SEARCH FOR NEW MOFFAT COUNTY ATTORNEY CONTINUES
The Moffat County Commissioners have yet to decide who will take the place of County Attorney Jeremy Snow when he leaves at the end of the month. The commissioners had 2 candidates, and were ready to vote yesterday, when they were informed one of the candidates had withdrawn their application. In the spirit of competition, the commissioners will advertise for the position again, this time using different avenues to attract a wider variety of applicants. The commissioners are not feeling rushed, as they have lawyers they can contract with, in the event that no one is hired before Snow leaves. His last day is June 1st.
ROAD CREWS TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE DUST
The Moffat County Commissioners are letting residents know that they are working on reducing the dust on as many County Roads as they can. Roads are extremely dry for this time of year, due to a lack of winter moisture. Road and Bridge crews are hoping for more rain this spring, but have already started treating some roads with magnesium chloride. The commissioners also wanted to assure the public they are not spending their time and money on unused roads. While citizens have expressed concern about a paving overlay project on Moffat County Road 4 in the northwest portion of the county, the commissioners say the road is heavily used by industry, and noted the companies out there pay about a third of the tax revenue collected in the county.
CONSTRUCTION ON NEW HOWELSON SKI JUMP UNDERWAY
Construction of the new HS45 Year Round Ski Jump at Howelson Hill is underway. The project is part of an effort to bring better training facilities to the communities youth skiers. It is also expected to attract world class athletes from around the world to train in Steamboat. The jump is being paid for through grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Rotary Club, The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation Recreation Fund, Colorado Group Realty Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, and the Kettering Family Foundation, as well as City matching funds and several private donations. While the construction is underway, the trails at Howelson will be open for hiking and biking, but users may need to use alternate routes in some cases.
COMSTOCK RECOGNIZED FOR SERVICE WITH CLUB 20
Moffat County Natural Resources Director Jeff Comstock was praised yesterday for his work as Club 20′s chair. Club 20 wrote a thank-you letter to the Moffat County Commissioners, which was read aloud at yesterday’s weekly Commissioners meeting. In the letter Club 20 acknowledged Comstock’s primary occupation and thanked the commissioners for giving him the freedom to do both jobs. Comstock recently ended his two year term as the head of the organization, which lobbies Congress on behalf of Colorado’s Western Slope. Comstock was at yesterday’s meeting and said he was pleasantly surprised by the letter.
YVEA TO RETURN OVER $7 MILLION TO CUSTOMERS
Yampa Valley Electric Association will return over $7 million in capital credits to members and former members of the cooperative. Last month the YVEA Board approved the retirement of capital credits to members accounts in 1997 and 1998, which will be in the form of a check mailed to members in early June. YVEA is a member cooperative, which means they are not profit driven. Board members consider the financial standing of the cooperative before returning money. This year’s return is the largest in YVEA history, the previous record being $3.2 million 2 years ago. Return amounts are based on electric usage by each customer.
MEEKER PREPARES FOR “SUMMERFEST” LATER THIS MONTH
Organizers in Meeker are getting ready for their Summerfest 2012. The event will feature live music, food, vendor booths, and activities, such as a dunk tank, inflatables and more. There will be two live bands; one from Denver, the other from Grand Junction. Organizers ask that everyone bring at least one non-perishable food item, which will be given to the Meeker Food Bank. The event takes place May 25th at the new 4-H Extension Center on Sulphur Creek Road. Tickets are &7 at the door, with special pricing for certain students. Vendor booth space is still available. If you’d like to know more, call the Meeker Chamber at 878-5510.
FORMER WYOMING TRAP CLUB PRESIDENT ARRESTED FOR FUND MISMANAGEMENT
The former board president of the Sweetwater County Trap Club has been arrested on charges he misappropriated funds from the club. A press release from the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office says the amount of money in question is over $20,000. Detectives have been working on the case since November, when other trap club board members reported that the club’s end-of-year balance was substantially lower each year since Lee Roy Brown too over the presidency in mid 2008. After an extensive review, Brown was questioned about certain transactions, which he said were loans he intended to pay back. The “loans” totaled nearly $21,000, and records show Brown had paid back $2,000 in 2010. An arrest warrant was issued and Brown was taken into custody yesterday. The charge is Larceny by Bailee, a felony, and carries a possible penalty of 10 years in prison. The investigation is ongoing.
“CIVIL UNION” BILL DIES IN HOUSE
A bill to allow same-sex couples civil unions died in the State House late last night after lawmakers failed to vote on the bill before the midnight deadline. The bill appeared to be close to becoming law in Colorado earlier in the day after it passed out of the final committee yesterday afternoon and went to the House floor. However, the debate before the second reading and vote on the bill never came up and the bill’s supporters failed to get the vote in before midnight. Governor John Hickenlooper showed up late last night to try to bring the two sides together, but that didn’t work. The argument was over a couple of amendments added by the Senate Appropriations Committee. One lawmaker tried to remove those amendments, but the bill would have had to then be sent back to the Senate for approval. State law doesn’t allow second and third readings to be held on the same day, meaning sending it back to the Senate would have meant it’s death. The Senate had already approved the bill and Hickenlooper has said he would sign it. Hickenlooper hasn’t said whether he would call a special session to deal with the issue.
MARIJUANA ADVOCATES ACCUSE STATE OF MISUSING FEES
Colorado is facing accusations of misusing money from medical marijuana patients. State lawmakers are considering using nearly $8 million from fees patients pay for medical marijuana cards to revive the cash-strapped Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, which regulates pot growers and sellers. In response, some medical marijuana patients have threatened to sue. And some state lawmakers have accused the MMED of charging high licensing fees but now saying there’s not enough money to issue licenses. The bill to transfer the marijuana money is pending in the Senate. If it doesn’t pass by midnight, the transfer proposal is dead for the year.
FILM PRODUCTION BILL GETS INITIAL APPROVAL
Yesterday, the Senate gave initial approval to the bipartisan Film Production Activities in Colorado Act. House Bill 1286, which is sponsored by Senator Jean White of Hayden, would help create new jobs in the Colorado film industry. The Act is the first of its kind in the country in that it creates a loan guarantee program for production activities. The bill will also make Colorado more attractive for movie production by increasing the existing film incentive from a 10 percent rebate for production costs to 20 percent, thereby allowing Colorado to meet or exceed similar programs in other states. The rebate will apply to production costs for films, television series, commercials, documentaries, music videos, and video game creation. The combination of diverse and scenic landscapes, the availability of experienced film crews, and an existing infrastructure make Colorado a desirable state for film production. However, incentive programs in other states have lured movie production to other regions in recent years. The bill now heads to the Senate for a final vote.