At the December 17th Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, the commissioners worked through the final regular meeting agenda of 2019.

Coin of Excellence

Cory Ziegler of EMS was presented with the County’s Coin of Excellence. Ziegler was nominated by an anonymous resident of the county who had taken CPR courses from him. The nomination read, “I know Cory knows his material. He makes the class interesting and enjoyable.” It went on to say that the education extended beyond CPR. Ziegler also talked about what EMS does, showed them the equipment they utilize and provided detail on departmental needs and expenses. This was the first nomination submitted from a non-staff member in the program’s history. 

Upon receiving the Coin, Ziegler said, “I am totally blown away.” He accepted on behalf of his role with EMS, saying, “This is us, we are family.”

The legend behind the coin

The Grand County Coin of Excellence  recognizes individuals for their hard work and dedication to the citizens of Grand County—beyond what is normally expected. The idea was introduced to Grand County by Colonel Lee Staab, former Grand County Manager (2016-2019). The coin, known in military circles as an RMO (Round Metal Object), has its own number and displays the Grand County logo.

Tradition states: if someone presents their coin in an establishment, and you don’t have yours on

you, you are obligated to buy that person a beverage of their choice. If you happen to have yours and present it in return, the challenger must buy the drinks.

Road & Bridge updates

Micah Benson presented purchase and finance agreements for 3 pieces of heavy equipment: 2 loaders and 1 grader. Benson explained they were replacing a grader with a loader in Grand Lake, which will work better on the smaller, narrower roads. Bids were accepted by Power Equipment Company of Denver for the two Volvo Loaders L90 ($139,028 less trade-in $85K) and L120 ($195,373 with 91K trade) and from Wagner Cat of Aurora for the Caterpillar Grader 140LVR ($298,325.30) with $66K in trade in (2006 Cat 143-H). Financing of $632,726.30 will be provided by US Bank at a rate of 2.3%. 

Superintendent Chris Baer said, “Zach and Micah worked very hard on this equipment. We get a lot of snow in the Grand Lake area. By putting a loader up there, we’ll accomplish more. They also  saved us well over $100K. We are saving quite a bit of money and making ourselves more efficient.”

Baer also told the commissioners repairs to the damaged guardrail on CR3 would not be finished this year. The contract with Ideal Fencing Corp, LLC, stated the work would be completed by September 1, 2019, but due to a staffing shortage, they were unable to meet that timeline. Baer said Ideal had agreed to honor costs quoted initially and will finish the repairs in the spring. The commissioners approved the extension.

Public Health Medical Director Appointment

Sitting as the Board of Public Health, the commissioners considered the appointment of Darcy Selenke, MD, as medical director for Public Health. Dr. Selenke has been serving as the interim medical director and was the only physician to submit a letter of interest for the position. 

County Manager Kate McIntire told the commissioners, “This is a robust, unpaid position.”

Abbie Baker, with Public Health, added, “Darcy has done an exceptional job. It is no small feat and she has done it without compensation.”

Dr. Selenke said, “I just want to say, being the Medical Director for public health is not glamorous. It is the first line for constructive containment, preventing lost days at work. It is a necessary aspect of our community. Thank you for the opportunity.”  

The commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Selenke as Public Health’s medical director. The term is undefined, subject to an annual review.

Water Protection Update

Water Quality Specialist Katherine Morris gave a water protection update to the commissioners. Morris told the commissioners she had reached out to the Bureau of Reclamation to discuss concerns with the lack of continuity due to employee turnover. She also shared that a fish biologist had reported gill lice and northern pike had been introduced at Columbine Lake, which threatens the surrounding three lakes. “It’d be really nice to keep them from spreading.” Morris noted the only way to correct the introduction would be chemically treating the lake and reintroducing appropriate species. 

Morris next shared an operational and water quality summary report prepared by Hydros Consulting. The 2018 report showed early and low runoff peaks, below average Willow Creek pumping (-33%), above average Farr pumping and Adams Tunnel diversions (‘pulsed’ Farr pumping in summer to meet 220/440 cfs Adams Tunnel targets) and Windy Gap pumping for the first time since 2013. The report also showed below average external nutrient and total suspended solids (TSS) loading. She added that 2019 was an even better year than 2018, possibly due to pulse pumping. “It warrants further study,” said Morris.


2018 Had the Best System-Wide Water Quality (2007-2018)

Highest Overall WQI (89)

Above-Average Water Quality in All Three Water Bodies

Granby Reservoir

Above-Average Water Quality (WQI = 92; 2nd Highest)

Above-Average Clarity and Bottom DO

Highest Maximum and Average Chl-a

Continues to Exhibit Good Water Quality Over Wide Range of Drivers

Shadow Mountain Reservoir (SMR)

Excellent Water Quality (WQI = 86; Highest)

Low Chl-a and Cyanobacteria Due to Farr Pumping Pattern

Above-Average Clarity

High Dissolved Oxygen

Grand Lake

Above-Average Water Quality (WQI = 89; 4th Highest)

Low Chl-a and Cyanobacteria

Above-Average Clarity that Benefited from High Clarity in SMR

Both Clarity Goal Qualifiers Met

2018 Data shows that Goal Qualifiers can be met in years with high summer Farr Pumping; should manage clarity in SMR to improve chances of meeting Goal Qualifiers.

The 2019 Data Analysis will provide additional insight for meeting Goal Qualifiers in years with above-average Farr Pumping.

EMS Medical Director Candidates

After more than twenty years, Dr. John Nichols announced he would be leaving his position as medical director for Grand County EMS in early 2020. 3 local physicians had submitted materials expressing their interest in the unpaid roles of EMS Medical Director and Assistant Medical Director: Darcy Selenke MD, Lisa Floyd DO, and William Rose MD. 

EMS Chief Ray Jennings and Allen Pulliam, EMS Deputy Chief, had previously requested the commissioners hold off on making a selection until a new EMS Chief is hired. “You wanted to proceed forward anyway,” said Chief Jennings, adding, “I can respect that.” 

Dr. Selenke has been assistant medical director since February 2019 and has worked closely with EMS and Dr. Nichols. Her appointment as medical director was endorsed by Chief Ray Jennings, Deputy Chief Allen Pulliam, EMS Education Division Captain Audrey Jennings and East Grand Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth.

The commissioners agreed with the recommendations and voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Selenke as EMS Medical Director.

After discussion, the commissioners selected Dr. Lisa Floyd as EMS Assistant Medical Director in a 2:1 vote. Commissioner Kris Manguso dissented, saying she felt Dr. William Rose’s previous experience as an EMS Medical Director was valuable and that he was a better fit. 

The appointments do not have set terms and will be subject to annual reviews by the commissioners.

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