby!  All ages welcome!

For more information about the event please visit:
Healthy Mesa County blog or contact Teresa at (970)255-7121 or

TV Translators Moved to New Frequencies

Residents that watch TV using an antenna must take action and rescan their TV or converter box to ensure that they continue to receive local TV stations.
Mesa County has finalized mandated upgrades by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to its television translator equipment. As a result, antenna TV viewers may need to do a rescan to find new local channels.

TV translators relay Grand Junction TV stations into rural communities that are unable to receive local TV signals directly and do not have access to cable services. This service is provided to keep residents informed in the event of an emergency.

Mesa County TV translators were moved to new frequencies, which means residents that watch TV using an antenna must take action and rescan their TV or converter box to ensure that they continue to receive local TV stations. (Rescanning is when a TV finds all of the available channels in the area.)

View a list of new channel lineups at

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Open House to Dicuss16 Road Bridge Replacement

Residents are invited to an informal open house Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Fruita Rec Center, 324 N. Coulson St., to talk about the plans to replace the bridge on 16 Road.

The open house aims to share information regarding the project and gather citizen input.

Friday, September 7, 2018

This Week in Pics

Live, Work, Play in Mesa County.

Connie Phelps, with fleet management, has been keeping busy trying to figure out strategies to stay within budget as fuel prices continue to rise. 

Fleet Management maintains approximately 638 vehicle and equipment assets to support the various services provided by Mesa County's departments, divisions and offices.

A dump truck gets serviced at the fleet shop Thursday morning.

Fleet Supervisor Eric Brown (right) and Paul Popish inspecting brakes. 

Paul Popish talks about the maintenance required for vehicles that end up getting corroded from the mag chloride that is used on roads during the winter. 

Darla Krummel manages and keeps parts in stock for fleet.

A new vehicle for the Sheriff's Office is being modified into a patrol unit.  

Vehicles take up to two weeks to be brought up to standards before they can be used on the streets by patrol deputies.  

A Legend: The evolution of the Sheriff's Office vehicles.   

Fleet Management members found about 15 scorpions in the shop this week. 
Animal Services Officer Royce and her new work partner, a bearded dragon.

Public Works construction crew on a V-pan drainage project, on South Pond Lane. 

The construction crew cut the road and poured a V-pan to help with drainage issues that were causing the street to flood. 

Mesa County Road and Bridge personnel have been assisting with the Bull Draw Fire by hauling water.

Water is being hauled by Mesa County crews to locations that are closer to the fire so that the wildfire brush trucks can spend more time at the actual fire. The fire remains at 30,580 acres and is 60 percent contained.

The Bull Draw Fire has transitioned to a Type 4 organization, for more information follow the Bull Draw Facebook page ( or call GMUG Fire Information Line at (970) 874-6602.

Quarterly, the Western Slope VFW Post 3981 recognizes a Mesa County Sheriff's Deputy for his /her service to the community. This week, Deputy Dave Wiltgen was recognized for his outstanding service.

Congratulations, Deputy Dave Wiltgen, for your hard work and dedication!
County Administrator Frank Whidden, Clerk Sheila Reiner and Brian Williams attend an Election Preparedness for Infrastructure and Cybersecurity (EPIC) workshop sponsored by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

County Administrator Frank Whidden takes on the role of public information officer (PIO) at the EPIC training and answers questions from the media. 

Exercise Only: County Administrator Frank Whidden fields media inquiries about the new system being hacked and the effects on voter registration.

U.S. Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen thanks all the attendees for their participation and willingness to learn about cybersecurity this week in Denver.

Project Update: This week, a concrete slab was poured for new spillway for the Bosley Wash Detention Basin project.

Crews backfill a new concrete box culvert at the sediment basin for the Bosley Wash Detention project.

Construction on 31 Road, which leads to the Mesa County Landfill, got underway Aug. 3 and is expected to be completed by the end of October. All vehicles accessing the campus at 3071 US Highway 50 are being routed to Hookless Boulevard. Message boards have been posted on Highway 50 to alert motorist about the detour.
The Mesa County Landfill will experience minor traffic delays due to a 90-day road reconstruction project on 31 Road. Residents should anticipate longer wait times during construction and are encouraged to limit the number of trips they take to the landfill during the duration of the project. Construction on 31 Road is scheduled to be completed by the end of October.

Improvements to 31 Road will include intersection reconstruction by increasing the length of the road’s vertical curve. The project will also add a right-turn lane, traffic islands with guardrails, and fence relocation, which will aid in visibility and sight distances for traffic traveling over the hill into the entrance of the Mesa County Composting Facility.

So far, the hill on 31 Road has been cut by 6-feet to help with visibility when traveling on 31 Road to and from the Composting Facility.

One of the many events during Workforce Development Week was a luncheon in the Business Center where the keynote speaker, Colorado State Demographer Elizabeth Garner, spoke about the changes in the aging population and how that impacts businesses.

Great turnout from the business community for the Workforce Week Luncheon. 

Mesa County Commissioners and key staff, along with local federal representatives, recently met to discuss the Travel Management Plan with Katie Stevens, Bureau of Land Management Field Manager.

Commissioner Rose Pugliese, right, gets an update from federal officials and staff regarding the status of the BLM's Travel Management Plan.

Construction crews pave new driveway approaches for the State Highway 340 Sidewalk Project.

SH340 Sidewalk Project is nearly complete, final touches include installation of fencing and reseeding of the slopes behind the sidewalk.

Fall has arrived! Well, at least on the Grand Mesa. Leaves are starting to turn. 

This picture and the one above were taken by a deputy on the Grand Mesa. The photos taken were Thursday afternoon just a couple of miles apart.