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Defensible Space funds sign up open until May

Ambulance service transfer to SPRHC set for April 2017

by Eric Mullens

The Huerfano County Commissioners Tuesday congratulate USMC veteran Doyle E. West (second from right) upon him receiving a copy of the resolution naming February 19, 2017 as Doyle E. West Day in Huerfano County. Pictured left to right, commissioners Gerald Cisneros, Ray Garcia, West, and commissioner Max Vezzani. Photo by Eric Mullens.

WALSENBURG — At their regular meeting Tuesday, the Huerfano County Commissioners signed a letter that will be sent to residents in the Cuchara area explaining the defensible space (wildfire mitigation) program which is in its last year in Huerfano County under the current grant.

The letter explained funding remains available for homeowners in the Pinehaven, Panadero/CMR, Spanish Peaks, Wahatoya Canyon (Little Kansas), and the greater Cuchara Village area for fuels reduction work with a May 31, 2017 sign up deadline.

Funding requires a 50/50 cost share by the homeowner, and the letter going out this week says the average total cost to homeowners for properties treated last year was $875. Participating homeowners will be billed one half of the total project cost up to a cap of $2,500. Costs are influenced by forest conditions, the size of the property itself, terrain and ease of accessibility.

Another letter approved by the commissioners this week will go to the new members of the Cuchara Mountain Park Advisory Committee welcoming them to their new positions. The letter said in part, “It is our vision that the committee will guide the development of a Comprehensive Development Plan and work to implement the plan and principles.” The letter said the county will seek grant funds once the plan has been completed and reviewed by consultants who will estimate the cost of implementation.

Ambulance Service update:

The commissioners and administration announced the final contracts set for the transfer of the Huerfano County Ambulance Service to Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center are nearly completed and are undergoing some minor changes with an anticipated acquisition by SPRHC sometime in April 2017. The ambulance service and personnel will become services of the regional health center and the ambulance building in downtown Walsenburg could become an urgent care facility under the current plan. The commissioners are reviewing the proposed contract and indicated they wanted to ensure if SPRHC left the plan at any time, ownership of the $500,000 valued building would return to the county. It is estimated the building, vehicles, and furnishings are worth $1.1M.

In other business:

In an informal introduction, the commissioners met the principals behind a commercial retail marijuana operation that plans an indoor grow on property acquired off of CO Hwy. 10 near the Martra Holdings property. Cuerno Verde Limited plans an initial 3,800 sf building on their 147 acre property and indicated they will begin their state licensing process followed by the local county requirements in mid-March. Travis Nelson, consultant and security specialist Dan Corsentino introduced Erin Toups, CEO/CFO, Zachary Wills and general manager Robert Cochran to the board and staff. “We want to help build the economy here in Huerfano County,” Wills told the commissioners.

The commissioners approved $17,493 in change orders associated with the county courthouse rehabilitation project.

The commissioners honored U.S. Marine Corps veteran Doyle ‘Eddie’ West with a resolution earmarking Sunday, February 19, 2017 as Doyle E. West Day in Huerfano County. The former USMC private received the Good Conduct Medal and Expert Marksmanship Badge during his service years stationed in San Diego, CA, Jacksonville, FL, and Cherry Point, N.C.

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