The Moffat County Commission and Bureau of Land Management blazed a new trail in the name of cooperation Tuesday.
The commissioners approved, 3-0, an agreement with the BLM Little Snake Field Office in Craig to work together on new archeological finds.
The BLM has the authority to close roads in the event of a new find to discourage interference and theft.
The agreement states the BLM will notify the county about any new finds so local officials can comment about the best course of action before a decision is made.
Jeremy Casterson, Little Snake Field Office planning and environmental coordinator, said it is the first agreement of its kind that he is aware of.
The commission also:
• Approved, 3-0, supporting a State Historical Fund grant request for $10,000 from the BLM. The grant will help pay for an assessment of a new archeological site in the county to determine worth and a plan for what to do with the materials found.
• Approved, 3-0, spending as much as $75,000 with Steamboat Springs-based Tuck Communication Services for a new phone system at the Moffat County Courthouse.
Tuck submitted the low bid of $47,571, but the commission approved spending more because there is about $106,000 left in the project budget, which included an earlier hardware purchase, also from Tuck.
• Approved, 3-0, two personnel requisitions - one for a full-time county paralegal and the other for a temporary self-sufficiency case manager for Moffat County Social Services.
The current paralegal, Ute Murray, was recently named Moffat County Housing Authority director, and Social Services anticipates having three employees go on maternity leave later this year.
Council questions MCTA funding
After a presentation from Michelle Perry, Moffat County Tourism Association director, the Craig City Council questioned her organization's funding practices.
Perry appeared to discuss MCTA's decision to fund this year's Whittle the Wood Rendezvous with $1,000, less than the $5,000 requested.
She said the decision was based on MCTA's guidelines to give preference to new or expanding events, which is outlined in the group's funding application.
The MCTA board felt Whittle the Wood has an established audience, and that tourism dollars were better spent elsewhere, Perry said.
During the council's discussion with Perry, Dave Pike, city parks and recreation director, said he was fine with the MCTA's funding guidelines.
His problem is that at least one other longstanding event - Grand Ole West Days - received full funding for $5,000.
When asked about the discrepancy, Perry said the board considered all applications equally.
Councilor Gene Bilodeau responded the actions didn't "sound fair." He also thanked Perry for coming before the city and not letting disagreements get between a good relationship.
Pike said he plans to speak with the MCTA board at one of the group's future meetings.
The council also:
• Approved, 7-0, allowing the All Crimes Enforcement Team to forego the normal bidding process for spending a $133,000 Justice Assistance Grant on various pieces of surveillance equipment.
Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said the equipment is specialized and that there are limited vendors.
He added that a normal bid process would require ACET to advertise its purchases, and law enforcement doesn't want offenders to know what it is buying.
The council insisted, though, that bids for one large item valued at $103,300 be reviewed by them.
• Approved, 7-0, a $32,700 bid from United Rentals for two trailer-mounted message directors for the road and bridge department. It was the low bid submitted.
• Approved, 7-0, a resolution appropriating the Justice Assistance Grant worth $133,280 into the ACET fund.
• Approved, 7-0, an ordinance removing careless driving from the criminalized offenses list. From now on, police officers will have discretion whether to require offenders to appear in municipal court.
Churches host rummage sale at 8 a.m. Saturday
St. Marks Episcopal Church and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St., is hosting its annual rummage sale this weekend.
The sale is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds will be used for community and global outreach programs. For more information, call Susan Aiken at 824-9633 or 824-8254.