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Las Animas County Commissioner Felix Lopez appointed to CCI Board

by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — Commissioner Felix Lopez announced, during the regular county commission board meeting last Tuesday, he had been appointed to be President of Board of Colorado Counties Incorporated (CCI) for 2021 as well as appointed the delegate representing the Southeast region of the state on the board of directors.

Felix Lopez has represented Las Animas County at CCI over the past two years while serving as a Las Animas County Commissioner.

“CCI is a non-profit membership association whose purpose is to offer assistance to county commissioners, mayors, and council members and to encourage counties to work together on common issues. Governed by a board of directors consisting of eight commissioners from across the state, the focus is on information, education, and legislative representation,” according to CCI’s website.
In other reports given by county commissioners, Tony Hass said a meeting with Colorado Parks and Wildlife looked at gray wolf reintroduction on the West Slope with the need for dollars to bring that about being the big issue.  Colorado voters approved the reintroduction of the gray wolves in the November election.

A move by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment “eroded trust” in the ability of CDPHE to effectively communicate with the counties concerning place assignments on the COVID-19 dial dashboard. CDPHE moved the position of Las Animas County from yellow to orange, a more severe position on the dial. This was done without notifying anyone at the county offices.

“It would have been good for us to have been kept in the loop and get this information before the position was changed on the dial,” Hass said. “We told the Governor’s liasion that trust in CDPHE was eroded.”

Commissioner Luis Lopez reported that he attended small work session with Trinidad on Cougar Canyon last week. They talked about seating a board for the Stone Ridge Metro District, the entity that will handle the business for the district including the Cougar Canyon development.
Other actions taken

The commission approved, for the first time in at least five years, a transfer of $400,000 from the general fund to the airport fund. “The county has additional funds. Then each year the county can look at transferring $100,000 to the airport,” County Finance Director Kristee Coberly said.
The commission also approved to put to the next meeting’s agenda the county’s Mission and Vision statements with a 3-0 vote. The move will allow for the statements to be approved as a resolution giving it more weight.

The county commission went into executive session at 9:35 a.m.  To discuss legal questions and receiving legal advice on quarantined employees, the city storage of vehicles, and the District Attorney’s lawsuit.