At the Orchard City Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 14 Heather Darbe, training and outreach coordinator from The Center of Mental Health, made a presentation on a new suicide prevention task-force. She commented that suicide rates are high on the Western Slope. Many never seek help. As an example, she cited that agriculture has the highest suicide rate per occupation.
In response, the center has formed coalitions to educate and provide resources for those struggling with mental health. Its hope is to see a decrease in suicide rates over the coming years.
The approach is community oriented, focusing on engaging community members to be proactive about reducing the stigma associated with discussing mental health and suicide with family and friends. Additionally, volunteer peers with 26 hours of suicide prevention training are available for conversation and connection using their own experiences relating to suicide, suicide loss, rough times or everyday stress that can lead someone to think about suicide.
One citizen asked what success there could be in terms of prevention.
While there is no data yet, the hope is to see what does and doesn't work for reducing the stigma and encouraging open discussion of suicide and suicide prevention.
Trustee Craig Fuller asked about the center 's means of funding. Darbe clarified that the center is a nonprofit fund- ed through various means such as grants. She also encouraged more people in Delta County to participate in the task force and suicide prevention. For resources, service and information Darbe recommended emailing joinsuicide firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citizen Tim Hinz approached the board with a rhetorical question to stir thought. "Is it time to reevaluate what we want Orchard City to look like going for- ward?" he asked. The question was a response to trustee conversations over the past month regarding tiny homes, town planning and the nuisance ordinance.
Turning to business matters, the ordinance restricting cultivation and possession of marijuana plants to 12 per household was approved. Then Mayor Ken Volgamore proclaimed November 2018 as Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Regarding fence permits, the trustees decided to set fees for fences higher than six feet in a tier of $50, $75 and $100 depending on the linear square feet needed. Previous articles reporting the fence permits incorrectly stated the fees applied to fences taller than eight feet.
The public hearing and final adoption Elevate's franchise agreement is scheduled Dec. 18. The town is adopting a three percent franchise fee.
The Delirious Liquors' license renewal was approved unanimously. Mayor Ken Volgamore reported that hope- fully next work session the trustees will resume discussion on a nuisance ordinance.
Before adjourning the meeting, Trustee Doug Keller encouraged the board to share more information with the citizens. Essentially he wishes to see the information the trustees have in their packets -- such as finance reports, photos, etc. -- projected onto the screen during meetings
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.