Tuesday, November 19, 2019

County Offices Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Most Mesa County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

This two-day closure includes:
Administration, Assessor, County Commissioners, County Attorney, Financial Services, Human Resources, IT, Surveyor, Treasurer (544 Rood Ave.)
Clerk & Recorder: Elections, Clerk to the Board, Recording (200 S. Spruce St.) Motor Vehicle (all locations)
Department of Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road)
Facilities and Fairgrounds (2785 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Public Health (510 29 1/2 Road)
Public Works, Building, and Planning (971 Coffman Road & 200 S. Spruce St.)
Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. 6th St.)
Sheriff’s Office: Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice St.)
Solid Waste Campus: Compost Facility, Hazardous Waste Facility & Transfer Stations (3071 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Tri-River Area CSU Extension (2775 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road)

These offices will be closed Thursday and open Friday:
Animal Services (971A Coffman Road near Whitewater) will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
District Attorney's Office and the Justice Center (125 N. Spruce St.)
Grand Valley Transit fixed and paratransit services (525 S. 6th St.)
Mesa County Landfill (3071 U.S. Hwy. 50)

The closure does NOT include:
Coroner's Office
Criminal Justice Services (all locations)
Sheriff's Office: jail, patrol, emergency services (215 Rice St.)

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! County offices will resume regular business hours Monday, Dec. 2. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

GVT Offers Holiday Shopping Service with Free Ride Saturdays

Free Ride Saturdays: Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14, & Dec. 21

Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office (RTPO) and Grand Valley Transit (GVT) would like to take some of the stress out of holiday shopping this season and encourage people to shop local by offering Free Ride Saturdays.  All Mesa County residents and visitors can ride GVT fixed-route all day Saturday for four consecutive Saturdays, starting Nov. 30 through Dec. 21.

Free Ride Saturdays will kick off on Nov. 30, which is also Small Business Saturday, encouraging shoppers to support local businesses in Fruita, Palisade, and Grand Junction.  Parking is often limited during local holiday events.

Mesa County RTPO is encouraging everyone to skip the hassle of finding parking on Dec. 7, during Olde Fashioned Christmas in Palisade, or at the Parade of Lights in Downtown Grand Junction.

GVT will also take passengers to Fruita on Dec. 14, for the annual Home Town Christmas event, which features a craft fair during the day and the parade in the evening.  Finally, for all those last-minute gifts, Free Ride Saturdays will also be available on Dec. 21.

Sometimes the weather and traffic can also make holiday shopping a challenge, with Free Ride Saturdays, GVT hopes to help the community save a little money, help those with limited transportation, and allow riders to enjoy the holidays a little more this year.

Free Ride Saturdays will be available on GVT fixed-route on Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14, and Dec. 21. 

For more information on the Free Ride Saturdays promotion or Grand Valley Transit services, contact Sarah Brooks at 970-244-1830 or by email sarah.brooks@mesacounty.us.

Friday, November 15, 2019

This Week in Pics

On Wednesday, Nov 13, Mesa County News celebrated 10 years of information sharing on Facebook aimed at fostering transparent and open government.
Sometimes we all just need a helping hand. This little girl was lost, so Mesa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Bouton walked her safely home. Thank you, Deputy Bouton!

On Friday, Nov. 8, a hiker called 911 to report their dog, Tucker, was trapped down a deep crevice in the Rabbit Valley Area.

Lower Valley Fire Protection District, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and Mesa County Search and Rescue Technical Ropes Team responded to an emergency call to rescue Tucker, a black Labrador, who was stuck in a deep crevice in the Rabbit Valley Area.
Thanks to the coordinated efforts of Lower Valley Fire Protection District, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and Mesa County Search and Rescue Technical Ropes Team, Tucker was safely rescued. Great job, everyone!
Tucker, the lab who was stuck 20-feet down a crevice in Rabbit Valley, is safe and sound. 
Mesa County Public Health Employees learn about HMC Connects, a workplace wellness program designed to encourage active lifestyles and a healthy work-life balance.

Mesa County Executive Director, Jeff Kuhr, talks to KKCO 11 News about an important cross-sector partnership at MCPH, one with Roice Hurst Humane Society. The story was first printed in The Daily Sentinel, “If we can provide services that they want for their animals, then we've all of a sudden taken some stress off of them, and we offer them something for themselves."

