Friday, April 19, 2019

This Week in Pics

At Club 20's Spring Conference, Phil Vaughan, the Business Affairs Committee Chair, honored Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis (left) with the Club 20 Lifetime Emeritus Membership Award. Congratulations, Commissioner McInnis! Club 20 is a coalition of individuals, businesses, tribes and local governments in Colorado's 22 western counties. The group is organized for the purpose of speaking with a single unified voice on issues of mutual concern. Its activities include marketing and advertising, public education, promotion, meetings and events, and political action.
Commissioner Scott McInnis (right) was honored with the Club 20 Lifetime Emeritus Membership Award on Friday, April 12, 2019, by his long-time friend and Club 20's Business Affairs Committee Chair Phil Vaughan (left). Commissioner McInnis accepted the award alongside his wife, Lori McInnis. 
County Commissioners from across Colorado gathered in Rifle this week at the Energy & Environment Symposium—Oil and Gas Education for Local Government. Pictured above: Mesa County Commissioner John Justman (center right) stands alongside western Colorado commissioners.

Earlier this week, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) on the proposed revised definition of "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS). Earlier this year, the EPA and the Army Corps released the Trump Administration’s proposed new WOTUS rule defining which bodies of water are subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA), which is the second step in the process to review and replace the Obama Administration’s 2015 WOTUS rule. Read more at
When you respond to the census, you help your community get its fair share of federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Learn more at
In honor of National Telecommunicators Week, Sheriff Matt Lewis and deputies stopped by the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center Thursday afternoon to say, "Thank You!" The Mesa County Sheriff's Office could not do their jobs without the help of the many dedicated first responders! 
Belinda Knisley, the clerk to the board, got to be there when her daughter and soon to be son-in-law got their marriage license from the Recording Division.
Community members from Colorado Baby and RSVP joined Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility and RiversEdge West to help clean up trash and pull weeds at Clifton Nature Park to promote healthy landscapes for our the health of our community.

Participants learned about invasive plant species as well as other factors that can reduce the health and usefulness of our open spaces like litter and misuse of the parks while they pulled weeds and picked up trash to beautify the area and encourage native plant growth for wildlife habitat. 

Young participants help remove weeds at the Clifton Nature Park.

Colorado Baby, RSVP members, and Mesa County monitored the growth of the native plant species they transplanted at Clifton Nature Park last October—many of the flowers and grasses are showing signs of life and growth in their new locations!  

Teresa Nees with solid waste management hosted a Clifton Nature Park clean up this week. The event took place Wednesday morning, and it included a descriptive nature walk after picking up trash, pulling weeds and monitoring the growth of the native plants transplanted last fall.

A big thank you to everyone that participated in the Clifton Nature Park clean up. 

Mesa County Planning Commission Chairman Chip Page presented Christi Flynn a plaque for her 13 years of volunteer service on the Planning Commission Board. Christi strongly represented the ranching and agricultural interests of Mesa County during her tenure on board. 

Kathy Kinsey worked her last Planning Commission hearing Thursday evening. Kathy is retiring next week after 12 years with Mesa County Planning. Planning staff will really miss her and her laugh. Congratulations, Kathy!

Mesa County Development Engineer Dana Brosig completed her last week with Mesa County Planning. Next week she starts full-time with the Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office (RTPO). Planning staff wishes her well and know she will exceed in her new position. Congratulations, Dana! 
Mesa County Commissioner John Justman presents a letter of recognition to Joseph Claton "Clayte" Nichols' family members Friday morning at the Museum of the West, 462 Ute Ave.

