County yet to hear back from governor-elect

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At its regular meeting today, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 2-0, transfer and payment warrants for the month of December totaling $478,412.33.

• Approved, 2-0, payroll warrant resolutions ending Dec. 11 totaling $662,227.38.

• Approved, 2-0, a maintenance contract for audit and valuation of oil and gas personal property with Visual Lease Services, Inc., totaling $40,000.

• Approved, 2-0, a sales tax exemption certificate with www.walmart.com for purchase of office supplies, electronics, paper products and seasonal items.

• Approved, 2-0, a water agreement with John and Steve Raftopoulos for use of water from the Fonce Meadow Reservoir in exchange for site work on his property relating to the access of the water source.

• Approved, 2-0, department of social services payroll and electronic transactions totaling $295,489.65.

• Approved, 2-0, a postage machine lease with Pitney Bowes Global Financial Services.

• Approved, 2-0, to appoint any member of the Moffat County Commission present as an alternate board member for the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.

• Approved, 2-0, to award Craig Steel a bid for county culvert projects totaling $14,067. Craig Steel wasn’t the lowest bidder, but was the lowest local bidder on the project.

• Approved, 2-0, to waive the bid process and award Jackson’s Technologies, Inc., with security monitoring services totaling $288 per year.

• Approved, 2-0, a special events permit for St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church for beer, wine and liquor sale from 7 to 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31 at American Legion Post 62.

• Approved, 2-0, to certify various levies and revenues for the county in 2011.

— Note: Commissioner Tom Mathers was absent from the meeting.

About a month after requesting a meeting with Governor-elect John Hickenlooper, the Moffat County Commission has yet to receive a firm response.

At its regular Tuesday meeting, the commission discussed the letter it approved and sent to the soon-to-be Democratic governor drafted by the Moffat County Land Use Board requesting a meeting in Moffat County or Denver in early November.

The letter also outlined the commission’s stance on energy development in Vermillion Basin, Colorado House Bill 10-1365 and other energy development, land and water management issues.

But, Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray said he hasn’t lost hope the governor would visit the county in the future.

He said he heard encouraging words from Hickenlooper at a Colorado Counties Inc. meeting in early December.

“(Hickenlooper) said in a speech that he gave that he had received invitations from numerous counties to come and see him,” Gray said. “He said, ‘I hesitate to make a promise because I know it is going to be really busy, but I am making this statement that I am going to try my very best to visit every county in my first year.’”

Gray said he thought the governor-elect seemed honest about being interested in visiting with local governments to discuss the issues, but was hesitant to comment on whether Hickenlooper would follow through.

“I can understand that schedules are tight and he is being prudent to not make a promise that he couldn’t keep,” Gray said. “He doesn’t even have his senior staff there and his cabinet in place.”

If the two met, Gray said he would make no secret to Hickenlooper that the county’s economy is dependant on energy development.

“I’m sure that we’d repeat that 80 percent of our assessed value in the economy is energy related, and let him know that and see that,” he said.

Moreover, Gray said he would like to show the governor-elect around the county.

“There is nothing like being here,” he said. “If he would have some time when he does come … we’d like to show him some things, to be able to say, ‘This is what our county looks like. Then, when you hear from us, you’ll know what we are talking about.’”

Commissioner Audrey Danner agreed.

“When you have a relationship with somebody … you can have a discussion even if you don’t agree,” she said. “It is much easier if you know who they are … and we will be developing that over the next four years.”

Danner said the commission would continue to reach out to Hickenlooper and continue to keep him informed of the county’s stance on various issues.

“I don’t disagree with the perception that we need to continue communicating and maybe we need to do better,” she said.

Gray said he doesn’t think Hickenlooper is coming into his term as governor the same way current Gov. Bill Ritter did.

“He had an agenda that he was going to pursue and it wasn’t because he didn’t know how we felt,” Gray said of Ritter.

“I don’t hear that same agenda from governor-elect Hickenlooper, yet. I’m hopeful that it won’t be that agenda. He said that he understands that local economies depend on energy, (and) that the nation depends upon it. So, I think he’s got a different viewpoint — I hope so.”

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