Mesa County Commissioners, along with other county officials, check into the Mesa County Detention Facility to conduct an inspection.
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese (right) kicks off the annual jail inspection by putting it into the record. The entire tour was recorded by Clerk to the Board Belinda Knisley. County Commissioners are required by state statute to tour the facility once a year.

Lieutenant Pacheco led the commissioners and other county officials on the jail tour, which also included lunch prepared by inmate workers.

Mesa County Commissioners John Justman and Rose Pugliese have lunch at the Mesa County Detention Facility after completing a statutory inspection. The jail had an average daily population of 545 for October. To view the current population, visit https://apps.mesacounty.us/JailPopulation/.
Mesa County Commissioners, other county officials, and members of the media look to an area of the Mesa County Detention Facility where a possible expansion may happen.   
Thank you for your service, Veterans! Don't forget, during November, all veterans and active-duty military can ride the Grand Valley Transit (GVT) fixed-route for free. Present a government-issued ID or discharge papers when boarding the bus.
On Nov. 5, personnel from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and Mesa County inspected the Palisade Plunge Trail from the Forest Service/BLM boundary at MP 18.24, all the way to the pinch point near MP 23.26.
Mesa County Project Inspector Josh Springer (right), along with members of the BLM and CPW, inspect technical areas of the Palisade Plunge Trail, where a lot of rock work has been completed.
Various government agencies leading efforts on the Palisade Plunge talk with the hand crews to get an update on the progress of the trail.
Progress continues on the Palisade Plunge Trail. To date, a total of 7.59 miles of trail have been completed, along with a total of 0.61 miles of rough-cut trail.
Many warning signs have been placed reminding people that the Palisade Plunge Trail is under construction and is not open yet.
From left to right: Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Gini Pingenot, Legislative Director for Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI), and Colorado Colorado State Representative, for House District 55, Janice Rich, pause for a picture after discussing top priority legislative issues for 2020.
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese (right) stands alongside with CCI Executive Director John Swartout and Representative Janice Rich Thursday morning. Swartout is responsible for CCI’s board of directors and for executing existing CCI policies and programs, recommending and developing new organization policies and programs supervising staff members, and managing and coordinating activities and operations.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Assessor's Office hosted their 2nd Annual Soup Off. Proceeds from the competition were donated to the winner's charity of choice. Twelve different types of soups were entered. Deputy Assessor Brent Goff (left), alongside many county employees partake in the judging process.
Appraiser David Metzger talks about the variety of delicious soups that were entered into the 2nd Annual Soup Off. The winning soup was No. 9, a White Chicken Chili, made by Tierney Page—her charity of choice was The House. The second-place winner was No. 1, a Vegetarian Potato Soup made by Janell Hutton. And, the third-place winner was No. 3, a Chicken Wild Rice Soup made by Shirley Shaw.

Please obey all traffic control signs and use caution while traveling near work zones.
Western Implement is giving away $6,000 to a local 4-H club, vote for CSU Extension Mesa County 4-H at http://4h.westernimplement.com/. Your vote can impact kids in our community. Voting closes Dec. 18, 2019.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

County Celebrates 10th Facebook Anniversary


THANK YOU for your continued interest and willingness to know what is going on around Mesa County.

Today, we celebrate 10 years of information sharing on Facebook aimed at fostering transparent and open government.

Please continue to stay on top of all the latest information from your Mesa County government!

Thank you again for your willingness to learn more about your local government.

Friday, November 8, 2019

This Week in Pics

The Mesa County Workforce Center was recognized for its workforce development achievements over the past year at the ACT Workforce Summit in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, along with 48 other participating ACT Work Ready Communities. Employment Specialist/Job Profiler's Michael Smith (center) and Victor Carreras (left) accepted the honor.

On Election Day, Nov. 5, all hands were on deck. Mesa County Elections staff members and volunteers worked together to run the 2019 Coordinated Election. Here are the unofficial results: https://bit.ly/2K3moGN. Pictured here from left to right: Angelica Jestrovich, Cindy Nelson, Shana Martin, Jessica Empson, Adriana Murrieta-Barcelo Becky White, and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters. 

