Commissioners prioritize grant applications

County organizes applications for master plan, purchasing defibrilators for law enforcement officers

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By RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
The next round of Mineral and Oil Energy Impact Grant applications were organized by the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners on Monday.
Funding for the revision of the county's master plan and purchasing automatic external defibrilators (AED) for law enforcement officers are the two grants the county will be filing with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
The application deadline is Dec. 1, and after presenting the DOLA board with their arguments in February, the fate of the applications will be known in March.
The Commissioners prioritized the two applications, with the master plan funding being the first priority and the defibrilator funding second.
Craig and Moffat County are each budgeting $12,500 for the master plan revision project, and are asking DOLA for $57,500.
The work will allow the county to update and revise the overall master plan. This type of planning is important for preparing for and handling growth and keeping the economy strong, Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said.
"Growth is always a major issue in our county, and the master plan is an overview of how we will grow," she said. "Our future is very important, and it requires a lot of planning."
The work will only be revisions, not a complete overhaul, Raftopoulos said.
The plan will address such issues as subdivision expansions, transportation needs, city and county services, population growth and infrastructure needs.
Planning for the effects of Steamboat's growth on Craig, and removing some plans for projects that never happened, such as the Juniper Springs Reservoir, will be part of the revision process.
"Some of the things we are dealing with today are not dealt with at all in the plan, and we need to add that," Raftopoulos said. "Other things planned for didn't happen. Our county has always grown.
"We need to plan for how it will grow, and how to expand our economic base while stabilizing it."
Work is already being done to collect, organize and assess information for the master plan by both the city and county planning departments.
Once the application is approved, which is expected, the county will begin a public process on the master plan revisions.
"This is the chance for people to say how they want their community to grow," Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson said. "If you want to be a part of the process, this will be your chance."
Recent legislative action concerning growth in Colorado makes a master plan even more important, but what kind of legal weight the plan will carry is one of the issues that have not been worked out, Dickinson said.
Local law enforcement officers and first response personnel need to have AEDs, and 32 units will be necessary to cover the city and county needs, according to Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead.
The units help officers and emergency workers diagnose and treat heart crises.
The recent events that raised money for buying AEDs purchased four units. With each AED costing $2,500, applying for a grant is the best way to handle this need, Grinstead said.
The grant will be asking for $80,000 to purchase the needed machinery. The money raised, the units already purchased, and the in-kind contribution of training expenses and future equipment purchases should provide the necessary seed amount for the grant, Grinstead said.
In other business, the board:
Reviewed the proposed agenda and focus of the Safety Committee.
The committee will work to raise awareness of safety issues, but won't actively investigate individual accidents.
They will also work to identify and analyze safety problems, and will communicate with the department heads on these findings.
Discussed the proposed salary scales in the Clerk's, Assessor's and Treasurer's departments under the compensation plan being installed in January.
Some positions within various departments do not have the market-based research completed yet, and adjustments to salaries will be made if the data shows that need.
The board is considering setting aside a contingency fund for any adjustments that could occur after Jan., but a final decision on including that in the compensation plan was not made.
The Commissioners will be holding several meetings on Dec. 3 to discuss the compensation plan with county employees.
Reviewed the text presented by the Citizens for Healthy Children concerning a tobacco ordinance for minors.
Public meetings concerning the proposal, its language, and the possible penalties will be scheduled after the holidays.
Discussed adjustments to the landfill's schedule and staff hours.
The landfill manager, Eric Johnson, will research several issues and begin reporting to the board on a monthly basis. Johnson will be looking into the feasibility of closing the landfill on Sundays, how best to distribute the landfill staff's hours, proposals for dealing with water and chemicals that can't be dumped into the landfill and a Global Positioning System program that could help manage the cells more efficiently.
Reviewed a proposal to change the business hours at the Courthouse.
The board will propose the hours be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will gather input from the different departments in the Courthouse before making the final decision.

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