Delta County Board of Commissioners Bruce Hovde, chair, Mark Roeber and Doug Atchley, convening in their role as the Board of Equalization for property tax assessments, heard three petitions for adjustments to county assessor's tax assessments on Aug. 1.
Hearing officer Allen Black had made recommendations to the commissioners regarding the three properties.
Black recommended acceptance of the petition of Bill Bettis, R009340, reducing the assessor's value of $112,500 to Bettis' requested value of $80,000. The parcel is classified as vacant land. Commissioners accepted Black's recommendation.
Safeway, Inc., P808502, petitioned regarding personal property, requesting a decrease in the assessor's valuation of $685,005 to Safeway, Inc.'s requested value of $146,797. Black stated the assessor's value was established in accordance with state statutes and the petition should be denied. Commissioners denied the petition.
On Black's recommendation, the commissioners denied the petition of David Dobbins, R004220, to lower the assessor's valuation of $57,264 to the petitioner's requested value of $38,034, stating the value was established in accordance with state statutes. The property is classified as agricultural land and improvements.
Delta County Libraries. At the request of the libraries' board of trustees, commissioners approved a change in status for Katherine Gnauck, who is resigning as Hotchkiss area representative and becoming ex-officio representative on the board of trustees. Her term ends July 31, 2017.
Ruth Pettigrew was appointed to complete Gnauck's term as Hotchkiss area representative. Pettigrew's term will extend through Jan. 31, 2020.
Acceptance of Bids. Hellman Motor Company of Delta was awarded the low bid in the amount of $35,805 for a 2017 Ford F-250, 4x4, regular cab pickup truck for District 3. The price is within the budgeted amount. The only other bid was from John Elway Chevrolet in Englewood.
Bids were received for the round trip cost for each roll-off receptacle for trash from the North Fork Transfer Station. Low bid of $150 per round trip was awarded to Annaed's Roll-Off, LLC in Montrose. The higher bidder was Roberts Enterprises.
Treasurer's Quarterly Report. In her role as public trustee, treasurer Lisa Tafoya, reported statistics for the quarter ending June 30, 2016, including 277 releases of deeds of trust, 18 foreclosure starts -- eight in April, six in May and four in June -- and one redemption underway.
From a list of 22 manufactured homes, one 8x35-foot property was reclassified as "coach" and removed from the property tax rolls. Tafoya said 50 percent of the mobile homes have been moved and may have been totally removed from the county. Her staff can find nothing on county records relating to the moved properties.
Tafoya identified a total tax sum of $21,957.23 on real and personal properties for which there is no chance of collection. The amount includes taxes, interest and fees. The treasurer's office was successful in receiving 10 percent of what was owed.
Commissioners passed Resolution 2016-030 approving the cancellation of uncollectible property taxes.
Planning Department. Planning director Kelly Yeager presented the request of Connie and Vern Frost to divide a 35-acre parcel into three separate parcels. All three parcels have existing access off Green Valley Road. Land use will not change; the parcel will continue as a ranch. The purpose for subdividing is to deed parcels to family members.
The division was approved.
Jail Report. Commissioner Hovde gave the jail report: in the jail, 41 males, 11 females, one inmate from Delta Correctional Center, for a total of 53 inmates in the jail. There are 12 inmates in the work release center, for a total of 65 inmates.
Recognition of Sheriff's Deputy. Commissioners read a memo from Sheriff Fred McKee to Deputy Daniel Abeyta thanking Abeyta for "taking the 'service' of 'protect and serve' seriously and lending a hand to those in need."
Commissioner Atchley had observed Abeyta's assistance one night to a motorist whose vehicle had been disabled when a serpentine belt broke. He had small children in the vehicle. Abeyta took the driver into town to pick up a new serpentine belt, and brought the driver back to his vehicle so that he could get his family back on the road.
Commissioner Atchley and a neighbor held lights for him while the driver completed the repairs and got back on the road.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.