Election Judges process ballots on the evening of Nov. 5.
Election judges, from different political affiliations, retrieve ballots from a 24-hour drop box on Election Day.
This week Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Patrol Deputy Brian Prunty was promoted to Sergeant. Congratulations, Sergeant Prunty!

MCSO Detentions Deputy Norris Erkman was promoted to Sergeant this week. Congratulations, Sergeant Erkman!

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office participated in a photo project aimed at humanizing first responders. Here is Deputy Jennifer Keyes under the night sky in Clifton. View more "I'm a Police Officer" photos and stories here https://www.facebook.com/iamapoliceofficer/.

Take a close look at this photo—it's not just of wildland firefighters, but also of  Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies! Not only does the MCSO fight crime, but they also fight wildfires! One of the eight statutory functions of a Sheriff's Office in Colorado is fighting wildland fires. Several MCSO deputies are trained to fight wildland fires and are part of the Sheriff's Office Wildland Fire Team. Learn more at https://sheriff.mesacounty.us/…/special…/wildland-fire-team/.

This week the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Union Pacific Railroad, began a project to provide a long-term solution to recurring crime and safety issues in one Clifton neighborhood. The project is focusing on an area between 32 ½ Road and 33 ½ Road adjacent to the railroad tracks south of F Road.    

Inside nearly a mile stretch of thick brush and overgrown trees is years of piled-up trash, human waste, and hazardous materials. In addition to the health concerns, the dry vegetation and illegal camping in the area pose a significant fire danger. One neighborhood, in particular, has homes that back up to this area of concern. Deputies have responded to reports of fires being started by people camping illegally. Additionally, deputies have identified some people who trespass in this area as the source of recurring crime and safety concerns at businesses in nearby Peach Tree Shopping Center. Those concerns include trespassing, public urination, and aggressive behavior.

The first part of the project is the removal of trash and hazardous materials. Restoration One, a professional cleaning and restoration company, began the work Tuesday. Once the hazardous waste is removed, fire mitigation efforts will begin. The brush will be removed, and overgrown trees will be cut back to significantly reduce the risk of fire in the area. It will also discourage future illegal use of the area. By cleaning up these areas and connecting people with services, deputies hope to reduce criminal activity in the area and ultimately make it a safer place to live and do business.

Code Compliance Officer Greg St. Martin presents to community partners the outcome of the Neighborhood Clean-up, a cleanup pilot program that tackled a one-square-mile area from 32 Road to 33 Road and D Road to E Road.
The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed November 2019, as National Adoption Awareness Month in Mesa County. The Board urged residents to celebrate adoption and to honor families that grow through the adoption process. Director of Child Welfare Joe Kellerby (at podium), Kim Espindola, Adoption Supervisor, and Kinsee Dixon, an adoptive parent, accepted the proclamation.
The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed November 2019, as National Family Caregivers Month in Mesa County. Single Entry Point Manager Dyann Walt (at podium), Adult Services Supervisor Cheryl Brown, and Dana Bogue, a family caregiver, and her family accepted the National Family Caregivers Month presented by the Board of Mesa County Commissioners in public hearing Monday morning.
On Monday, Nov. 4, John Mok-Lamme (center), Karis, Inc. Executive Director, alongside volunteers Teresa Nees (left) and Abram Herman (right), accepted the Homeless and Runaway Youth Awareness Month proclamation presented by the Board of Mesa County Commissioners.
The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed November 2019, as Random Acts of Kindness Month in Mesa County in public hearing on Monday, Nov. 4.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Mesa County Commissioners listened to extensive public testimony on the Marasco Family Farm Rezone. The rezoning of approximately AFT 58 acres of land to RSF-E (Residential Single Family-Estate) passed on a 2-1 vote. Watch what happened during the Land Use Hearing at https://bit.ly/2Ctg5rz.
The new trail in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area of Fruita is explicitly designed to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read more https://bit.ly/2qE3fnD.
The Mesa County Tax Lein Sale is complete! Treasurer Sheila Reiner wrote the following:  "I would like to publicly thank the Treasurer's staff for a job well done.  For most of us on this team this was our first time conducting a tax sale.  We fielded a good number of questions, and as we worked through the questions that came our way, we all grew our knowledge base. County employees are not allowed to participate in the tax sale, but next year if you know someone who is interested in making an investment, bidding will open in October of 2020. Investors get 1% interest per month currently.  If the homeowner redeems the tax lien, the investor gets their money back plus interest.  If the homeowner doesn't redeem the lien in the next 4 years or longer, then the investor can apply for a Treasurer's Deed and gain ownership of the property. In 2019, we worked on some proactive communications and collections.  This resulted in an improved performance measure.  We advertised 20% less properties in comparison to 2018 AND made $18,000.00 more in premium bids."  

