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County caseloads at record level

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The county's human services department reports that its caseloads for medical assistance (Medicaid) and food assistance (food stamps) "have continued to increase and are currently at record levels for the county."

The report, delivered to the Board of County Commissioners last week, continues to explain: "There has been an increase in medical assistance cases every month over the past four years while food assistance cases tend to fluctuate and have, at least over the past two to three years, increased during the summer months and then start to decrease in early fall."

Comparative figures for the department's medical assistance caseload as of June 17 showed 5,600 compared with 5,597 a month earlier and 5,288 one year earlier.

The county's food assistance caseload stood at 2,016 on June 17 compared with 1,991 the previous month and 1,889 a year earlier. "Since July of 2015, our food assistance caseload has averaged an approximate 1950 cases per month," states the report."

Nationally, participation on the food stamp program is at seven-year lows, according to an Internet news report. Quoting U.S. Department of Agriculture figures there are 42.6 million food stamp recipients this year. That is the lowest number since 2010 when 40.3 million people participated in the program. The highest year was 2013 when 47.6 million people participated.

Both the medical and food assistance programs are 100 percent funded with federal and/or state dollars, although the county bears costs for administering the programs locally.

In other business at the July 17 regular meeting, the county commissioners dealt with the following business:

• The jail census report for July 10 showed 48 inmates in the jail and seven in the work release building for a total of 55. The average daily inmate population for the week was 60.62.

The jail report for July 17 showed 46 in the jail and five in work release totaling 51. The average daily inmate population for the week was 57.7

• Commissioners dealt with two planning matters.

A sketch plan received approval for the Brimstone Cabin subdivision, owner Richard McPherson, representatives Ted and Carolyn Luark.

Also, the final plat for the Guadarrama subdivision, owner John Guadarrama, representative Curtis Smelser, was approved.

• Commissioners agreed to allow the auditing firm an extension "not to exceed" 60 days to complete the county's 2016 audit.

• Commissioners approved bills payable of $142,483 from June 24 through June 30, and $1.04 million in June payroll.

• Commissioners adopted a resolution "authorizing the submission of a Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative grant application for the Delta County Nature Connection project." The grant request seeks money to fund outdoor activities for youth.

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