by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- Huerfano County is back up over 8,000 people. County administrator, John Galusha, said the increase is from mostly people moving into the county. The population is roughly what it was in 1954. However Huerfano County and Walsenburg were much larger in the glory days of the coal mines. Both Walsenburg and Huerfano County are currently half the size of what they used to be but some growth is being seen and the area could see a continued upswing in the future.
The Commissioners announced the hiring of six dispatchers in preparation of taking over the dispatch services from the City of Walsenburg. They hired Debbie Bernal, Susan Blake, Tracy Siebold, Michelle Lessar, Pam Martinez and Dee Pacheco at a salary of $23,125 plus benefits. five of the six were current dispatchers from the City of Walsenburg and Pacheco was recently with the District Attorney’s office at the courthouse. Don Mercier was recently hired to be the head of the dispatch services. The County is slated to take over dispatch services this Sunday, February 1st.
The County Assessor’s Office hired Alicia Bryant full time at a salary of $21.644. She had been working part-time in that capacity.
The Commissioner’s will support a letter from Las Animas County Commissioners in opposition to the U.S. Army’s planned expansion of the Pinon Canyon maneuver site. The letter will ask the U.S. Congress to impose a prohibition upon the Army barring further consideration of the expansion. The citizens of the area plus most elected officials in the area have banded together in their fight and are in hopes of keeping the expansion at bay.