Commissioners no longer hold majority on Board of Health, public health big task

JOANN KALENAK/DCCR — At yesterday’s Delta County Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioners appointed restaurant owner and operator Jeri Roberts
to replace Commissioner Mike Lane on the Delta County Board of Health. Roberts, who runs The Stockyards restaurant in Delta, was the sole applicant.

Up until yesterday, the five-member board has consisted of all three County Commissioners giving Delta County government a majority on the Board of Health. Because of a new state statute, appointments to this board can no longer be made so that any one business, professional group, or governmental entity can constitute a majority.

Commissioners Suppes and Koontz will continue to sit on the Board of Health alongside current members Jo Rosenquist and Don Chapman.

Among other health-related tasks, the county’s Board of Health is responsible for determining necessary services and local priorities consistent with State public health laws. They are also responsible for administering and enforcing public health laws, rules, orders and standards of the State as well as orders and rules they might make on their own.

For Delta County, this is a big task.

In a recent study commissioned by Archuleta County Commissioners, Delta County was listed at the bottom of the totem for public health spending per capita in like-sized population areas.

Alamosa County: Budget: $1.2 million; expenditures per capita: $73.92
Montezuma County: Budget: $2.4 million; expenditures per capita: $91.40
Delta County: Budget: $1.3 million; expenditures per capita: $40.11
Gilpin County: Budget: $0.4 million; expenditures per capita: $73.44
Grand County: Budget: $2.4 million; expenditures per capita: $91.40
San Juan Basin Public Health: Budget, $8.6 million; expenditures per capita, $124.87 (this agency serves multiple counties)

Meanwhile, USA News and World Report ranks Delta County fairly low on the data spectrum for overall community health (graph pictured above).




It’s official: County, City of Delta, Library Board have agreement

Also at yesterday’s Commissioner meeting, Commissioners signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the City of Delta and the Delta County Library District regarding the purchase and remodel of the old City Market building in Delta and the acquisition of the current Delta Library building, an historic Carnegie building adjacent to the Sheriff’s office/jail.

The agreement calls for a $2 million investment from Delta County plus one-third of any overrun costs. The City will trade the Carnegie building for the old City Market building, which is currently owned by Delta County, and Sheriff’s office will remodel and move into the Carnegie building allowing for jail expansion at its current location.


SOLAR FARM DECISION: Citizens speak out at public meeting

(Originally appeared in Citizens for a Healthy Community newsletter.)
Citizens gave Delta County Commissioners an earful at their March 15 meeting. Nearly forty people attended either in person or via Zoom and every citizen that spoke requested that the Commissioners reconsider their denial of the Garnet Mesa Solar Project. Issues raised included:

  • Economic costs to the county of rejecting the proposal
  • Violation of the Land Use Code
  • Conflict of interest of Commissioners Koontz and Lane
  • Importance of agrivoltaics to the future of Delta County

Across Kebler Pass, Gunnison County residents aren’t happy with the Delta County Commissioners decision either. In a letter to the Editor of the Gunnison County Times, Matt Reed, Public Lands Director, High Country Conservation Advocates explains how Gunnison County has suffered trying to be a good neighbor to Delta County.

Listen to the public comments more by local residents during the meeting.

Pictured: 85-plus percent of readers said “yes” to the Garnet Mesa Solar Proposal, according to an online poll currently being conducted by the Delta County Independent. Add your two-cents.