By JR Krueger
For The Holyoke Enterprise 

Phillips County Commissioners continue taking care of business

Highlights from June 9 through Aug. 21 board meetings


September 7, 2023

Phillips County Board of Commissioners took numerous actions during their eight meetings occurring June 9 through Aug. 21, including business pertaining to the County’s financial audit, agreements and contracts, zoning matters, landfill business, requests for use of alcohol at events and various resolutions.

As with every early summer season, Commissioners kept up with the plans and preparations for the county fair. Kayla Kafka, president of the fair board, provided regular updates. Held the week of July 24, the fair was deemed to be a successful event by the various county personnel that ensure operations are carried out as planned.

2022 audit finds no concerns

During the July 18 meeting, the board and other county officials met virtually with Ronny Farmer of RFarmer, LLC, the contractor who performs the county’s annual audit. He concluded there were no concerns to address. He noted that ending cash balances were “really good.” After providing guidance in response to commissioners’ questions, he concluded with, “The county’s in good shape. The Department of Human Services is in good shape. Internal controls are good.”

The board approved the audit agreement for 2023 proposed by RFarmer LLC for an amount not to exceed $19,570.

Actions Taken

Below are some of the actions taken as recorded in minutes produced by Phillips County Clerk and Recorder, Beth Zilla. Minutes can be consulted for additional information as they are publicly available by request from the county Administrator’s office at the courthouse or at the county’s homepage:

The Board approved:

• The proposed county’s funding contribution of $3,271.92 as outlined in the Intergovernmental Agreement for the northeast Colorado regional Innovative Housing Opportunity Planning grant.

• The Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve a zoning amendment application submitted by Gade and McKenna Groshans to change a classification from agriculture to commercial;

• Simon Contractors’ bid in the amount of $396,311.00 for the courthouse sidewalk project;

• The Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve the five subdivision exemption requests submitted by Rick Ensminger regarding the sale of property;

• The prepaid propane contract between Phillips County Road and Bridge and Scholl Oil & Transportation Co. for the 2023-2024 heating season, Sept. 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024;

• Viaero Fiber Networks LLC ‘s roadway occupancy agreement for underground construction of a fiber optic line that will be buried 36” deep at a minimum and will be in a conduit that will run along County Road 22 from Section 8-T7N-R47W to Section 12-T7N-R45W, and along County Road 7 from Section 8-T7N-R47W to Section 22-T7N to R47W;

• The intergovernmental agreement with the Northeast Colorado Revolving Loan Fund for the Community Development Block Grant project;

• An increase in the gravel pit payment from 50 cents to 60 cents per cubic yard;

• A new classification for an Assistant Landfill Manager, the job description for the Assistant Landfill Manager, and the reclassification of Heather Kellan as the Assistant Landfill Manager.

• An updated landfill fee schedule that included a new charge for freon appliances.

• The application to renew the tavern license submitted by Ricos Dogs, LLC, dba Blisties;

• The purchase of a Ford F250 4X4 crew cab pickup for the Road and Bridge department from Bonanza Ford in Wray for $54,076.64;

• Pheasants Forever’s request to serve alcohol at its event on Nov. 11 provided certain conditions are met.

• Holyoke Chamber of Commerce’s request to allow alcohol at their upcoming Halloween event to be held at the Event Center on Oct. 14 provided certain conditions are met; and

• Melissa Memorial Hospital’s request to hold their Halloween Trunk or Treat event at the Courthouse south parking lot and lawn from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Resolutions Adopted

Commissioners deliberated several matters that necessitated the adoption of resolutions. When required, open comment periods were offered and public hearings were held before adoption. The resolution numbering system incorporates the date of approval and sequence of approval within the meeting. Meeting minutes include the full text of the resolution.

The following adopted resolutions are:

• 2023-06-30-01 to repeal the Phillips County zoning resolution, subdivision regulations, Holyoke airport regulations, and Haxtun airport regulations, and replace with the new Phillips County Land Use Code;

• 2023-06-30-02 to approve the application fee schedule for Land Use Code activities; and

• 2023-06-30-03 to adopt the Phillips County Junk and Weed Control Resolution.

After research and discussions with County Treasurer Steve Young, the board adopted the following:

• 2023-07-18-01 to adopt an investment policy for Phillips County; and

• 2023-07-31-01 to authorize the County Treasurer to invest county funds with Colorado Surplus Asset Fund Trust, Colorado Local Government Liquid Asset Trust, Time Value Investments, Peaks Investment Management, and other investment firms as approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

To satisfy a required condition for the receipt of federal HUD funds for the Community Development Block Grant project, the board adopted Resolution 2023-08-09-01 that establishes an Excessive Force policy for Phillips County. The policy statement prohibits the use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies within its jurisdiction against any individuals engaged in non-violent civil rights demonstrations. It also requires the enforcement of laws against physically barring entrance to or exit from a facility or location that is the subject of such non-violent civil rights demonstrations within its jurisdiction.

Upcoming Priorities

Fall is the season for budget planning work sessions. Department managers are preparing their budget proposals for the Commissioners’ consideration and eventual incorporation into the county’s total budget for the 2024 fiscal year.

The Commissioners expect to adopt the commissioner redistricting maps at the Sept. 29 meeting. Redistricting follows each decennial federal census when updated population figures adjust population-based district boundaries.


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