Commissioners look to quietly outsource recycling

JoAnn Kalenak, Senior Blogger — County Commissioners have been eyeing the recycling program at the North Fork Transfer Station for the past year. Commissioner Suppes, who initiated the investigation, believes the free service is an unfair taxpayer subsidy since other local recycling centers charge fees. Cost has also been floated by the county as a reason to examine the Center’s operations. Somewhere along the line — outside of public business meetings — Commissioners decided to look for a private company to take over recycling operations at the North Fork location.

In a work session planned for this Tuesday, Commissioners will look at bids from outside vendors. Public discussion around their goals has been scant, so DCCR is not sure what to expect from the discussion (no decisions can be made in work session). Tuesday’s meeting will not be Zoomed as has been the practice in recent times, but DCCR will be there to provide virtual public access.

NOTE: Two state legislative bills could have impact on the county’s recycling direction: HB21-1162 Management Of Plastic Products would lift local government prohibitions from requiring or banning the use or sale of specific types of plastic materials and products, and would ban stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic bags to customers.

The second bill, backed by the plastics industry, SB21-180 Recycling And Composting Enterprise Grant Program would create grant funding to develop and modernize the recycling and composting infrastructure in the state.

Some legislators say Colorado should do both. Read more.

NOTE: The North Fork Transfer Station carried a $50,000-plus reserve at the start of the 2021 fiscal year.

New county planner calls for applicants for land-use compliance officer

County Community Development and Natural Resource Director Carl Holm is looking for qualified applicants to fill a long-awaited position in Delta County’s planning department — code enforcement officer. This position “performs skilled field inspection and code enforcement work in securing compliance within unincorporated Delta County zoning, land use development codes, ordinances, and regulations, as well as other assigned County laws, codes, and ordinances governing land use and development.”

This position was advertised almost two years ago by former county planning director Elyse Casselberry but never filled despite numerous and ongoing complaints from local residents about junk ordinance and other land-use issues.

The position pays between $45-50K a year.

DCCR Bill Watch: HB21-1115

HB21-1115 Board of Health Member Requirement, first introduced by Colorado House member Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins, has passed the House and is currently in Senate Local Government Committee. The bill specifies that members of a county or district board of health are not allowed to serve concurrently as members of a board of county commissioners and as members of a county or district board of health. The bill also allows members of a county or district board of health to be removed for malfeasance or other specified reasons.

Delta County’s Board of Health has five members, three of which are County Commissioners maintaining a board majority.

Read the full bill.

Commissioners nominate Norris to Wolf Reintroduction group

Mesa, Montrose and Delta County Commissioners have submitted a letter supporting the appointment of Sean Norris to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s Wolf Reintroduction: Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG). Norris is a Grand Junction resident and Geologist/Owner, Norris Environmental LLC and Head Horse Trainer/Manager at Grand Valley Equine Assisted Learning Center according to his LinkedIn website page.

“As [a] leader with vision and extensive experience related to operations, health, environment and safety in the energy industry, environmental management and consulting, I identify, mentor and empower talent. I leverage resources, relationships and assets, to move an idea from concept to implementation. I believe in investing time in long range strategic planning to develop proactive business solutions,” says Norris on LinkedIn.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioner is charged with planning and implementing the reintroduction of gray wolves in Western Colorado. The creation of SAG is part of a phased approach to facilitate stakeholder engagement in the early stages of the planning process.

Coloradans that represent academia, conservation, advocacy, outdoor sportspersons, recreation, livestock producers, local or county government are encouraged to apply.

The Stakeholder Advisory Group application is now available on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website’s new Stay Informed page.

Read the Commissioner’s support letter.