Many different agencies chipped in to see that area foster children had plenty of food and toys for Christmas this year, reported Foster Care Coordinator Myra Pacheco and Kinship Care Coordinator Kristina Lofing.

Many different agencies chipped in to see that area foster children had plenty of food and toys for Christmas this year, reported Foster Care Coordinator Myra Pacheco and Kinship Care Coordinator Kristina Lofing. All foster parent homes received Christmas baskets. Many area churches and organizations adopted families for Christmas. They include First Baptist Church of Rocky Ford, Free Will Church of Manzanola, First Methodist of La Junta, River of Life Fellowship in Ordway, the 16th Judicial District. Toys for Tots and the Wayne Kash Memorial Toy Run distributed toys throughout Otero, Crowley and Bent counties. One family in Baca County also received help.

Adult Protective Services continues its memorandum of understanding among Otero, Crowley and Bent counties with InspirationField for reporting and investigation of incidents.

Every two years, the commissioners rotate the jobs of chairman and chairman pro-tem. Commissioner Kevin Karney will resume duties as chairman this year and Commissioner Keith Goodwin will be vice chairman (Resolution 2017-01). Karney congratulated Commissioner Jim Baldwin on his two-year term as chairman, which ended with this meeting. The commissioners all expressed thanks the team works well together.

In Resolution 2017-02, board assignments were made, with only two changes: on the Otero County Landfill Inc., Board, Goodwin will be the county representative and Baldwin will be the first alternate; on the Otero Partners Inc., Baldwin will be the county representative and Goodwin the alternate. Remaining board assignments remain the same. Office hours remain 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Extension Office is open 7:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Otero County Landfill is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Manzanola Landfill 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Meeting times for commissioners remain every Monday of the month following Human Services/Planning Review. The Planning Review is the first Monday following the third Monday at 1:30 p.m. Human Services is every Monday except the first Monday following the third Wednesday, 1:30 p.m.

In Resolution 2017-03, the commissioners authorized depositories for the county for fiscal year 2017. The only change is that Colorado East Bank and Trust is now TBK Bank, due to change in ownership. The other depositories are Colorado Bank & Trust, Colo Trust, First National Bank of Las Animas/LaJunta/Fowler/Rocky Ford, U.S. Treasury and Agencies, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Community Bank of Rocky Ford, The State Bank - La Junta/Rocky Ford, U.S. Bank, Fowler State Bank, Multi-Bank Securities Inc. (endorsed by National Association of Counties). Terms and provisions of the Otero County Investment Policy adopted June 8, 2009 and amended Oct. 5, 2015, apply with regard to said institutions.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Darren Garcia opened and read bids from Colorado Vegetation Management and Southeast Colorado Weed Management for weed control in the county. Because chemicals vary in effectiveness if used continually and with use at various times of the year, study is necessary to determine the best control for the money. Garcia will study the bids and report a decision at next week's commissioners' meeting.

County Emergency Manager Danny Chavez reported application for continuing the emergency position with the 2017 Emergency Management Program Grant.

As previously reported, The Southeastern Water Conservancy District has granted a Master Contract for water storage to Canon City, Florence, Fountain, La Junta, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, Olney Springs, Rocky Ford, Penrose, Poncha Springs, Pueblo West, St. Charles Mesa Water District, Salida, Security, Stratmoor Hills, Upper Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District and Widefield. Other communities, such as Fowler and communities in Crowley County, are expected to join once the Arkansas Valley Conduit is built. The initial contract will allow 6,525 acre-feet of water to be stored in 2017, which will become the minimum number for future years. The contract allows storage of up to 29,938 acre-feet annually for the next 40 years.