MONTROSE - Despite the short notification, Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap said the campaign visit by Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan went off without a hitch.
In a report to the Montrose Board of County Commissioners on Nov. 5, Dunlap said his office received notice only days before that Ryan would hold a campaign rally at the Black Canyon Jet Center on Friday, Nov. 2.
“We scrambled,” Dunlap said. “I would like to say that the [Montrose Police Department] and the sheriff’s office worked very well to make it all come together in very short order. It was [the Secret Service’s] show but we were responsible for putting together a security plan, and we coordinated efforts.
“Everything went very smoothly.”
All of the commissioners agreed with Dunlap in that the event was well attended and was a positive event for Montrose and Montrose County.
COMMISSIONERS WAIVE RESIDENTIAL IMPACT FEES
At its meeting on Nov. 5, the Montrose Board of County Commissioners unanimously agreed to once again suspend the county’s Residential Impact Fees next year in hopes it will continue to “encourage” rather than deter new home development in the county.
Before the resolution was passed, County Development and Planning Director, Steve White, said that the county has seen some success over the past few years by waiving the fee and that he’s heard from residents hoping that the commissioners would decide to waive it another year.
“The impact fees were originally adopted to collect funds specifically for Road and Bridge [Department], so when we have development that department gets funds to work on roads,” White said. “People who are apprehensive about building a home, any additional costs are a deterrent.”
In 2012 prior to that meeting, White said 24 new single-family homes were built. That number, he said, is an increase from previous years. If the county had collected the fees in 2012, it would have collected $73,000. However, White said, the county did garner $375,000 is use tax revenues last year and the building of those 24 homes made up more than half of that amount. In short, White said, encouraging new home building by waiving the Residential Impact Fee still brings in funds through the county’s use tax.
“It has been a positive thing over the last few years,” White said.
All three commissioners were supportive of waiving the fee from Jan.1-Dec. 31, 2013 and approved the motion unanimously. Commissioner Gary Ellis did stipulate in his motion that this is not to be confused with the word “stimulus,” which was used on the federal level in passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“I think it’s important that people understand that this commission recognizes that for some folks this is a particular challenge financially,” Ellis said in making his motion. “It is an effort to…not to use the word stimulus – I’m not going to buy into this nonsense about ARRA – but encourage the opportunity to construct new homes. We feel this is appropriate.”
Commissioner David White agreed.
“I am fully supportive of this,” David White said. “We are doing our part to encourage economic development in the construction industry.”
GOVERNOR’S APPOINTMENT DISMAYS COMMISSIONERS
The Montrose Board of County Commissioners were dismayed to find out at their Nov. 5 meeting that Gov. John Hickenlooper had already appointed former Energy Fuels, Inc. Chief Executive Officer George Glasier as a trustee of the Uravan Trust.
Before the commissioners that day was an agenda item that would ratify a letter to the governor requesting the appointment of John Reams. That letter had been sent to the governor’s office four days prior to the meeting. The day after the letter was sent, the county was notified that Hickenlooper had already made the appointment.
The Uravan Trust was created with a consent decree under the Uravan superfund cleanup, and as part of that, there were water rights held by Union Metals Corporation, rights that were subsequently given to the trust. Since former Uravan Trust trustee and county commissioner Leo Large died in 2009, the seat on the trust has been vacant. The county had planned to request Reams be appointed to the seat until the commissioners found out that it had been already been filled.
While the commissioners didn’t express concerns about Glasier himself, they did express concerns about being left out of the selection process.
“I am somewhat offended, although I’m not sure if that’s the right word,” Commissioner Gary Ellis said. “The situation was inappropriate in the way it was done. It circumvented the process that we may have been involved in.”
Since the letter requesting Reams appointment had already been sent, the commissioners ultimately ratified it, despite what had occurred.
“Having expressed a righteous indignation, I will accept that,” Ellis concluded of the motion to ratify.
2013 BUDGET HEARINGS SCHEDULED
Montrose County’s 2013 budget review meetings will be held on Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Dec. 4, both starting at 6 p.m. at Friendship Hall in the Pioneer Room.
These meetings will give the public and media an opportunity to review the county's budget and to get questions answered by the Montrose Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and Finance Director.
The Dec. 4 meeting will also include the annual public hearing on the County’s 1 percent Sales and Use Tax and the 0.75 percent Public Safety Improvement Sales Tax. Per county resolutions, the county must hold an annual public hearing on the previous year’s use of proceeds and plans for the expenditures the following year.
The budget is scheduled to be adopted on Friday, Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. during a special meeting of the commissioners in their meeting room located at 161 S. Townsend Ave. Per state statue the final budget must be adopted by Dec. 15 and presented to the state by Jan. 31, 2013.