Author: Marissa Lorenz

2017 Ballot Issues

The Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has been engaged in discussing several proposed ballot initiatives, put forth for the November 2017 general election. BOCC APPROVES BALLOT MEASURE ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTONOMY On Tuesday, they voted unanimously to initiate a ballot measure put forth by Commissioner Rich Cimino that would exempt Grand County from Colorado Senate Bill 152, a state law preventing counties and municipalities from investing public funds in internet infrastructure and services. Since the bill passed in 2005, local governments are even restricted in the ways in which they can work with private parties to support and provide such services as telecommunication services, cable television services and broadband internet service. Practical examples of what that means for Grand County is that local governments can do nothing to help improve connectivity for businesses or residents. Nor can they add these services to public venues that are not already grandfathered under the law. So while visitors to the Grand County Court House and Administrative Building in Hot Sulphur Springs may log onto the provided internet services, groups wishing to book an event at the county fairgrounds could not be offered broadband WiFi as an incentive. According to County Economic Development Coordinator DiAnn Butler, this is an increasing concern as we look to boosting our economy as a venue provider. “We need to look at, what do our facilities supply?...

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Avalanche System Expansion

Expansion of Avalanche System in the Works Two air units proposed for 80s Slide on this side of Berthoud Pass The Town of Winter Park and the Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) have recently signed statements of support for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in regards to an expansion of the Berthoud Avalanche Control Program. The proposed expansion would see the installation of two O’BellX semi-permanent avalanche release systems on an avalanche path called the 80s Slide, located on the west side of Berthoud Pass between mile markers 241 and 242 on US Highway 40. If...

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Kremmling Cretaceous Ammonite Locality

Over two dozen explorers joined Heidi McNinch of the Grand County Library District and guides from the Bureau of Land Management for a hike to Kremmling’s 72.5 million year old fossil ridge, the Kremmling Cretaceous Ammonite Locality. Photos by Marissa Lorenz   When hiking above West Grand’s Town of Kremmling, gazing across the sagebrush covered landscape and arid steppe-like topography, it can be hard to believe that the area was once submerged by a great inland sea, the Western Interior Seaway, which stretched from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf of Mexico some 100 million years ago. And yet, it’s...

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Working To Keep Costs Down

Grand County Inks Deal for Short-Term Rental Software The Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently contracted with Bear Cloud Software, LLC for the provision of short-term rental compliance monitoring and administration services. Bear Cloud Software was one of three companies that submitted service proposals to the county and was recommended by County Manager Lee Staab and Community Development Director Bill Gray. Bear Cloud offers a customized software package, to be administered by a yet-to-be-identified County employee(s). This is a change from the initial vision of contracting out all but some administrative oversight and customer service to a third-party provider. But after interviewing each applicant and completing an online demonstration of each service, it was determined that the Bear Cloud Software will “provide the County, along with identified staff members, a means to administer the STR program in an effective manner,” according to Gray. “It was pretty impressive, meeting all of our requirements with a significant cost savings.” The Bear Cloud bid came in at less than half of the other two proposals at $27,850 for the first year and $21,500 for subsequent years. This, compared to $70,780 and $69,000 from Harmari by LTAS and Host Compliance, whose presentation to the Board earlier this year convinced both BOCC and staff of the value of outsourcing the monitoring and enforcement under recently adopted Short-Term Rental (STR) regulations. The low...

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Around Grand County

The town of Fraser and Byers Peak Properties have reached an agreement regarding water and wastewater provisions for development of Byers Peak Ranch. Photos by Marissa Lorenz   A few highlights from developments around Grand County: Fraser, Byers Peak Reach Agreement The question of the historic Byers Peak Ranch property in the future of the Fraser Valley has been a decades-long discussion that has seen ownerships, visions, and efforts change without a definitive resolution. The property has been proposed for development and passionately defended by those who wished to preserve its agricultural heritage. It has been annexed by the Town and...

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County Reins In Vacation Rentals

With the ubiquity of the internet has come the increased ability for individuals to find and directly negotiate almost anything with anyone at anytime. Individuals and companies have capitalized on this trend and, now, one can rent a ride from their neighbor through Uber or Lyft, rent a personal car that would otherwise be garaged via RelayRides, or rent a family’s empty room or house through such online platforms as VRBO or AirBnB. These arrangements can provide extra income for the owner and, usually, cheaper goods for the renter. The result has been the emergence (or reemergence) of an...

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Kremmling Days

Father’s Day weekend in Kremmling is always reserved for a very special combination of hometown tradition and inimitable fun. Simultaneous events transform the Town Square with the Chamber-sponsored Kremmling Days festivities and convert the Fairgrounds into a giant mud pit for the Redneck Mudshuffle to benefit the Middle Park Fair & Rodeo Royalty Scholarship Fund. If you can remember the sound of children laughing, the taste of hot dogs and sarsaparilla, the colorful sight of balloons and handcrafts, you have but an inkling of the nostalgia-inducing neighborhood-style Kremmling Days. Residents and friends past and present will come together to...

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Around Grand County

Driver License Transition Goes Smoothly The Grand County Clerk and Recorder’s Office took over responsibilities for driver license-related activities just over a month ago, an office previously run by the Colorado Department of Revenue. The transition has included the renovation of several spaces in the County Administration building. The completed phase one of that renovation has been a remodel of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office that has created a larger area for employees and customers and addressed safety concerns for both, according to Sara Rosene, County Clerk and Recorder. Driver license employees now have more than one means of egress, customers have greater security when sharing private and personally identifying information, and all secure documents and money will be handled in a single area. Phase two of the remodel will combine the former offices used by the state and for the old county switch-board and is slated for completion by the end of the month. The newly-created area will be used for marriage and civil union licenses, records searches, and elections. With the changeover, the County has retained all driver license-related services, including first-time issuance and renewal of driver licenses and instructional permits, motorcycle instruction permits, ID cards, and written and behind-the-wheel driver tests. All administrative services and written tests can be completed during office hours, 8:30 to noon and 1:00 to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Driving tests...

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