Scott Armentrout, the newly appointed supervisor for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests, is quickly bringing himself up to speed on the forests' most pressing issues, but when it comes to the construction of a new supervisor's office he's in the same boat as everyone else — wait and see.
A native of Iowa, Armentrout has a B.S. in wildlife science from Oregon State University.
He has served in various positions across the West, and worked in Washington, D.C., as assistant national wildlife program manager. He and his wife Lisa have two children and are excited about being back in the Rocky Mountains.
The Forest Service is viewed as an "economic driver" in the region so there is a lot of support to keep the $5 million local payroll in the immediate vicinity. In addition, the Forest Service injects over $2 million annually into the area through the purchase of local goods and services.
Delta County Economic Development is moving forward to secure land for the new office building and equipment storage facility which will be built on a pie-shaped piece of property just south of Delta-Montrose Technical College. The two facilities will share access and, possibly in the future, some type of housing unit. Delta County, the City of Delta, the Town of Olathe and Uncompahgre Development are also project partners.
"I'm excited about getting the project underway," Armentrout said. "Ideally we will build on that new piece of land. If not, we'll be going out for bid on a leased facility." Either way, the new facility must be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified for green building design and energy efficient operations.
Delta has been home to a USFS supervisor's office since 1906. The building at 2250 S. Highway 50, which has been occupied since 1982, no longer meets GSA requirements, and extensive renovation would be needed to bring it up to LEED standards.
By the end of the year, Delta foresters hope to move the new building from a conceptual stage to final design. That design can then be used for a government-owned facility, if funding is approved by Congress, or by a private party which would then lease the building to the Forest Service.
Armentrout said a two-year funding cycle has been proposed, with $4.7 million the first year and $3.4 million the second. Phase I will be the office building and supporting infrastructure. Phase II will be a warehouse, storage yard and parking areas for equipment.
The soonest the funding will come for the project is FY2014, said Tom Condos, a USFS employee who has been heavily involved in the project. Due to the history of appropriations bills passed by Congress it is more likely funds will be available for award April 2014. Proposed construction will begin after contract advertisement in 2014.
Funding is contingent upon the appropriations subcommittee and inclusion into the president's budget for FY14, Condos added.blog comments powered by Disqus