County business is in good shape. Projects are moving forward with efficiency and the county is continuing to innovate and seek more cost-effective and reasonable solutions. The county is in a strong financial shape, and this is evident in the work that is being achieved. I’d like to update you on a few projects that I feel are noteworthy: road and bridge’s five-year plan, the budget, and the Rimrocker Trail.
Since 2008, road and bridge has replaced over 19 bridges (four new bridges and 15 with culverts) and improved over 90 miles of paved road. In 2020, the team is looking at completing over 30 miles of paving next year. Additional subdivisions have been added to the winter maintenance schedule route, which will help improve public access and create safer roadways for the public. If you are interested, the county’s five-year road and bridge plan is on the website.
This week, the county manager presented a draft budget to the board of county commissioners. This is the result of months of meetings and work by County Manager Norris, Deputy Manager Waschbusch, the finance staff and department heads. This presentation is available online and I would encourage you to look at proposed projects and budget for 2020. The county remains in a strong financial position, and I am looking forward to the upcoming budget meetings with the board. This is the next step of the county process prior to formally adopting the budget in December.
If you would like to take a deeper dive into county finances, check out the Citizen Transparency module on the website. A new version of the module was launched this week, and I think you will find it even easier to navigate and find the information you are looking for. The function now offers common question and a search for financial data. The home page also features a financial summary that highlights revenue, operating budget, vendor payment, payroll, and more. Being a transparent county is something that all commissioners are committed to and this software is one step closer to achieving that goal.
Lastly, the Rimrocker Trail is one step closer to completion of the “Missing Link Project.” Contractors are currently working on constructing a 1.4 mile path for ATVs in the right-of-way along Highway 141. The completion of this project will make the trail 100-percent accessible and legal for ATVs. The nearly $400,000 project received a $194,657 grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which significantly reduced the cost of the project and furthered outdoor trail commitments by CPW. The missing link is expected to be finished in early November. This is especially exciting for four-wheeler groups or outfitters that want to take advantage of the trail. The trail continues to grow in popularity and has helped drive business to the West End of the county.
What are your thoughts on county business? I’d love to hear from you. I am available at 970-249-7755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Caddy is a Montrose County commissioner.