On behalf of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners, Commissioner Justman recognizes Clayte Nichols as a true founding father of Mesa County. Approximately 25 Nichols family members from the Philippines, Australia and from across the United States gathered at the Museum of the West to accept the recognition.
Commissioner Justman honors the pioneering legacy of Clayte Nichols and his contributions as one of our local founding fathers.
The letter of recognition Commissioner Justman presented to the Nichols family states:" J. Clayton Nicols arrived at the confluence of the Gunnison and Grand Rivers in what is now Mesa County in September 1881. Mr. Nichols staked out the area's first ranch and built a cabin on the north bank of the Grand (n/k/a Colorado) River in the location of the Riverside Area of Grand Junction. Mr. Nichols and his companions had the foresight to recognize the potential for agriculture in this dry high desert region through the use of irrigation canals. Among the many examples of Mr. Nichols' contributions to the local community was his service on the Election Commission for the incorporation of the City of Grand Junction. "

Gary Brewer, a local historian, gives Clayte Nichols' descendants copies of the first plat of Grand Junction.
The miniature plats of the Town of Grand Junction include a picture of J. Clayton Nichols.  

Plat of the Town of Grand Junction.

Mesa County Commissioner and J. Clayton Nichols' family members gather for a picture.

J. Clayton Nichols's granddaughters were honored to accept a special recognition from the Board of Mesa County Commissioners and a proclamation from the Museums of Western Colorado honoring their grandfather as one of the founders of Mesa County.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Lunch Loop Connector Trail will be Wednesday, May 15 at 3 p.m. Be there!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

County comments on the proposed revised definition of Waters of the United States

Mesa County Commissioners sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) on the proposed revised definition of "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS).

Earlier this year, the EPA and the Army Corps released the Trump Administration’s proposed new WOTUS rule defining which bodies of water are subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA), which is the second step in the process to review and replace the Obama Administration’s 2015 WOTUS rule.

Mesa County Commissioners submitted comments and provided examples of how the proposed rule would impact county-owned infrastructure.

The Commissioners wrote: "Colorado, a headwater state, has an arid, high desert climate. As such, water, and the management and protection of water, is of utmost importance to Mesa County. The Board supports responsible land use planning that permits local, state, and federal partners both to work together and to identify and respond to issues with local solutions."

"We look forward to working together to create a new regulation that not only protects the future of an invaluable resource but also provides a clear, predictable rule for landowners and project managers," the Commissioners added.

To read the full letter, go here, or view it below.

Monday, April 15, 2019

This Week in Pics

All young children and their families deserve access to high-quality early education and care, which is why the Board of Mesa County Commissioners adopted a proclamation to focus attention on the needs of young children and their families by recognizing and drawing attention to multiple initiatives and programs in the Grand Valley intended to make children’s lives better. The Board proclaimed April as Month of the Young Child in Mesa County. Kirk Huddleston, center left, and Coreen Edwards, center right, owners of local childhood learning centers, accepted the proclamation in public hearing on April 8, 2019. Read more at

Road Supervisor Rudy Bevan and Engineering Technician Matt Nichols briefed the Board of County Commissioners on a contract for this year's overlay projects with United Companies of Mesa County. The item and public hearing video are available at

For the 9th year in a row, the Purple Team in the Economic Assistance Division of the Department of Human Services (DHS) has assembled Easter Baskets to be given to children served by Strive, as a fun and meaningful way to give back to our community. 

Here is a picture of the completed Easter Baskets which will be given to children served by Strive.

This year, media joined DHS to highlight the special event as the baskets were delivered to Doug Sorter, Vice President of Development at Strive, and several other appreciative staff. Watch the interview at

Thank you, Purple Team, for your contribution to children in need in the Grand Valley!
The coolest rabbit of them all—John Bauer. 
Grand Valley Transit (GVT) General Manager Valdon Lewis, Regional Transportation Planning Office (RTPO) Mobility Manager Sarah Brooks and Community Development & GVMPO Director Todd Hollenbeck attend the Dash kick-off event.

Various Dash partners spoke at the kick-off event. So what is Dash? It's a local shuttle that connects you for FREE between the Grand Junction Regional Airport, Horizon Drive, Colorado Mesa University, and Downtown Grand Junction. For more details, visit

Have you seen the Dash promo at your local downtown restaurants? Catch a FREE ride on The Dash every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4:15 pm – 12:15 am. Learn more at

Many Colorado Mesa University students from the marketing department participated in the Dash kick-off for class credit and did a variety of social media posts, including Snapchat and IG using #dashgj and #ridethedash.
Roice Hurst Humane Society showed their appreciation for the Mesa County Animal Services staff in honor of National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week. Roice Hurst works closely with Animal Services to promote animal and community health.

