At the Otero County Commissioners' meeting on Monday, the bids were opened for the companies wishing to undertake the Otero County audit finances. Stockman, Kast and Ryan bid $47,00 for 2018, $49,000 for 2019, $51,000 for 2020, and $53,000 for 2021. Hinkle & Company bid $37,600 for 2018, 38,500 for 2019, 38,500 for 2010, and $40,000 for 2021. County Administrator Jean Hinkle will study the bids and repot next week.

Otero County Assessor Ken Hood continues his series of small abatements to privately owned rail cars, due to assessment errors: CWR Transportation, $5.57; Exxon Mobil Corp., $5.67; Fairmont Santrol, Inc., $5.57; First Energy Genration LLC, $50.15; GATX Corporation, $55.70. The error was made by the Division of Property Taxation. “We’re halfway through, now,” said Hood.

Otero County Economic Development Coordinator Donna Berg, Health Director Rick Ritter, Donna Rohde and Cassie Rogers met with Aero Performance Group representatives Roz Bedell and Lee Merkel, who are conducting a survey for the State Innovation Group to get at least 250 surveys filled out by Otero County citizens concerning how well the state’s efforts to coordinate behavioral and physical health treatment are being accomplished. Southeast Health Group is thought to have a good program.

Berg also met with the South East Business Retention, Expansion and Attraction group is requesting information from power consortiums and companies about the capacity of their grids. Sourtheast Colorado has furnished the information requested, but Arkansas River Power Authority and Black Hils Energy have not. Berg understands their reluctance to furnish this essential information, but assures them it will be used only for economic purposes. It is embarrassing and unprofitable to attract a new business if the electrical base will not support the load.

County Clerk is happy to be back in her newly redone offices. A little bit of finishing is still to be done - the floor man comes on Friday. Commissioner Keith Goodwin met with the new Department of Local Affairs Representative, Christina Martinez concerning possible grants.

Commissioner Kevin Karney worked with the Manzanola attorney on their new lagoon system. He also toured the Cheraw drainage system and the culvert on County Road 34. Tuesday he will participate with others on a call from Colorado Counties Inc. Karney reported the new board members for the Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy District. They are Bill Long (Bent Co., reappointed), Tom Goodwin (Fremont Co., reappointed), Ann Nichols (El Paso Co., reappointed), Curtis Mitchell (El Paso County), and Alan Hamel. Attorney Patrick Garcia replaces Vera Oragon as attorney.

Public Works Director Lex Nichols presented twice on Monday, once for the customary subdivision in the Planning and Zoning meeting, and once for the co-operative program with the City of La Junta for the sidewalk along a portion of Belmont Ave. bordering the La Junta Primary School on the east. That sidewalk project cost is $18,204.10 and the county was asked to contribute 50% or $9,102.05.

Otero County receives Highway Users Tax Funding for a portion of Barnes Ave. between 6th and 8th Street. La Junta plans to annex a portion of 6th Street between Barnes and Lawrence. Once the annexation is complete, Otero County will release the HUTF segment to the City of La Junta for the portion of Barnes Ave. between 6th and 8th Street. The commissioners approved the sidewalk project and financial partnership of $9,102.05. After the City of La Junta’s annexation the county will release the HUTF segment to the City of La Junta for the portion of Barnes Ave. between 6th and 8th Streets.

The new sidewalk is part of a statewide effort to afford children a safe way to walk to school.

Bids for Structural Stabilization and Restroom Remodel, Otero County Sheriff’s Office, will be redone, and also opened to the third construction company which attended the pre-bid meeting and did not bid. Ark Valley Construction and Bassett Construction were found not to have bid on the same form, one using the original form and the other, the revised. Invitation goes out to all the companies, bids due on May 4, to be opened May 7. They will be submitted on the revised form.

Donna Rhode and Jim Collins are both authorized to sign documents for the Community Services Block Grant. The original signatory was awarded before Collins was hired.

The Bureau of Reclamation reported snowpack is 69% statewide, Arkansas Basin 59%, and Colorado River Basin 87%.