With the school district cancelling its board election, the only North Fork voters who will be receiving ballots this week will be Crawford residents.
The Delta County Clerk's Office reports that 285 ballots were mailed to Crawford residents, with a single question. The Town of Crawford is seeking to increase its mill levy to 7.42, an increase of 5 mills.
The proposed increase is projected to generate approximately $14,000 in additional revenue for the town, less than the other declines in revenue. According to the town, the increase to 7.42 mills from 2.42 mills brings it back to its level in 1996. It will increase the average property owner's annual tax by $53 (the actual amount depends on the property's assessed value). The town has experienced reduced mineral lease and severance tax revenue, which have dropped $26,692 from 2014 levels.
The town board, responding to questions at its Oct. 4 meeting, assured residents that no funds from the mill levy increase will fund or support a municipal court. A municipal court would have to be self-supporting. The town's proposed marijuana ordinance includes a provision to process complaints through district court.
Crawford voters have several options for returning their ballots. It can be returned by mail, using the return envelope accompanying the ballot. Beginning Oct. 16, ballots may be dropped off at the Crawford Town Hall, 425 Highway 92, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On election day, Nov. 7, the hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ballots may also be dropped off at 24-hour drop boxes available after Oct. 16 at the Delta County North Fork Annex, 196 W. Hotchkiss Avenue in Hotchkiss, and at the Delta County Courthouse, 501 Palmer Street in Delta.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.