Representatives from Delta County and municipalities in Delta County met for their fall municipal quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 21, at Cedaredge's Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center, joined by representatives from other nonprofit organizations which provide services to the residents of the county and its municipalities.
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) representatives presented information on two state ballot questions, Proposition 109 and Proposition 110. On Prop 110 40 percent of the additional tax revenue would be returned to local governments for transportation projects. Details of Prop 109 and Prop 110 are in the Blue Book, which has been mailed to registered voters.
Elyse Casselberry, county community and economic development director, reported that the county's Master Plan has been updated, adopted by the planning commission and ratified by the county commissioners.
Two working groups, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and Oil and Gas Group, will wrap up their recommendations within the next few weeks.
School superintendent Caryn Gibson and finance director Jim Ventrello discussed the possibility of a bond issue or mill levy override to address funding for transportation needs.
All the school buses, bought in 2004, are paid for; however, Ventrello said all the buses are requiring major repairs at the same time. New buses will cost $90,000 to $100,000 each, with the activity buses costing $110,000 each.
A high priority for the school district is school safety, and deferred maintenance on the district's 25-plus buildings, all built about the same time, will run about $30-to-$40 million.
Similar budgetary concerns were expressed by representatives of the Delta County Library District.
"We are all fighting our separate battles and the public has no idea," said Laura Earley, president of the Delta County Library board of trustees.
Casselberry stepped up to call attention to the value of coordinated messaging, "in collectively working together to educate our community about the challenges facing all of us, and the consequences if those challenges are not met. The final decision on Gallagher may make it more challenging for all of us."
Casselberry said the ambulance district spent two full years of conversation with the community before going to the ballot. With cost of services increasing, there is the need to start now to prepare to take the conversation about financial challenges countywide. She will pull together a group with assistance from Darnell Place-Wise.
The meeting continued with updates from all municipalities in Delta County, as well as the hospital, Delta County Economic Development, Region 10 and All Points Transit.
Hotchkiss will host the winter municipal quarterly.