Board of County Commissioners policy directives and action plan 2021
The following is a compilation of the policy directives, strategies and priorities of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) for the calendar year 2021 that promote the County’s mission to deliver quality services to the citizens of Garfield County. This list reflects key priorities identified by the BOCC throughout the public hearings in consideration of the 2021 Adopted Budget. These are in addition to the annual processes, initiatives, work plans, and programs currently underway and day-to-day operations and services provided to the community. These straightforward goals are the core of a dynamic strategic planning process, which is adaptive and will be ongoing throughout 2021.
Infrastructure and investment
- Continue to execute the 10-year master plan for the Rifle Garfield County Airport as a general aviation airport.
- Improve the county’s road and bridge system including the rebuild of 1.5 miles of CR 215, annual chip sealing 12 miles of county roads and annual asphalt paving.
- Advance trail improvements including the CR 109 Hardwick Bridge as a component to Safe Routes to Schools for Riverview School.
Maximize the Garfield County Fairgrounds as a year-round events center with enhanced promotions and capital investments including improved way-finding signage. Upgrade and remodel the warehouse at 937 Railroad Avenue for use by the 4H and CSU Extension programs.
- Improve the county’s regional communications network infrastructure.
1) Installing replacement communications towers at Harvey Gap.
2) Implement a broadband wireless improvement project for rural areas of Garfield County including the development of a Meet Me Center (MMC) in Rifle, CO.
- Complete Environmental Watershed Protection Program (EWPP) projects in collaboration with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires burn areas.
Health and human services
- Support the aging population through Garfield County’s senior services and community health programs, and through decisions on land use, transportation, housing, economic development and health care.
- Advance the utilization of the Rifle Human Services regional training center and support local non-profits through the Human Services Commission.
- Promote overall community physical and mental health and by preventing disease and by providing quality services; fulfilling state grants; and through collaboration and partnerships.
- Respond to the continued COVID-19 pandemic through disease prevention, vaccination, and economic recovery through 2021.
Continue to explore all viable mental health options throughout Garfield County with partners, including MindSprings Health.
- Consider Garfield County’s participation level with the State of Colorado with our Community Corrections program.
- Work with Peak Health Alliance and local health providers to reduce the cost of health insurance and health care in Garfield County.
- Work with the City of Glenwood Springs, local hospitals and communities in support of a Detox Center facility in Garfield County.
Community outreach and transparency
- Commitment to partnerships and good communication with the cities, towns, and communities within its borders through intergovernmental agreements, joint meetings, town halls, and quarterly meetings with mayors and managers.
- Increase transparency and improve community relations by providing improved access to meetings, information, financial data and services.
- Highlight county activities, decisions, proclamations, awards and events through press releases, public service announcements and other media forms.
- Continue to support the mission of the Energy Advisory Board and host the 8th Annual Energy Environment Symposium.
Federal, state and local policy agenda
- Continue the purpose of preserving historic access to public lands, historical right of ways and County roads within Garfield County.
Advance the interests of the County through leadership, policy development and active representation in the National Association of Counties (WIR), Colorado Counties, Inc., Club 20, and the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.
- Advocate the sustainability of the Federal PILT, severance tax, Federal mineral lease and Secure Rural Schools funding programs.
- Continue to participate in the BLM’s effort supporting the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) regarding the greater sage-grouse and consider Garfield County strategy regarding the re-introduction of the grey wolf in Colorado.
- Continue to work with the 23-member Western and Rural Local Governments Coalition to analyze the socio-economic impact on SB-181 Rulemaking.
- Actively coordinate and cooperate with the Bureau of Land Management regarding:
1) the Environmental Assessment of Rocky Mountain Resources’ (RMR) proposal to drill 5 water monitoring wells and
2) the pending Environmental Impact Statement for RMR’s proposed limestone mine expansion.
- Work with Federal land managers to insure natural resource development and multiple use on Federal lands.
- Promote economic development around the Garfield County Airport to leverage opportunities with private industry such as hangar development, with general aviation activities and with government entities, such as the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Training Facility, the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit, and the SEAT base.
- Advance broadband systems and partnerships in Garfield County and regionally including the Meet Me Center in Rifle.
- Protect Garfield County and Western Slope water rights including negotiations, the facilitation of a semi-annual Garfield County Water Forum, and maximize Board involvement on statewide and regional water issues including the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, the Colorado River Water Conservation District and the Middle Colorado Watershed Council’s conservation planning.
- Collaborate with the federal, state, other county governments, and opportunities like Peak Health Alliance to lower health insurance and the cost of health care in Garfield County and on the Western Slope of Colorado.
- Prioritize economic development through capital projects, policies, programs and collaboration including working with Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC), their federal Economic Development District, the Rifle Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Carbondale CoVenture and Garfield County economic development roundtables.
- Continue our work with Garfield Clean Energy and their efforts to build a resilient economy with clean energy.
- Showcase the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo as a premiere event for the Western Slope with premier talent, events and carnival.
Participate in community discussions on affordable and attainable housing through land use decisions, policies, programs and collaboration.
- Maximize natural resource opportunities in the Piceance Basin through land use code updates, active collaboration with industry, Federal, State and local governments to support export facilities that serve the Piceance Basin.
- Support the agriculture industry through policies, decisions and programs on land use, noxious weeds, farm-to-table programs, water policies, educational programs, partnerships and through collaboration, funding and cost sharing programs with National Resource Conservation Services.
- Support tourism and improve the quality of life and health through building and improving trails and roads for bikes and pedestrians through partnerships, and Conservation Trust Fund grants.
- Provide support for the economy and private business to recover from COVID19 pandemic restrictions through the Board of Public Health’s policies and direction.
Organizational, core and internal services
- Commitment to making Garfield County the employer of choice in the region through continued engagement of employees on competitive pay and benefits; professional development and targeted training.
- Promote a culture of safety and advance the county’s risk management activities.
- Ensure the fiscal sustainability of County operations with an efficient annual budget, operate within it and continue developing long-term revenue forecasts and financial strategies for the county’s organizational structure and Five Year Capital Improvement Plan.
- Consider the development of contingency budgets for 2022, which may include reductions in the budget, service levels and grant funding levels.
- Continue to upgrade and maintain the motor pool fleet vehicles for safety and reliability purposes, and implement the new Motor Pool Policy through Motor Pool User’s committee.
- Advance IT cyber security, network infrastructure and data storage, maintenance of computer equipment and replacements, and develop a strategic plan through the Technology Advisory Committee and with the IT Assessment recommendations.
- Work with Garfield Clean Energy and private industry to enhance clean energy programs and clean energy infrastructure in Garfield County. Look at State and Federal grants for County and Municipal clean energy projects.