The Mesa County Employee Association (MCEA) Autumn Shoppe included the 14th Annual Employee Craft Fair, and 2nd Annual MCEA Cookie Harvest Contest on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Employees from various agencies stopped by the Autumn Shoppe, hosted at the Mesa County Workforce Center, 512 29 1/2 Road. A variety of local vendors had great holiday gifts available.

The 2nd Annual MCEA Cookie Harvest Contest featured a variety of homemade cookies, which were sold to help fund MCEA employee-focused events.
County employees entered into the contest for a chance to win a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a cookie baking set, or baking sheets. Cookie Judge Sarah Robinson displays the prizes.

MCEA President Heidi Belatti kicks off the 2nd Annual MCEA Cookie Harvest Contest and gives judges instructions on how to rank and score the 25 different types of cookies they will be judging.

Kate Lima, with the Department of Human Services, took first place of the Cookie Harvest Contest with her delicious Raspberry Almond Thumbprints made with homemade raspberry preserves.
Criminal Justice Services Department (CJSD) Blast Team, an employee activity group, hosted a sandwich bar on Nov. 6 over the lunch hour. Employees from all CJSD divisions had an opportunity to come together for a meal to discuss projects and upcoming training opportunities.
CJSD Case Manager Natalie Flynn talks about the importance of departments coming together to strengthen communication, foster teambuilding, and share agency updates and training.
On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Mesa County Planning hosted an open house to discuss updates to the Land Development Code (LDC) with residents. The open house was hosted in the Mesa County Central Services Lobby, 200 S. Spruce St. The updates aim to modernize Mesa County Land Codes and to provide a more user-friendly document that combines various ordinances and code standards to avoid redundancy.

Mesa County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) hosted a joint open house to share future plans with residents along US Highway 6, as part of the Clifton Access Control Plan. The public meeting was hosted, Nov. 6, from 4:30- 7:30 p.m. at the Clifton Hall, 126 2nd St.

Clifton Fire Protection District Charles Balke and residents listen as Deputy Public Works Director Scott Mai (left) shares information about the intention of the Clifton Access Control Plan.

Mesa County Traffic Engineer Sean Yeates (right) talks to residents about why 33 3/8 Road in Clifton needs to be reconfigured for road safety issues. 
Mesa County officials including Greg St. Martin, Sid Martinez, Amber Swasey, Sarah Johnson, and Megan Terlecky alongside The Colorado Trust leadership Jose Chavez and Tera Wick, talked to several Clifton residents at a community meeting Thursday night to discuss the Neighborhood Clean-up, which took place Monday, Oct. 7 through Wednesday Oct. 8, 2019.
Clifton residents attended a community meeting hosted by Mesa County and The Colorado Trust on Nov. 7 to share priorities, opinions on the Neighborhood Clean-up event. The pilot program was a success.

Mesa County Code Compliance Officers Sid Martinez (left) and Greg St. Martin write thank you cards to those who participated in the cleanup pilot project in Clifton last month.

The 22 Rd J.9 Bridge Replacement Project is now underway, 22 Road is closed from J Road to K Road until April 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience the construction may cause. With everyone’s cooperation and patience, the project will progress on time. Read more at https://bit.ly/2PVO7ge.
All veterans and active-duty military can ride GVT fixed-route free throughout November, all they have to do is present their government-issued ID or discharge papers to the driver when boarding the bus.

Motor Vehicle Lead Trainer Matt Vigil, a Marine Veteran, will be honoring other Veterans this weekend and will be celebrating among other Marines the United States Marine Corps Birthday, which is on Sunday, Nov. 10. Thank you for your service, Matt!

In honor of Veterans Day, many Mesa County offices will be closed on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. This one-day closure does not include the Coroner’s Office, Criminal Justice Services, Mesa County Landfill, or emergency functions of the Sheriff’s Office. Animal Services will be open from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Thank you, Veterans, we are grateful for your service and sacrifice.