The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Delta and Montrose counties in Colorado as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. The designation follows a similar announcement for Mesa County.
Farmers and ranchers in the contiguous counties of Gunnison, Mesa, Ouray and San Miguel in Colorado also qualify for natural disaster assistance.
Farmers and ranchers in the contiguous counties of Grand and San Juan in Utah also qualify for natural disaster assistance.
Qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for the Farm Service Agency's (FSA's) emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration of April 26, 2018, to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster.
Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include: Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.