Board of County
—August 16, 2017
SAN ISABEL, Colorado
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started at noon with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Minutes from July 31, August 1, and August 2 were approved.
Becky VanWinkle from Wetmore requested support in her battle to get Centurylink to provide better landline service in her area. She recently was interviewed by KOAA television regarding Wetmore residents not having landlines that are reliable in bad weather – causing emergency notifications to go unheard. After discussion, the commissioners agreed to put a petition on the county website for people to sign.
Bill Braudt of Wetmore came to request help getting paid back for damage done to his road by the big equipment using his property during the Junkins fire. While he expressed no regret having them use his property as a staging area – though they did not ask permission (he was evacuated) – he has been hearing “the check’s in the mail” since before the first of the year. Sheriff Byerly pointed out that Rob Canterbury had a crop destroyed by staging on his property during the Duckett fire eight years ago and still has not seen any reimbursement.
Commissioner Hood is looking into solutions for locking and unlocking the doors of the courthouse. Apparently, it is an ongoing issue, especially since changing the hours that the courthouse is open. She is working with Chuck Ippolito on the hardware for the open media project to get streaming video of the commissioner meetings. (She has said that she will be paying for the hardware from her special fund.) She got an answer regarding the use of Underfunded Courthouse funds for a new judicial center: It will require a new application and a new project. But if approved, the $140K grant money could be rolled into it. Neither of the other two commissioners was interested in going to the CCI Mountain District meeting on the 24th in Summit County. Mrs. Hood may attend.
Regarding the Building Codes: Mrs. Hood said she’s still getting comments from people who were not in attendance at the two meetings that were held for public comment. She is exploring sending out a mail survey to all land owners in unincorporated Custer County to get their input. She stated that she wanted to do “her due diligence to be a voice for all of our citizens, not just a few of our citizens.” Jackie Hobby stated that the survey option had been tried years ago and, even with the possible reward of $100 groceries, her office did not get many surveys back. She also wondered about the cost of such an endeavor. It is unclear if Mrs. Hood wanted input back in time to put the item on the ballot – the cutoff date for that option is September 8th. The topic has been moved to the BOCC meeting on August 31st.
Commissioner Printz stated that the voice was pretty clear from the two meetings and he wants the issue to go to the ballot in November. Regarding the Wetmore Community Center – there are still a few outstanding issues that he is working on. He also said he’d gotten a call from a man who had property that strattles Custer and Huerfano Counties. The man expressed interest in annexing the Huerfano piece to Custer County. Jackie Hobby and Clint Smith explained to Printz that the process was very cumbersome and that it wasn’t something the Board could do – it has to be done at the state level.
Commissioner Kattnig reported on the meeting the Board had with the DA’s office in Salida. Regarding the building codes, he stated that he knew there were people in the public meetings that chose not to speak, but he’s of the feeling that “we ought to get on with it and be done.” He believes that he can make a decision in the meeting on the 31st. Next he reported on the continued closure of South Hardscrabble Pass. The road is washed out completely in several places after the recent rains and flooding. Cindy Howard (OEM) spoke up and thinks the road will likely be closed for three more years at least.
Attorney Smith had a lengthy discourse regarding coverage in the Sentinel of the legalities of executive sessions. SEE page x of this issue. When he was finished speaking, the three commissioners applauded. No one in the audience joined in. Mr. Kattnig stated his appreciation for Smith and stated that Clint had “always given us correct information.”
Clerk Kelley Camper noted that the shredder in the courthouse is showing its age and she was seeking approval for a mobile shredder to come and shred boxes of documents that are currently in the basement. The cost will be $1,000. She also wanted to use the monthly service provided by this mobile shredder service. They will put a secure container in the courthouse and pick up and shred quarterly. The cost for this service is $39/month.
Mr. Printz wants to make sure a meeting is scheduled with Ben Lenth from San Isabel Land Protection Trust. San Isabel has proposed the possibility of taking over as weeks manager for the county. As they discussed a time to meet with Lenth, Mr. Kattnig complained about the number of meetings they were having – “six meetings in four days.” Mr. Printz countered “that’s what we get paid for.” (Note, these two men spend a good deal of meeting time sniping at each other. It is embarrassing to watch.)
Mr. Printz brought the ongoing issue of the hangar at the airport still needing to be fixed. At a recent meeting, Kevin Taylor (who was in the audience) volunteered to do the work if the county would pay for the materials. Printz stated that the materials from Ace would be $161.64. After discussion, the board said that Mr. Taylor should continue and that the materials would be paid for. Mrs. Hood did not verify if Mr. Taylor is insured or bonded – he is not. (Note: perhaps people volunteering to do work for the county are not under the same scrutiny as contract labor. Mrs. Hood?) Mr. Kattnig vehemently stated that the airport needed to take this out of their budget.
Mr. Kattnig reported that the money from the Upper Arkansas for weed control had been expended but also stated that we don’t have a tremendous weed crisis this year. Several in the audience expressed surprise at that statement.
Cindy Howard – Office of Emergency Management – brought the COCO grant which is for $338K with a $14K in kind match – to the Board. This grant will be used to clean up prioritized properties with debris, foundations and septics from the 2012 fire. There was some disagreement about moving forward with this grant from Mr. Kattnig. Ms. Howard seemed a bit taken aback at the tone of his questions and objections. She will get the final contract for the attorney and Board to evaluate.
Mrs. Hood brought up the GOCO grant the Board had discussed for playground equipment at the Wetmore Community Center. Mr. Printz said that the consensus from the WCC people was that they’d like to have it, but they don’t have a lot of kids in the community and they didn’t want it to cost the county more money. Since there is a $4,500 match for that grant, the decision was made to not move forward at this time.
Rusty Christensen – from the Landfill – brought in bids for used trucks that he has found, and said these were still very pricey and had many miles on them. A new truck could be purchased for just under $40K. He has $14K in his budget. Mrs. Hood suggested that Rusty speak with Dawna Hobby about the options to finance using that $14 as a down payment.
The Hermit Bridge project was discussed with Jimmie Hayson and Atencio Engineering. The problems with taking federal funds for the project were evident. Mr. Hayson stated that Hermit Road might have to be closed for up to 60 days. That was unacceptable to the Board. More options are being evaluated as the window for getting this done with DOLA funds narrows.
While Gary Hyde and Roger Squire from Road & Bridge were present, they updated the Board on the mowing of weeds. Apparently their mower had been broken and this process is a month and a half behind schedule. Mr. Kattnig instructed them to “get it done.”
Mrs. Hood had to leave the meeting for another engagement.
Jackie Hobby – Planning and Zoning Director – had multiple items to bring before the Board. The first was a subdivision waiver in Montgomery Tracts. After she explained the process to Mr. Printz, and some discussion, the board passed the waiver.
Next was a subdivision waiver for Jane McCarty in the ongoing endeavor to clean up lot lines and combine parcels in the Lake Deweese area. The board then waived the fee for a building permit for the Wetmore Community Church. The Board denied a chemical toilet variance on an accessory structure. Ms. Hobby then brought up a case where neighbors complained about a burned out structure on neighboring property. The Board did not have authority to take any action on this item.
Finally, the application for storage units near the Shadow Ridge subdivision (which is in the confines of Westcliffe) was discussed. The Planning Commission has already approved the application but Hobby wanted one further stipulation inserted by the Board to protect the Shadow Ridge subdivision from trucks going to the units on their roads. The Board agreed and the stipulation will be written and added.
The meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.