BOCC Highlights June 4-July 10

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by Tara Walker

The Board of County Commissioners has been busy over the past month.

Veterans’ Office receives increase in grants
During the June 4 BOCC meeting, Veteran services officer Duane Daily explained that the Colorado Department of Military of Military and Veterans Affairs has approved a grant in the amount of $26,500 for Grand County Veteran services to help with the provision of mental health services, emergency assistance including housing, utilities, transportation, vehicle repair, medical needs and other needs. Veteran Services Officer Duane Daily told the BOCC that the grant represented a $6,000 increase and was happy to present the good news.

Hot Sulphur Springs update
During the same June 4 meeting, Hot Sulphur Springs gave a town update presented by Mayor Bob McVay. Mayor McVay explained that sales tax in Hot Sulphur Springs is up 11.9% and while the budget is small, he was happy that the town has a balanced budget without raising taxes for the 5th year in a row. Mayor McVay explained that the town received a GOCO grant for $153,876 that will go towards pioneer park improvement, tennis court repair, work on the disc golf course and new signage. He was also proud that Hot Sulphur Springs has the only free camp ground in the county and one of the last in Colorado.

Mcvay defended the free campground, “My argument for not charging is that there are families coming out of Denver that probably couldn’t afford a vacation and they come up here and go fishing and for me, that’s great. That’s one of the things I’ve fought for since I’ve been on the board. The cost of maintaining it would far outstrip the cost to hire someone to take care of it and collect the fees and manage the money.”

Shepton and Bumgarner appointed
During the June 26th meeting, The board appointed Kim Shepton as a District III Representative to the Grand County Planning Commission and appointed Gary Bumgarner as the unincorporated Grand County District III representative to the Grand County Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Advisory Committee. Both Shepton and Bumgarner are Kremmling residents. Shepton replaces Marcy Monnahan who recenlty took a part-time job at the Kremmling Fire Protection District and Bumgarner replaces Diana Matheson. Matheson and her husband Bill have sold their ranch and will be moving to Wyoming.

Short term rental fee increase
The board also approved short term rental fee increases on June 26 establishing a $25 per pillow fee despite many hours of public comment against raising fees. Commissioner Linke was against raising fees while Commissioner Manguso and Cimino were in favor. The annual “pillow fee” is paid at the time of application for an annual permit and is based on maximum number of occupants.

Fire Updates
During the July 10, BOCC meeting, Sheriff Brett Schroetlin gave a fire update explaining that he recommended staying in stage 2 fire restrictions since we are currently meeting 6 out of 7 criteria and he also recommended discussing shooting in the count

Schroetlin explained that currently the resolution doesn’t discuss anything regarding discharge of firearms, and that the shooting range is closed voluntarily but that his office has received a lot of questions regarding people shooting in the forest and what is allowed regarding shooting during the fire ban. The commissioners reiterated that tracers and tannerite and exploding targets are prohibited already, and those are the most likely to cause fire from shooting. Linke is not in favor of prohibiting shooting on private lands, but commissioners are open to discussions to help keep the public informed. All agreed to stay in Stage 2 fire restrictions.

The Stage 2 Fire Restrictions went in place on July 2 and are set to expire August 2nd. The restrictions prohibit open fires/burning (including outdoor campfires, fire pits, chimineas, BBQ pits, charcoal BBQ grills, wood pellet grills and stoves), outdoor smoking, operating an internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device, the use of welding equipment or torches with open flames, and prohibits the possession, use and sale of fireworks.

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