DEL NORTE— The Rio Grande County Board of County Commissioners addressed budget, road, and access issues on Nov. 14, 2018, and they scheduled five more meetings before the end of the year.
Although the board received no public comments from the empty room, Commissioner-Elect John Noffsker sat alone front and center to further familiarize himself with the proceedings before facing the audience himself in January.
Road and Bridge Manager Patrick Sullivan provided a detailed update of current, completed, and postponed projects, as well as work performed in concert with other road crews. Loggers working near Blowout Pass and Summitville coordinated efforts to groom the roads.
The paving project on CR 13 is complete, and speed limit signs will be in place soon. Sullivan said he has heard nothing but compliments from residents and trail users.
The road crew handled the first two snowfalls of the season without a glitch, leveraging data analysis from the department’s new truck. Sullivan also described how they modified newly purchased sander racks to improve loading and distribution.
Because road striping with latex paint requires slightly warmer temperatures, Sullivan explained that some stretches will be completed when conditions allow. Sullivan said they’ll spend the next two weeks planning projects, working on the CR 17 washboard and completing year-end purchases.
Two recent acquisitions, a wood chipper and spray tank, saved the county thousands of dollars, according to Sullivan. A portable asphalt spray tank with heater and circulation pump normally runs $25,000 new, but Sullivan picked up a used unit for $500. Having a portable tank also creates more options for using the department’s existing tank.
Board members also addressed road access issues concerning ownership changes for multiple adjacent lots. Property owners within a network of private plots share the road like pieces of a pie. When someone vacates from a cluster of plots, the percentage of road defined in the deed should be updated as an addition for adjacent property owners. The board agreed to meet again to further define an application process and appropriately update existing regulations.
Reporting on land use and building issues, Dixie Diltz and Randy Kern described growth and activity. In addition to the recently completed Rio Grande Hospital renovation, Kerns noted four new construction projects for houses throughout the county (Monte Vista, San Francisco Creek, and Willow Creek near South Fork). Total revenue for the year exceeds expenditures by roughly $4,000, enough to cover costs this year, Kern said.
County Administrator Roni Wisdom updated budget details and outlined meetings schedule for finalizing figures. Wisdom said she wants to avoid supplemental budget issues, hoping for checks and balances in all departments.
Board members agreed to a matching funds donation through a private donor for students at Adams State University and Trinidad State Junior College in Alamosa. The agreement runs through June 30, 2019, with private funding for six students ($500 apiece).
Wisdom noted changes to the board’s policy book, a thick document recently updated for credit card issues, accounts payable, payroll, cash receipts, and the line between RFP and procurement procedures.
Board members received Wesley O’Rourke’s resignation notice and are looking to fill the Planning Commission position for another 13 months. O’Rourke’s term expires in December 2019.
The board wedged a few meetings into the upcoming holiday season, starting with a public hearing to discuss the budget at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29. The monthly RGC BOCC meeting will take place on Dec. 5, and the commissioners will reconvene on Dec. 12 to finalize the budget. The end-of-year manager’s meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 19, followed by the regular meeting at 9 a.m. The commissioners will approve the supplemental budget on Dec. 28.