The Otero County Commissioners met on Monday and discussed a variety of topics.

The Otero County Commissioners met on Monday and discussed a variety of topics. The county is offering the City of La Junta right of first refusal on the shop property at 803 W. Third Street. The county has purchased the Southeast Colorado Power Association property at 100 Dalton for the purpose of moving the Road & Bridge District 1 Shop to that location. When the move is complete, they would like to discuss the options that may exist for the 803 W. Third property with the city.

County Clerk Sharon Sisnroy, after discussions with both bidders for remodel of the clerk’s office, chose Arc Valley Construction at $134,344. The Bassett bid was $160,170. There being only one bidder for the move to temporary offices, that bidder was accepted, time being important now in order to get back to the regular offices before the April primary. That bidder was I & A Construction from La Junta for $1300, $650 for to the temporary quarters (old Frontline across Colorado from Courthouse), and $650 for moving them back.

Otero County Economic Development Coordinator Danelle Berg has been encouraged to ask for another $290,000 to continue lending through the Business Loan Fund during this year’s grant, which will expire in  April 2019, necessitating another grant. The Business Loan Fund and the Otero Partners Incorporated have had outstanding success and have a number of pending loan requests: a mountain resort in Las Anias Countoy looking for $70,000 in gap financing; a Las Animas County business wishing to invest $75,000 in equipment for expansion; an Otero County resident in need of $50,000 to purchase an existing liquor store; a New York native relocated in Otero County, interested in borrowing $50,000 to establish a hops farm, malting and distilling operation, to mention a few. The commissioners have sent a letter of request for the additional funds to Bob Todd, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Berg has continually said, “Our money should be out there working!” Total grant money expended has been $714,000, with $599,760 for the Building Loan Fund and $114,240 administration.

Emergency Manager Danny Chavez appeared to request that all controlled burns be reported in the jurisdiction in which they occur, so that time and money will not be wasted on checking out scheduled burns. Chavez also asked that no burning be done on red flag days. J.R. Thompson reported a fire last week in the Rocky Ford area that took out a thousand acres in a couple of hours. The conditions are dangerous.

County Administrator Jean Hinkle announced the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Impact Assistance Grant (money paid in lieu of taxes for state land in our county) for this year is $6,325.02, as compared with $5,421.03 last year. This money will be distributed among the East Otero School District, the Otero Fire District, the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, the Rocky Ford Fire District, the Rocky Ford School District, the Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy District and the    Swink School District. She also distributed the Otero County 2017 Accomplishments and 2018 Goals.

The Rocky Mountain Microfilm and Imaging contracts will be extended for another year. It is good to maintain the same contractor for digitizing to prevent conflicts in programming and equipment.

The US 50 Corridor East Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Survey has been completed and is available for public review at, or at Woodruff Memorial Library.