Moffat County Commission recap for Nov. 16 |

Moffat County Commission recap for Nov. 16

Patrick Kelly

Moffat County Commissioners conduct business on Tuesday.

At its weekly meeting Tuesday morning, the Moffat County Board of Commissioners did the following:

On the agenda:

• Received an update on Department of Social Services operations from Director Dollie Rose.

Rose said social services is hosting a community forum on from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Colorado Northwestern Community College to increase collaboration with the community and explain the departments role in the community.

Foster parents are in high demand for Moffat County and the department is focusing on recruitment. Rose said the foster care coordinator has ordered informative marketing materials, as provided for free by the state, to distribute for promotion of the foster program.

September's bill for foster placement was up $4,046 over August. With the lack of foster parents, more children are being placed in homes or facilities outside of the county, which costs more money, Rose said.

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"The community's not really aware of the issue so when we actually see the numbers it is shocking," she said.

The Colorado Employment First program was initiated in Moffat County on Nov. 1 and so far two people on benefits have completed the orientation.

Rose said there is an orientation every week and individuals currently receiving government food assistance must complete it or have their benefits suspended.

Orientation sessions will be held every week at the Colorado Workforce Center, 480 Barclay St., and are an all day event. Individuals on the food assistance program can call social services to find out when the next orientation will be.

"We hope to get everybody that's on the food assistance program that has to do it fully started on the employment work program by January," Rose said.

Any nonprofits or public entities that would like to sponsor employment or training opportunities can contact Rose or Laura Williams at Moffat County Department of Social services.

• Approved a contract with Masterworks Mechanical to install a new furnace and duct work at the Museum of Northwest Colorado. The project will cost $8,795 and completion is expected by the end of December.

Masterworks was also awarded a $6,750 contract to install a new humidifier system for the museum's gunfighter collection, which will also be installed by the end of the year.

• Signed a grant application to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requesting $45,438 for replacing three aerators and the clay liner in one of the lagoons at the Maybell Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The county will match $31,112 on the grant with $3,000 from the budget and $21,112 from an in-kind match.

• Reviewed and approved the proposed Moffat County Budget for 2016, presented by Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis. As proposed, the 2016 county budget, including the The Memorial Hospital's portion, totals $82,933,989 — $3.5 million more than the 2015 budget.

Curtis said the overall increase in costs could mostly be attributed to TMH, a Moffat County entity, having an approximate increase in expenses of $3 million from 2015.

Removing TMH, the remaining county budget is $42,147,366, an increase of $484,500 from 2015.

"At this time all budget expenses are still being discussed," Curtis said.

In drafting the budget, the commissioners are taking several anticipated economic factors into account.

According to Curtis, decrease in property tax revenue is estimated at $247,000 in 2016 with future anticipated decreases due to oil and gas valuation in 2017; federal mineral lease and severance tax income is predicted to decrease by $510,000; and sales tax is holding at 2015 budget levels, which is $203,755 less than 2014 levels.

• Approved an operating plan for the Moffat County Local Marketing District presented by Commissioner Frank Moe. Craig City Council and Dinosaur Town Council need to review the document and amend or approve it. At a future commissioner's meeting, the plan will be formally adopted by the commissioners.

"We need approve an operating plan for 2016 by Dec. 5 to be able to start collecting the money Jan. 1," Moe said.

Commissioner Chuck Grobe said he thinks it is a good idea to get a simple plan done and the details can be worked out when the LMD's regular board is established.

"I'd rather keep it simple like this and then let the board do whatever it's going to do going forward," he said. "Just to get something approved by everybody."

After the plan is approved, Moe said he hopes the LMD will begin working with the public to determine the specifics of the LMD's operations and the makeup of the regular board.

"Let's keep it simple knowing that, if everybody agrees, in January we would have multiple meetings," Moe said.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.