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Commissioners approve board appointments

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG —  During a brief regular session Tuesday, the Huerfano County Commissioners made several board appointments, approved a conditional use permit waiver and recognized a local veteran.
The board unanimously passed resolutions which reappointed Lonnie Brown and Bruce Roscoe to the Regional Building Authority with both terms expiring December 31, 2020.  Also on a unanimous vote, the commissioners reappointed Bob Northup to the Huerfano County Board of Adjustment with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2019 and appointed Frank Kirkpatrick to the same board with the same term expiration date.
The commissioners approved a waiver of a conditional use permit requested by Pike Builders Inc., of Gunnison to use the former Mandella restaurant building in Gardner to house between four and ten employees for a period of three to four years as those employees work on construction projects at the Aught Six Ranch.  Steve Pike of Pike Builders Inc., said in his request to the board, “As you are well aware, housing in Huerfano County is very difficult to procure.  In fact, obtaining housing for our employees for this expansive project has been quite a hurdle for my company. With that in mind, I am truly hoping we can come to an agreement with regards to Pike Builders Inc. obtaining a waiver for the requirements for a Conditional Use Permit.”  The commissioners approved the request and noted Huerfano County planning and administrative staff will be working to establish zoning districts in Gardner, where none are currently in place.
The commissioners voted to tentatively approve a lease agreement between the county and District ONE regarding a 28-year, one dollar per year lease concerning Fiesta Park, 928 Russell Street in Walsenburg.  The area in question is located behind the ball field.  The commissioners’ motion included striking segment (g) of the proposed lease which would allow District ONE to build a permanent greenhouse building.  The commissioners also indicated they wanted the lease to include wording that would prohibit any sub-leasing of the property by District ONE.  The proposed lease agreement will be sent back to District ONE for review before final adoption.
The board approved Resolution 18-21 proclaiming March 4, 2018 as Tom Falkerson Day throughout Huerfano County in recognition of his service as a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army.  Falkerson was stationed in Colorado, Washington, Germany and Turkey during his years of service.  He received the National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals and eight Distinguished Service Medals.
In other business:
• The commissioners approved the Community Development Block Grant for the single family owner-occupied rehabilitation program offered through the state department of local affairs.  The $98,527 grant is administered by the South Central Council of Governments and covers both Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.
• Approved the Gardner Water and Sanitation District award program which will see incentives put in place for contractors working on the system.  The program helps ensure improvements in all technical, managerial and financial components of the operation and maintains the production of safe drinking water through the district’s operations.
• The board awarded a concrete project associated with ingress and egress of the county fueling facility located off of Russell Street to Common Construction for $6,164.  Also dealing with the new fuel site, the commissioners approved a spill prevention plan development (SPCC) by Geologic Services & Consultants of Colorado Springs for $2,000.
* The commissioners also approved the purchase of batteries for portable radios used by the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management.  The batteries cost will be $1,500 for 20 batteries from Digitcom Electronics of La Junta.  The radios were donated to Huerfano County by Pueblo County.