The parking lot on 29 Road adjacent to the Riverfront Trail is now open!​ 

The construction team, with Mesa County Road and Bridge, has helped reclaim the site at 29 Road to turn it into a parking lot providing better access to the trail along the river.
Residents can now enjoy free parking and easy access to the Riverfront Trail.

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden presented to the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce Mesa County Leadership Class Thursday morning on the internal operations and functions of local government.

During his presentation to the chamber class, County Administrator Frank Whidden discussed how the county is organized and ways community members can get involved in local government.

Mesa County GIS Administrator Ryan Davidson shared with class participants how Mesa County develops and manages its geographic information system.
Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein spoke to the Mesa County Leadership Class about the functions and responsibilities of his office and gave a brief agency update. Learn more about the DA's office at

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese gave a presentation to chamber class participants on the effects this legislative session will have on the county.

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis spoke to the chamber class about the projects he is working on.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman spoke to the class about the importance of diversity within the Board of Mesa County Commissioners. He mentioned his colleagues are both lawyers and he offers an important and different perspective due to his agriculture and farming background.

Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee spoke to the Mesa County Leadership Class about the appeals process. Learn more about the Assessor's Office at

Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner spoke to the Mesa County Leadership Class about her role as an elected official. She also reminded them that property taxes are due in full by April 30.

Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis shared with the Mesa County Leadership Classis that his agency is responsible for public safety in the 3,300 square miles of the county. They respond to 911 calls and conduct criminal investigations, and other duties, which include operating the Mesa County Detention Facility, providing security at the Mesa County Justice Center, search and rescue operations, emergency management, and wildland firefighting.
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters spoke to class participants about the various divisions she oversees within her office, i.e., Motor Vehicle, Elections and Recording

Mesa County Coroner Victor Yahn gave the class an overview of the responsibilities and functions of his office. The Coroner's Office is mandated by Colorado Revised Statutes and is a separate and independent organization, which conducts investigations into the cause and manner of a person’s death. Learn more at

Mesa County Workforce Center Director Curtis Englehart spoke to the Mesa County Leadership Class about current local economic indicators. 
Deputy Administrator of Operations Pete Baier highlighted Public Work's accomplishments for the previous year and presented an overview of infrastructure and road projects for 2019 to the class.
County Commissioners in Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, and Rio Blanco counties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Rifle, Colo., Thursday evening joining the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development and the Ouray and Uintah Utes in a newly formed advocacy group. The group, named Western States and Tribal Nations, was formed to collaborate on the development of domestic natural gas resources produced in the western United States, including Colorado and Utah, to export to international markets. Read more at
DHS Child Welfare staff planted pinwheels in front of the Community Services Building, 510 29 1/2 Road, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
Staff participated in the annual pinwheel planting in recognition of National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Call (970) 242-1211 to report abuse or neglect in Mesa County.
The Mesa County Treasurer's Office is now fully staffed! The Treasurer's office has not been fully staffed since about 2014. Pictured here from left to right: Bobbie Gross, Karen Reiher, Leah Hankins, Amy Bosse, Christine Horner, Sheila Reiner, and Jackie Campbell.
Since the recent news of mercury being brought to a local elementary school, Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility has accepted several bottles of the metal from residents cleaning out their households. Mercury is a very dense substance—the amount in these partially filled bottles weighs almost 10 pounds!

Teresa Nees with Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility carefully packs pure mercury and mercury-containing items like thermometers and thermostats into appropriate containers for shipment. These items will be sent to a facility for recycling, processing, or appropriate disposal.

The event will take place from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2019, and includes the opportunity for a descriptive nature walk after picking up trash, pulling a few weeds and monitoring the growth of the native plants we transplanted last fall!

Lambie is ready for the Mesa County Fair!