News, November 22nd

COLORADO UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS IN OCTOBER

Denver—Fewer Coloradans were in the unemployment line last month.  According to the latest figures from the state labor department, October’s jobless rate fell below 7 percent. The 6.8 percent rate was the lowest since January of 2009 when it was 6.7.  Regionally, Garfield County reported a 5.9 percent unemployment rate, Eagle County, 6 and a half percent, Rio Blanco County 4.8 percent and Pitkin County reported the highest unemployment figures for October with 8.1 percent.   The largest job decreases were in trade, transportation and utilities, construction and information.  Industries showing the biggest increases included leisure and hospitality, education and health services.  Nationally, the the unemployment rate last month was 7.3 percent.

TIPTON FIGHTS FOR PILT FUNDS

Washington, D.C.—Garfield County and other communities that lie in the middle of  tax exempt federal land stand to lose millions of dollars if the PILT program is cut.  Western Slope Congressman Scott Tipton is urging fellow House lawmakers to support the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program.  Tipton says PILT funds are essential for rural counties for infrastructure, law enforcement, education and local jobs.  National Association of Counties Director Matt Chase says congress must keep it’s promise to counties to ensure PILT payments are not disrupted.

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES ANNEXATION PLAN FOR GLENWOOD RIDGE DEVELOPMENT

Glenwood Springs—With a unanimous vote, the Glenwood Springs City Council agreed to annex over 500 acres of land in Glenwood Ridge.  The annexation opens the door for developers to build some 13-hundred homes in the area. 

RF SNOWPACK IMPROVES

Carbondale—-Thanks to recent snowfall, the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Watershed has gone up considerably in the past week.  According to the latest report from the Roaring Fork Conservancy, the snowpack is now 121 percent of the median.  The headwaters of the Crystal River has the most snow with over 7 and a half inches of water and measuring at 129 percent of the median.  We’re still in a drought though according to the U.S. Drought monitor.  Conditions in the Roaring Fork Watershed are still considered abnormally dry.

SNOWMASS/AJAX OPENING FOR THE SEASON THIS WEEKEND

Aspen—Last weekend was just a sneak preview.  This weekend, the ski and snowboard season officially begins in Aspen and Snowmass.  According to the Aspen Skiing Company, crews on the mountain have been able to work with excellent natural snow to prepare both Snowmass and Aspen Mountain for top-to-bottom skiing and boarding. Starting tomorrow, Snowmass will have over 540 acres of terrain open while some 260 acres will be ready on Ajax.  SkiCo officials say since October 1st, they’ve received over six feet of snow.

CHRISTMAS TREE PERMITS AVAILABLE

Glenwood Springs—-Time to break out your snowshoes and saws.  Christmas tree permits are now available for purchase through the White River National Forest.   Permits are 10 dollars each.  Trees must be less than 15 feet tall from the stump and cannot be larger than six inches in diameter at the base.   If one tree isn’t enough, you can take up to five trees.  Permits can be purchased at any White River district ranger office.

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