Montezuma County

Austin Cope

The Montezuma County commissioners voted 2 to 1 Monday to recommend a 10 percent pay increase for county elected officials. The increase would take effect only after the 2018 elections. Coroner George Deavers – who is paid $33,000 a year despite being on call around the clock –  told the board that only six of Colorado’s other counties opted out of any pay increase last year. He recommended a 20 percent hike. Clerk Kim Percell voiced reservations, saying her employees had no cost-of-living increase last year. Most county elected officials earn about $58,000 per year.

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Montezuma County weed manager Bonnie Loving got the go-ahead from the county commission  Monday to get tough on landowners who ignore regulations designed to prevent the spread of noxious weeds. Loving showed the commissioners striking pictures of fields of flowering musk and Canada thistle as well as other invasive species directly adjoining crops of alfalfa. The county is allowed to take action to eradicate such weeds on its own if property owners ignore certified letters notifying them of the violations.

Austin Cope / KSJD

The Montezuma County Commission delayed adopting portions of its 2017 road map Monday after dozens of residents of a Summit Ridge subdivision protested proposed changes in their neighborhood. At the urging of the Bureau of Land Management, the county commissioners are considering changing the signage of County Road 35.6 and adjacent roads from red to green to indicate public access to isolated public lands bordering the subdivision.

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The Montezuma County Social Services Department is one of five departments statewide to receive a $200,000 federal grant from the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood. The office recently awarded more than $2.5 million through a federal program that supports keeping children and their families together. Social Services Director Josiah Forkner told the county commissioners on Monday he is proud that Montezuma County was the only one of the five recipients that is not an urban, Front Range county.

Austin Cope / KSJD

Montezuma County Landfill manager Shak Powers talked trash at Monday’s county commission meeting, delivering potential good news on two fronts. Powers unveiled a plan to redesign the landfill with deeper cells and an improved drainage system that – if approved by  the state – could extend the landfill’s life by two decades and save an estimated $19 million.