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Huerfano BOCC hear insurance briefing, honor Navy veteran Wolahan

by Eric Mullens

HUERFANO — The Huerfano County Commissioners Tuesday heard a loss analysis briefing from Jon Wagner of Colorado Technical Services, Inc.

Wagner, a risk management and loss prevention specialist reviewed insurance claims the county insurance has paid in the past five years, noting 51 claims for a total of $471,000. He said high one-time claims in 2011 and 2013 accounted for much of the overall total. In 2011 a single claim resulting from a fall cost approximately $109,000 and in 2013 a claim was paid for about $163,000 resulting from an injury suffered during a single patient lift into an ambulance.

He told the commissioners overall, across the state worker’s compensation claims are dropping due to increased safety training and utilization of modified duties ( approved by the employee’s physician) that keep workers on the job by allowing them to do tasks they may perform safely while healing.

Wagner recommended the county take advantage of all of the free training programs offered by CTSI for line employees, managers and supervisors.

County Technical Services, Inc. (CTSI) is the service arm of county government in Colorado. A nonprofit organization founded in 1992, CTSI is owned by its member counties. CTSI administers three risk-sharing pools: Colorado Counties Casualty and Property Pool (CAPP) the County Workers’ Compensation Pool (CWCP), and the County Health Pool (CHP).

In other business:

The commissioners approved a resolution proclaiming March 20, 2016 as Ed Wolahan Day in Huerfano County. Wolahan is a US Navy veteran and American Legion Commander for Post 16 and District 8 in southern Colorado and was honored for his accomplishments and dedication to veterans of Huerfano County. Wolahan thanked the commissioners for the recognition and for making recognition for county veterans a part of their weekly agenda.
Wolahan served in the navy from 1963 to 1965 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet.

Funding for defensible space
The commissioners have secured funding to help offset Wildfire Mitigation for certain subdivisions and neighborhoods who have extreme wildfire hazards. Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha said funding requires a 50/50 cost share by homeowners and participating homeowners will be required to pay the full amount (estimated at $2,400-$2,500) upon completion. He said some areas, like ‘Little Kansas’ may incur higher costs. The offer is available to Pinehaven, Panadero/CMR, Spanish Peaks, Wahatoya Canyon (Little Kansas) and the greater Cuchara Village area. Homeowners in those neighborhoods are the primary focus of the project.

Timely response and participation is necessary in order to receive the benefit of the program and interested parties must contact the Project Supervisor by E-Mail Only at to request information and the application packet. Those sending the email request should put ‘Cuchara Area Cost Share’ in the subject line. This is a first come, first serve program. The commissioners will be sending letters to homeowners in the affected subdivisions in order to secure the grant.

All fuels reduction work will be completed by qualified contractors who are insured, equipped and trained for this kind of work.

Commissioners voted unanimously to transfer $150,000 in FAA funds from the Spanish Peaks Airport to the Holyoke Municipal Airport, as Huerfano County does not have an active unpaid project ongoing this year. “This is a pretty common thing,” Galusha said of the transfer.

Two bids for well pump repairs (as necessary) were opened; Andreatta Well Service bid $125 per hour and Weber Water/Well Service bid $135 per hour. The two bids will be reviewed to ensure they meet all specifications before the final bid is awarded.

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