BOCC proclaims Veteran’s Appreciation Week in Moffat County
CRAIG — In the wake of Veterans Day celebrations, and with numerous local veterans in attendance, the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, Nov. 13, voted unanimously to proclaim the week of Nov. 11 through 17 Veterans Appreciation Week in Moffat County.
Commissioner Ray Beck said the proclamation came about through a desire to recognize and honor the enormous sacrifices of veterans with more than just a single day.
"We wanted to take this opportunity to … not just recognize our veterans and what they've done to protect our freedoms, but to give them a bigger role in our community … by saying, 'You know what? Let's extend this through the rest of this week and through Saturday with a proclamation" Beck said.
Describing a veteran as someone who "at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of American for an amount up to and including his or her life," Beck said far too many U.S. citizens fail to grasp the full depth of such a sacrifice.
"Now that is honor," Beck said. "There are way too many people in this country who no longer understand that, and I think this is our way of saying, 'Thank you, guys, for all you've done for our country and our community.'"
Commissioner Don Cook, noting that his own father served in the Philippines near the end of World War II, agreed.
"I know how the vets hate to talk about what they've done," Cook said. "But, we really, truly want to thank you for everything."
"You can never be thankful enough," Commissioner Frank Moe added.
The following local veterans from VFW Post 4265 and American Legion Post 62 attended the meeting and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance: Ken Wergin, U.S. Air Force; William White, U.S. Army; Douglas Wellman, U.S. Air Force; Ed Wilkinson, U.S. Army; Gary Lovejoy, U.S. Army; Michael Lausin, U.S. Navy; Albert Shepherd, U.S. Army; Johnny Garcia, U.S. Army; Bob Eggers, U.S. Army; Mark Wick, U.S. Navy; Don Guthrie, U.S. Army; Jack Peed, U.S. Air Force; Gilbert Meats, U.S. Navy Seabees; and Dan Olsen, U.S. Navy.
After reading the proclamation, Beck presented the veterans with U.S. flag pins on behalf of the BOCC.
"It's the soldier, not the politicians, that ensure our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," Beck said. "It's the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag."
In other county commission business Tuesday:
• The BOCC approved the appointment of five members to the Moffat County Fair Board. Three current fair board members — Karl Huntsman, Kelly Hepworth, and Megan Kozey — reapplied for another three-year term, and commissioners unanimously approved their reappointments. Commissioners also unanimously approved the appointments of Ian Duzik and Bryanne Cossey to three-year terms on the board. Duzik and Cossey will replace Toni Raftopoulis and Annette Norton, whose terms are set to expire but who did not apply for reappointment. Commissioners noted Tuesday's appointments leave three remaining open seats on the board, as three sitting members — Tiffany Schulze, Natasha Nielson, and Kacy Stagner — have resigned.
• The BOCC received a $1,000 donation from the Elkhead Wranglers 4-H Club to help with the purchase of a fan for the livestock barn at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. On behalf of the club, members Carter Green, Tate Green, and Garrett Anson presented the check to commissioners.
"We have a check for $1,000 for a fan in the livestock barn, and we'd like to give that to you guys," Carter told commissioners. "This year, we did the pumpkin patch and bought the pumpkins, and we got some profit, and we decided to donate it to that fan."
He added the fan is important "to get some air moving in there."
"I think this is awesome that you guys would do that," Beck said. "So, thank you."
Cook added his thanks, saying he would match the group's donation toward purchasing the fan, and Beck said he would also contribute.
Following the meeting, commissioners said the fan — which is manufactured by a company that is actually named "Big Ass Fans" and will cost about $12,000 — are expected to be purchased and installed by fair week 2019.
• The BOCC unanimously approved a bid for a new vehicle for the Department of Human Service, awarding the sale to Cook Chevrolet, which offered a Chevrolet Traverse for $28,280. Commissioners noted the low bid, for $28,080, was submitted by Larry H. Miller, but because there was only $200 difference between the two, and because Cook Chevrolet is a local company, the BOCC decided to go with the Cook bid.
• The BOCC unanimously approved final settlements for engineering service agreements with SGM, for the Maybell RV Park Project, and with Riverside Engineering, for riverbank stabilization work at Loudy-Simpson Park.
• The BOCC unanimously approved final payments to Stripe-A Lot, for a 2018 striping project, and to Kilgore Companies, LLC, Elam Construction, Inc., for a 2018 asphalt project.
• Commissioners heard a report from Dan Miller, Road and Bridge Department director, who updated the BOCC on several items. Most notably, Cook said that 108-percent of the department's annual overtime budget — which is typically used for snowplowing operations during winter — had already been consumed by firefighting efforts over the summer. Acknowledging the extraordinary number and intensity of wildfires this season, Beck acknowledged Road and Bridge's contributions to the suppression efforts.
"Your presence out there has definitely been noticed," he said.
Miller also noted that some county dumpsters — placed primarily for visiting hunters — are being misused, with residents sometimes disposing of refrigerators, television sets, and other prohibited articles in the dumpsters.
• The BOCC heard a college program update from Annette Burrow, adult basic education director at Colorado Northwest Community College, who spoke about the college's GED program and adult literacy classes, adding she is currently working to establish an English as a Second Language program at CNCC. She said ESL classes are important to the area, given its large Hispanic population, and added the first such class is set to begin Jan. 7.
As to the GED program, Burrow — who also teaches GED classes — reported "very good enrollment," adding that a new GED class will also begin Jan. 7. She said people often misunderstand the GED, characterizing it as a challenging but rewarding path to furthering one's education.
"People misunderstand the GED. It's actually harder to get your GED, in many circumstances, than it is to get your high school diploma," she said. "It's a pretty hard test."
Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com.