The Otero County Commissioners' meeting room was full of visitors on Monday. The 4-H and FFA Livestock members presented their case for revamping the livestock facilities at the Arkansas Valley Fair.

The Otero County Commissioners’ meeting room was full of visitors on Monday. The 4-H and FFA Livestock members presented their case for revamping the livestock facilities at the Arkansas Valley Fair. The audience learned that pigs jump over the barriers, animals can get caught in the fencing, wires are coming loose everywhere and are a cutting and snagging danger for all. Also, the rabbit cages have the wrong kind of wire, which can hurt the feet of the rabbits. The cages are wood and wire and the wood can absorb germs to pass on animal diseases, despite attempts to keep them painted. The cost of desperately needed upgrades includes $26,661.15 for 78 units of 10-foot adjustable configuration, 5’ by 5’, 41” height; $1,500 to repaint roughly 30 hog/show ring panels (complete in fall/winter by DeBourgh); $5,400 for 10’ double-sided galvanized two level with 20 units (24” X 24” X 16”) rabbit/poultry (60 units), for a total of $33,561.15.

Rounding out the figures a little, the commissioners asked the 4-H and FFA clubs and parents/sponsors to come up with 10 percent of the cost, $3,350, and agreed to pay the remaining $30,211.l5 from the Greater Outdoor Colorado Conservation Trust Fund money.

The Mandatory Pre-Bid for the Indoor Barn restrooms will take place on Tuesday at 10-11 a.m. in Rocky Ford. County Administrator Jean Hinkle is hoping for a complete gut and redo for the restrooms, which date to 1978. The 4-H kids clean, repair and paint them every year but the facilities are in bad shape.

Bids for the revamping of the reception area in the commissioners’ office are in. Bassett Construction bid $15,433 and Ralph Gjertsen bid $11,194. Hinkle will take a week to consider the bids and report next week.

Steve Cordova of Tri-County Housing presented a yearly funding request, asking that the Otero County Commissioners act as the lead in the request to the Community Development Block Grant. He will also present the request for the approval of Crowley and Bent counties. The total cost of the project is estimated at $755,000, of which they are requesting $542,000 from the State of Colorado. Otero County would act as financial pass-through. Thirty-six projects are involved, of which 16 are rehabs, eight single situations (such as wiring or plumbing) and 12 repairs. These rehab projects are available mainly to families with income of up to $51,400 for a family of four. Cordova said that 60 percent of the housing in the three-county area is over 50 years old and the average age of housing is 64 years. The work will take place in the calendar year 2018, January through December. Tri-County Housing takes care of the administration, including monthly invoicing. The commissioners agreed with the proposal.

The Request for Proposal for the new 911 system will go out at the end of June, said Hinkle. The 911 Commission is still in need of a commissioner from District II. Any person who wishes to apply should write a letter of interest to County Administrator Jean Hinkle, the commissioners or Chief Aaron Eveatt expressing interest in serving on the 911 Commission Board.