District #2 county commissioner Bruce Hovde brought some advice to the Orchard City Town Board during a report he gave on Dec. 14: If any of you is planning to run for the state Legislature, he said, "It would behoove you to buy skis."
He was referring to the Dec. 12 decision by the state Supreme Court giving final approval for a new state Legislature redistricting scheme. It places Orchard City and Surface Creek Valley, along with the entire eastern two-thirds of Delta County, in House District #61.
There, the rural, agricultural, and mining based economy of Delta County will share its Legislative representation with the Central Rockies resort communities and ski areas of Breckenridge, Aspen, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Snowmass, and Crested Butte.
The agricultural east part of Delta County has for many years shared Legislative representation with other ag areas on the Western Slope, including Montrose County. Hovde explained that he had testified before the state Reapportionment Commission advising that the district's traditional agricultural alignments be retained.
The county also sent letters about the reapportionment scheme, and the Reapportionment Commission had agreed.But in the end, the state's Supreme Court and partisan legislature rejected the county's advice and approved the new districts.
The new redistricting scheme is the result of changes made every ten years following the national census. "This will be in effect for the next ten years," Hovde said.
The Orchard City trustees received Hovde's report with little comment, except for Mayor Don Suppes who remarked, "Having the coal mines in with the ski resorts shows just how the Democrats in the Legislature wanted it to go."
Hovde also gave a report on the county budget for 2012 that commissioners have adopted. Projected spending for the county will be more than seven percent lower than was projected in the 2011 budget. However, actual county spending for 2011 was less than the originally budgeted figure.
The county continues to spend from its cash reserve funds, Hovde said. However, the general fund and the road and bridge fund have been able to maintain adequate reserve levels.
This will be the fourth year that county employees have gone without raises, or "wage adjustments" as they are called. However, there are no employee unpaid furlough days in the 2012 budget.
Hovde concluded his budget report with a view of the local economic situation saying, "There is a dark cloud hanging over the economy of Delta County."
Hovde was also asked to give an update on the Hartland Dam reconstruction project. He reported the work is proceeding on schedule and is still on track for timely completion before irrigation season begins.blog comments powered by Disqus