SAGUACHE — The following highlights were taken from draft meeting minutes recorded by Saguache County Clerk’s office staffer Dominique White for the regular July 7 Saguache County Commissioners meeting broadcast via ZOOM.
Public Comment - Robert Tafoya asked for an update with the Town of Moffat Annexation. Gibbons stated that they can go ahead with the annexation. If the judge rules against the annexation the procedure would be undone, but meanwhile it goes forward. their response is due next week. The county won’t know until October or September what the court is going to do — if one side doesn’t like it, they can file an appeal. Gibbons also asked if the courthouse can open back up.
Tafoya also brought up the issue of Highway 17 again. Maez received a response from David Payton from CDOT, he has received the letters that were sent and stated if a traffic study is done and shows a faster speed then the speed we have, then they will increase the speed; even within a municipality. They are considering installing a flashing sign.
Public Health - County Attorney Gibbons also asked if the courthouse can open back up. Commissioners unanimously approved to reopen the courthouse July 21, provided the guidelines are in place, social distancing is observed, masks are worn, and no more than 10 people conduct business. They also approved advertising for help.
Janet Beiriger and Mona Lovato reported to commissioners that they received a letter stating the following: “This is to inform you that there are businesses in Saguache that are not following the public order from the Governor. The Village Pub, 4th Street Dinner and the Town Market; none of the employees are wearing masks and customers in the restaurants are being allowed to walk around without a mask. Waitresses without a mask is a public health issue. Saguache County has already exploded with new cases and the town of Saguache has a lot of older and vulnerable people who need to be protected, please look into this and make sure these businesses are protecting their customer and employees as required by the state mandate.” Mona Lovato turned them over to the Health inspectors.
More Personal Care Providers are needed; currently the county has 28 patients needing help and 10 patients are without help. Lovato asked about getting with the school nurses to get immunizations done. Commissioners voted to continue to pay Mona Lovato for her services and approved and signed the following contracts:
• Emergency Preparedness (EPR) Grant with State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment $18,318;
• Core Services with the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment $32,901;
• Communities That Care (CTC) Grant with State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment $142,452;
• Immunizations with the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment $17,677.
Sheriff’s Report - Sheriff Dan Warwick requested getting a defense team that will pay for per person to help with defense purposes. With the new law (SB 20-217) it has gotten ridiculous. It will be $20 per person and will pay for any litigation that may come their way. It will be all staff excluding the front office and the cooks.
Commissioner Jason Anderson asked Warwick’s thoughts concerning steps to remove an abandoned house in the Baca Grande being used for drug use and sales. Warwick stated he feels that if the county can do anything to facilitate that house going away, it would be a good thing. They get calls out there regularly. The risk is not worth keeping the place. Anderson has spoken to the Baca Grande POA director regarding the situation.
Road and Bridge - Road and Bridge Director Randal Arredondo presented his budget and stated they are paving the school parking lot then will pave in Center. The final project will be County Road G.
Emergency Management - Office of Emergency Management Director Bobby Woelz requested hiring a part time deputy office manager. Woelz proposed offering the position to Mr. Freeze. Commissioners unanimously approved offering the 10-week position to Freeze at $17 an hour for 20 hours a week. The county will pay for mileage at the county rate and an amendment will need to be made to the budget.
Land Use - Commissioners approved four lot consolidations, a subdivision exemption for Hanne Strong, and accepted two bids for lots in the Baa Grande Grants and one in the Baca Grande Chalet. Land Use Director Amber Wilson reported she has advertised all positions for the Land Use Office and would like to proceed with hiring.
She recommended offering the Land Use Deputy’s position to Virginia to start at $17 per hour and a Land Use Clerk full time positions at $12.75 per hour, increasing to $13.25 after a 90-day probation period.
There is no longer a board Crestone/Baca Grande Planning Commission, Wilson told commissioners. It was not statutorily created; it was created by a resolution of the board. The board can pass a resolution resolving it. The board agreed to put it on the next agenda for a decision.
County Administrator - County Administrator Wendi Maez asked that commissioners make a decision concerning the acceptance of the RFP from Davis Engineering Services, Inc. for the design portion of the Saguache County Crestone Safe Routes to Schools project. Burt Wadham, Mick Daniel, Commissioner Jason Anderson and Maez met to review the RFP’s submitted and chose Davis Engineering Service, Inc. proposal to present to the Board of Commissioners for final acceptance. All of the details are included within the Administration report.
Commissioners unanimously accepted the bid from Davis Engineering in the amount of $94,974.16 for the Eastern San Luis Valley Trails Coalition.
Maintenance director Pete Garcia has $22,000 within his budget and he requested it be used to carpet the courthouse or the Administration/Land Use building or to purchase a generator for the courthouse. The Board agreed to look into getting a bigger generator for both the sheriff’s office and the courthouse through COVID money.
IGA with Rio Grande County and valley counties for the State Homeland Security Program as the fiscal agent of this grant program. From what I can gather this IGA was approved at a Valley commissioners meeting at the beginning of the year. Maez also requested a $1 per hour increase for Tammy Kaiser, finance director. The board agreed to a $1.50 hourly increase.
Commissioners then approved a letter of support for Frank White’s La Garita Colorado USA Historia, Cultura-Y Mas History-Culture and More project; accepted an MOU for the Cares Act funds and also gave a letter of support the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Co-operative for their broadband project. The meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.