New Commissioner Danny Willcox was absent due to previous commitment.
CONSENT AGENDA - vouchers for social services, IGA's (inter-governmental agreements), liquor licenses, chip seal contract for CR21 and CR166, software license agreement and payroll notice for CDS employee approved.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION- CSU Extension Agent Sheila Kelly reported on the great successes our county 4H kids experienced at state fair. Our county was #2 in the entire state in numbers of 4Hers that qualified to participate at the state level.
PUBLIC COMMENT - Jim Whistler handed out a sheet (p.18) from our audit showing that the value of our roads is depreciating more than the monies we are spending to repair/replace them. We should have spent $1.7 million more on roads than we actually did in 2015. Mr. Whistler stated that if we don't repair the roads as we go along with this depreciation allowance, we will soon be in the position of having to completely replace the roads....which will be much more costly than just maintaining the roads as we go along. He also asked about the $4.1 million positive balance in county-owned water rights: does this value ever change? How do we come up with this number?
Mr. Gingrich from Deer Trail spoke about building structures in his subdivision being built without building permits; about buildings being red-tagged; about the building department being non-responsive to his requests for follow-up. Kyle Fenner responded that code violation letters have been sent, that the building department is awaiting responses (30 days are allowed per law), and that it is "very hard to keep our eyeballs on the Deer Trail area."
Susan Shick spoke about the "woefully late" budget meetings and that she hoped the assessor's office and CDS will be more adequately funded in the 2017 budget as they are revenue generating departments. She also called for reallocations within the budget, perhaps eliminating the county manager and county attorney positions in order to better fund departments that need the funds. She also called for the creation of a budget oversight committee.
OLD BUSINESS - An IGA between Elbert County and Limon for cooperative planning within a 3 mile radius of the town was approved. It will hopefully spawn economic development for the area. Commissioner Ross moved to include the CDS director (in addition to County Manager Ed Ehmann) as an additional point of contact for this agreement.
In the Hudick/Cole matter (enforceability of agreements of prior boards regarding zoning issues), Commissioner Ross instructed the county attorney to prepare information for a planned future study session since the commissioners didn't currently have all the information they needed. The county attorney ignored Commissioner Ross' directive and went to the microphone anyway, basically stating that he had met with Kyle Fenner and Ed Ehmann and that a staff report and site visit would follow. Commissioner Ross again asked for a written report as more background is needed. There was also some discussion about employing outside counsel Josh Marks for legal advice. (Editorial comment: why do we need to continually employ outside counsel when we are paying a county attorney?)