GARFIELD COUNTY GETS A ‘CLEAN’ AUDIT
Glenwood Springs—Despite a shrinking budget and dwindling tax revenues, Garfield County is in good financial shape according to independent auditor Paul Backes. Backes was part of a team that conducted a 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. He was impressed with the county’s zero debt and solid accounting system. Even with a clean report, Backes did have a couple of recommendations. The most important one dealt with the way the county receives money and balances out at the end of each business day. Backes says he’d like to see employees account for cash, checks and credit card receipts separately when reconciling at the close of business. Backes says Garfield County’s assets are a little over 467 million dollars with nearly 300 million in infrastructure.
ROARING FORK RE-1 PASSES BUDGET
Glenwood Springs—Pay raises and more money for students are in store for the next school year in the Roaring Fork Valley. Those items are included in the 189 million dollar budget for the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District. 89 million dollars of the budget that was recently passed is earmarked to complete several capital construction projects including the teacher housing development that was all part of the 122 million dollar bond issue passed by voters in November of 2015. 67 million dollars is set aside for the general operating fund. As for state per-pupil funding, that’s going to see a 3.3 percent increase for the 2017-’18 school year and teachers will see a little more in their paychecks as well.
RAIN TRIGGERS ROCKSLIDES ON HWY 82
Aspen—Down valley lanes of Highway 82 were closed for over three hours last night by at least a half dozen rock slides near Shale Bluffs. Last night’s downpour triggered the slides around 6 o’clock and fortunately didn’t cause any boulders to tumble onto the road. No vehicles were trapped and no one was hurt. Crews with C-DOT, Snowmass Village, Pitkin County and the city of Aspen worked together and managed to get the debris cleaned up and reopened the lanes around 9:30.
GROWING NUMBER OF HUNGRY BEARS SCAVENGING FOR FOOD IN VALLEY
Aspen—Barely halfway into the month of July, the Aspen Police Department has already responded to 31 calls about hungry bears wandering through town. It’s been a busy summer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Aspen where they’re averaging about 10 calls a day. District Ranger Kurtis Tesch says the hot, dry weather may be one reason for the spike in calls. He says bears are having a tough time finding food. Residents are being asked to make sure all trash is stored in animal-proof containers, to avoid leaving food outdoors and lock all doors and windows. Chokecherries and service berries won’t be sprouting for a few more weeks.