Friday, April 24, 2020

Week 31 of the Palisade Plunge Trail

Crews continue to wage war on the bedrock sections, which continue to hinder significant progress on the Palisade Plunge Trail. With picks, shovels, and demo hammers, they pour their blood, sweat, and tears into each foot of trail gained.

Significant progress is made on this portion of the Palisade Plunge after a challenging notch in the cliff band.

Approximately 550 feet of new trail has been completed since the last update, which doesn’t leave them much farther to go. Every tenth of a mile in the right direction is still considered progress through this challenging section.

Demo hammers are the only big earth movers that can make it up here.

This progress leaves the crew at approximately milepost 27.96. Crews are looking forward to getting through this tougher bedrock and back to the type of progress that was previously being made.

Some spots require crew members to chisel through two inches of bedrock, and in other places, it can be up to two feet.

To date, a total of about 12.86 miles of finished trail has been completed. A total of approximately 0.23 miles of rough-cut trail is left to be hand-finished.

It’s hard to tell what’s concealed under the loose chips of shale. 

This leaves about 4.17 miles to go before completion of Phase 1 of the trail. Phase 2 will begin this year as weather permits.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Mesa County Requests Authority to Reopen

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners sent a letter to Governor Polis this morning requesting authorization to implement a local plan to reopen.

The three-phased plan focuses on restoring the balance between health and our local economy in the manner and time frame that best meets the needs of our community.

View the letter here.
Review the draft plan to reopen here.

Commissioners Write to Gov. Polis on Western Slope Memory Care Lease

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners today sent a letter to Governor Polis regarding the Western Slope Memory Care Center lease.

The letter states:

"The Mesa County Board of Commissioners submits this letter to express our concerns regarding the recent lease the Colorado state Unified Command Group (UCG) completed on the Western Slope Memory Care (WSMC) Facility aimed at serving as an alternative care facility should there be a surge in critical COVID-19 cases in western Colorado, which we found out about via press release.

As of today, in Mesa County, we have 35 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 32 recovered, 748 negative tests, and two hospitalizations. Mesa County is not experiencing a hospital bed surge. In fact, we are experiencing more of a financial crisis. Please spend funds wisely; duplicating efforts and overspending is not what we need during these uncertain times.  

The UCG in collaboration with the Colorado Hospital Association, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, without local input, selected WSMC as an alternative care site to be repurposed to provide medical care for COVID-19 patients who have stabilized in-hospital and no longer require critical care in our region. 

As an alternative care site, WSMC will accept up to 50 regional patients who are being transferred from hospitals and health care facilities.   

Mesa County is not opposed to making plans to increase capacity in case of a COVID-19 surge; however, we are disappointed with the massive lack of communication and coordination that has happened. Not properly notifying our community or stakeholders is unacceptable. Mesa County has been denied the opportunity to have proper planning time to mitigate and to keep our community safe and informed.  

We urge UCG to coordinate with local governments and hospitals before deciding what is best for our communities. Please instead support local hospitals and their needs before creating new facilities and processes. It is critical that coordination and funds for capacity happen at the local level. We should be part of the conversation and planning process in the best interest of our community.

Furthermore, completely ignoring the fact that counties and cities are on the front line when it comes to providing services to the citizens across the state is simply disturbing. If the state is planning to place patients from outside of our community into a local facility, the state should be financially responsible for funding personal protective equipment (PPE), medical costs, and any additional impacts to our local community and economy.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our concerns. We respectfully request to have a seat at the table when decisions are made that affect and impact the health and safety of our residents."


Board Comments on CARES Act Funding

This morning, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners submitted a letter to Governor Polis regarding Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) ACT funding.

The letter states:

"The Mesa County Board of Commissioners submits this letter to express our disbelief and frustration with the apparent lack of communication and coordination with rural communities across Colorado.

On Friday, April 17, 2020, we received news and it is our understanding that allegedly your administration will use the state and local government portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) ACT funding, almost $1.7 billion, to balance the state’s budget and make no distribution to local governments under 500,000 population as Congress intended.

We are beyond disappointed at the administration’s intent to take federal economic relief intended to help our communities recover.

Please coordinate with local, rural governments before deciding what is best for our communities. 
Completely ignoring the fact that counties and cities are on the front line when it comes to providing services to the citizens across the state is simply unacceptable.

We urge you to give rural communities the funds Congress has provided to help mitigate the effect, and the impact COVID-19 has had on the health and welfare of our citizens."