Delta County Commissioner public meeting report

This meeting is a work session which typically means the public is not free to speak unless on the agenda and the meeting is not recorded or “on record.”

Initial observation: State statute (the Sunshine law) requires the agenda to be posted 24 hours before the meeting. I received the agenda via email (you can sign up for notices: at 8:11 a.m., Monday morning. Note, the meeting stated at 8 a.m. Pretty surprising since the agenda, when it did arrive, was all of 17 words for an 8 hour day. Geez, I hope this gets better in the future.

Present: Robbie LeValley, County Administrator, Commissioner Douglas Atchley, Vice Chair District 1, Commissioner Bruce Hovde, Chair, District 2, Commissioner Mark Roeber, District 3, and Don Suppes, Commissioner-Elect, District 2 (congrats to Don for starting work the minute he won election).

Here are highlights:
*Jason Bronec, DMEA CEO, updated the commissioners on their broadband project. Paonia is scheduled for completion by the end of the year and other areas are ranked according to resident and business interest. Let ‘em know you’re interested: In other news, the DMEA board is scheduled to vote on a proposed rate increase at their regular meeting today, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. You can comment at

*RPI Consulting in Durango has won the bid to update the county’s master plan. Theirs was the highest of three bids. Only three bids…hummm.

*The sheriff’s office will get $600,000 for new police radios — $300,000 from a DOLA grant and $300,000 for the county’s capital fund. This has been a long awaited project. Congrats Sheriff McKee.

*The Nordic Council is asking for funds to purchase cross-country skis for pubic use. Commissioners are worried about the impact to private businesses that rent skis –wonderful concept, legit concern.

*Marla Korpar, Solar Energy International’s program coordinator and Paul Scharfenberger, Director of Finance and Operations at Colorado Energy Office, explained the benefits of CPACE:, a program to provide affordable financing for energy improvements that lower operating costs for commercial businesses. The program requires county commissioner opt-in and, so far, nine counties are moving forward with an agreement –- the latest include Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties. Possible glitch, besides property tax increases, includes contractor approval by CPACE which looks for licensing, something the county does not currently require. Jason assured commissioners that they were willing to work within county regulations…or lack of them. Follow-up is expected at next Monday’s public meeting.

*County staff is breathing a sigh of relief after the elections, which proved to be a lot of work. They reported a high use of drop boxes, some 74%, and a high voter turnout albeit less than the last presidental election – 86% compared to 94% in 2012.