In the Monday meeting of the Otero County Commissioners, County Assessor Ken Hood announced two refunds as the result of tax abatements.

In the Monday meeting of the Otero County Commissioners, County Assessor Ken Hood announced two refunds as the result of tax abatements to Family Guidance Institute, doing business as Southeast Health Group, and Valley-Wide Health Systems, both of which received tax exemptions from the Division of Property Taxation, dated Nov. 11, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2016, respectively. The Family Guidance Institute property is located at 963 Elm in Rocky Ford. The amount of abatement was $1,119.90. The Valley-Wide Health Systems property was located at 1012 Belmont Ave. in La Junta. The amount of that abatement was $1,397.

Prowers, Kiowa, Baca and Bent counties entered into an agreement (memorandum of understanding) to have inspections of wastewater facilities done by Alan Baker of Otero County until such time as they can replace their inspector, who has resigned.

County Administrator Jean Hinkle said Rocky Mountain Micro Imaging is backing up the files that have been copied off-site for several departments. The cost of the backup is $850 for the administrative offices, $850 for Land Use, $950 for the sheriff’s office, $1,050 for the treasurer, and $19,104 for the Department of Human Services. With the additional backup, all but the clerk’s office and the treasurer may destroy the paper files.

In departmental reports, Otero County County Economic Development Coordinator Danelle Berg reported from the manufacturers’ meeting. They will use the remainder of the school grant to back engineering clubs in Rocky Ford, Manzanola, La Junta and Swink schools.

Hinkle said the 911 group will be sending out a request for proposal soon to replace the equipment used in processing 911 calls, which is being made obsolete by advances in technology. Present equipment will not handle texts. Three locations involved are La Junta and Rocky Ford, which are redundant sites that back each other up, and the Sheriff’s Office, which is a satellite. They could be looking at a cloud-based site, depending on the vendor chosen. The 911 group is still looking for a board member from District 2 (Kevin Karney’s district, west La Junta, Swink, east Rocky Ford). Applications would be gratefully accepted at Hinkle’s office in the Commissioners’ office upstairs in the Otero County Courthouse.

Kevin Karney said the Burlington Northern Santa Fe is looking at rough crossings along Highway 50 from Rocky Ford to La Junta. Also, blockage of roads by coal trains should be reported accurately to the railroad, since the railroad already has the information. In the Water Resources meeting, issues concerning removal and control of weeds on Crooked Arroyo was discussed regarding four structures before the arroyo empties into Otero Ditch.

In other departmental reports, Human Services Director Donna Rohde reported the following payrolls, representing adjustments on February payrolls as already reported: Supplemental Social Security Income Home Care Allowance,$6,605; Temporary Aid to Needy Families, $53,174.23; Old Age Pensions, $52,128.15; Aid to Needy Dependents, $22,599.12; Employment First, $27.

Otero County offices and landfills will be closed on Friday in recognition of Good Friday. Otero Landfill will be open again on Saturday. The courts and Clerk and Recorder’s Office will be open on Friday.