By Lisa Young
Delta County Commissioners reviewed and tentatively approved One Delta County’s final draft proposal presented by Elyse Casselberry, community and economic development director, during their July 1 meeting.
“One Delta County has been meeting with each of the municipalities over the last several weeks presenting this IGA (Intergovernmental Agreement), we’ve had work sessions with all municipalities and over the course of those meetings the last two weeks, everybody that has reviewed has approved it,” Casselberry said.
The towns of Cedaredge, Orchard City, Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford have signed on while Delta city officials are set to review the IGA during their meeting on July 7.
Commissioners were asked to approve the IGA which will fund the $65,994 salary for the new One Delta County project manager position. Casselberry said in addition to the IGA, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will need to be in place by mid to late July that will establish the working relationship between the project manager and the One Delta County Board of Directors.
“The intent is that the project manager will be employed by the county and report to the county. One Delta County will be responsible for the work plan who will be responsible for implementing. Today’s agreement really sets the whole process in motion and gets us rolling towards getting One Delta County up and going over the course of this next month,” said Casselberry.
While commissioners showed unanimous support of One Delta County, they voted to approve the IGA with one condition.
“I think the entities involved are ready for the change in economic development. They see it as an opportunity to step forward,” Commissioner Don Suppes said, prior to making the motion that county approval would have to be a conditional approval based upon the approval of Delta city officials.
In more meeting news, commissioners unanimously approved the release of fire mitigation funds on the behalf of two local fire districts during their July 1 regular meeting.
Delta County Fire District One in Delta requested the release of just under $21,000 to purchase approximately one acre of land to construct a substation to be located in Peach Valley at F Road and Pansy Road. A second substation is in the works for California Mesa.
A letter from Delta County Fire District One board of directors dated May 15 states that the “request is due to the lack of adequate fire hydrants in rural areas of the district.”
The proposed substations are expected to provide better service to customers in the area and potentially drive down fire insurance for property owners. The substations will eliminate the need to install costly fire hydrants while providing “4,000 gallons of water on wheels.”
“I think this is a good use of those funds,” said Suppes. “The original plan was to put in fire hydrants, but we’ve had this discussion many times that that is a difficult detail. I think the idea of annex stations out there would probably be more beneficial than probably hydrants.”
Following suit, Delta County Fire District Two out of Paonia requested the release of $6,500 in fire mitigation funds to install a water fill station and fire hydrant.
Mike Byers, fire chief, said he is currently receiving bids to add a new 6-inch water line to the back of the fire station which will support both a new hydrant and fill station.
“This request being made would allow us to refill the trucks in a more controlled environment, rather than on the main streets of Paonia,” said Byers in a letter to the commissioners, adding that the new hydrant would be used to train new firefighters at the station.
“I think this again is a good use of funds,” said Chairman Mark Roeber. “ I can see why they would want their own refill as opposed to trying to use the one the town has.”
Commissioners heard lengthy testimony to vacate a 60-foot public utility easement at the Bluebird Subdivision. Representatives of the Smuggler Hunter Trust (SMT) claimed the easement, among other issues, was a hindrance to the sellers of Lot 4. The lot has subsequently sold and after hearing testimony from both sides, commissioners denied the vacation request.
“We’ve seen this quite a little bit dealing with the subdivision process last year,” said Suppes, “ This plat was signed by Ms. Aley in September of last year so ... I don’t think that if it was good enough then that we can’t go willy-nilly changing plats because a property owner decides we should have done that a little bit different.”
Suppes stated further that the 60-foot access was in the county’s code and is required. He also said he was concerned about discussing a property without the property owner (Lot 4) being able to participate.