TRINIDAD — The Las Animas Board of County Commissioners held back to back meetings on Tuesday, September 29. They first met with Arlene Lopez, the director of the Las Animas County Department of Human Services (DHS), got a first look at the DHS 2016 budget, and learned more about the 2009 county administration overpayment. Lopez told the board her department has received over $19,000 from a county incentives program that is part of a state Medicaid incentive program. “The award,” said Commissioner Mack Louden, “will offset the nearly $16,000 in payments the DHS owes the state government for the 2009 county administration overpayment.” The overpayment was caused by a state audit error. “We have an option on how we pay it back,” Lopez said. “We can pay it back all at once or over the course of three years.” The overpayment price does not reflect any type of interest or penalties attached. Lopez told the board that the administration dollars have been a subject of discussion by human services directors across the state. “The administration dollars have not been enough to meet all the administration of the programs and all the
duties that counties have to do,” Lopez said. “The Colorado Department of Human Services has been increasing the administration dollars over the years.” Louden moved to pay back the administrative overpayments all at once. The motion passed 3-0. Lopez presented the board with a preliminary 2016 budget. She said the budget is up 29 percent from 2015. The total amount requested for 2016 by her department is about $11.6 million. Based on a three quarter percent mill levy, the county will put in about $372,144 and the balance will be made up from state and federal dollars. After the board voted 3-0 to pay the accounts payable they adjourned the DHS meeting and began the Special meeting. During the meeting the commissioners voted 3-0 to approve a special events permit application for the sale of alcohol during a fund raising event by the Kiwanis Club of Trinidad. A liquor license renewal for the Royal Tavern was deferred by a 3-0 vote so the sheriff could get background research to the commissioners. Tammy Mack was given a letter of support for her nomination to the Southeast Colorado Workforce Investment Board. The letter of support was approved unanimously by the commissioners. After a discussion concerning the selection of a new list of arbitrators to hear appeals for personal property of decisions of the board of equalization, the commissioners talked about the relation of the arbitrators to the Safeway appeal on its personal property taxes. The Safeway case has been ongoing for several years. The commission went into executive session at about 10:30 am and adjourned after the session was over.