Board honors Merritt’s commitment to water issues

River district president is stepping down in January following current term

PRESS RELEASE
October 20, 2020

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)
honored Colorado River District President Dave Merritt for his decades of work to keep water on
the Western Slope. Merritt, who has served as the Garfield County representative on the river
district’s board of directors since 2009, is leaving the post after his term expires in January.
Prior to Merritt being named board president in 2019, the last river district board president
representing Garfield County was all the way back in 1957. Merritt first joined the river district as
a staff engineer in 1985.
“I’m coming up on essentially 36 years at the river district, and I will not be seeking
reappointment,” Merritt told the board. “I’ve appreciated working with you; and it’s been an
honor to be a board member for Garfield County. It’s been a singular honor being the board
president the last two years for the river district.”
At the regular BOCC meeting, he provided the commissioners with a quarterly report on local
river issues.
“We are focused very heavily on maintaining western Colorado uses in the face of increasing
demand,” Merritt said. “Whether its agricultural consumptive uses or recreational uses, which
are extremely important, or maintaining flows for stream habitat, all of those uses are extremely
important to the economy of western Colorado.”
Following his report, the commissioners surprised Merritt with an outpouring of gratitude for his
hard work over the years. The board presented Merritt with a certificate of appreciation, as well
as many well wishes on his future.
“Kudos to what you’ve done for Garfield County and the water district,” said Commissioner Mike
Samson. “You’ve put in countless hours to make sure things run smoothly and always tried to
get people to get along.”
“With the institutional knowledge you carry from being a staff engineer, as well as being
chairman of the board, and doing a very fine job of it, we’re going to sorely miss you,” added
Commissioner John Martin.
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