The Otero County Commissioners, meeting in regular session, approved the change requested by Executive Director Diane McAtee of the Otero County/La Junta Housing Authority.

The Otero County Commissioners, meeting in regular session, approved the change requested by Executive Director Diane McAtee of the Otero County/La Junta Housing Authority. The Manzanola Gardens Project will need approximately $20,000 more to complete the project to mitigate mold and water damage and to install more waterproof flooring in the remodeled units, plus better shut-offs and washer hook-ups. This request goes to the Colorado Department of Housing.

Otero County Public Works Director Lex Nichols requested and was approved for the reappointment of Jerry Bay of Cheraw and Ben Rodriguez of Rocky Ford to the Otero County Planning Commission. Both are appointed for a three-year term. They will rejoin Tom Fede of Fowler, Vince Tatum of Swink and Bill Piquette of La Junta. Nichols said he was happy for the experience represented in the long-serving members of the commission. "Almost nothing comes through they don't know something about," said Nichols.

Director of Human Services Donna Rohde requested $34,867.87 for a Single Entry Program, having to do with the Home Care Allowance program (a Colorado State Program). The CORE Services were also approved. In addition to programs already active, the department is adding Program Area 3, which deals with therapy for families about to lose or about to get children back, in-home services, substance abuse programs and play therapy. This program allows services without opening an official case. Megan Schiro does preventive work with these clients. This is the third year of a three-year plan, funded at $550,000 (federal and state program).

Otero County Administrator Jean Hinkle presented a plan whereby emails will be deleted from the county database after a six-month period. Individuals may keep emails longer on their own computers if they so desire. The central issue is space available for storage. The commissioners approved. Attorney Niklos investigated and found most entities delete emails after six months to a year.

The Courthouse Security group (judges, Wendy Larson, commissioners, security officers and county administrator) met on Friday to decide on priorities for funding. The T-1 funding will continue, which allows for the panic buttons in courthouse offices. More hard drive capacity is needed for the security cameras, which have seen a lot of use relative to recent trials. Also, a clock-lock system will again be requested.

A new system for releasing people being held for trial is under discussion. Sixty-seven percent of the jail population is people waiting for hearings. By a new policy, non-violent, not at risk for flight people might be released on their own recognizance or have low-level bails. This would save the county a lot of money in housing, feeding, caring for medical needs and transporting. A separate supervisor would be needed to oversee the system. Commissioner Goodwin said the people would be evaluated on a point-based system.