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BoCC selects PROST Task Force members

Nine members were appointed to the Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) Task Force at Tuesday’s BoCC meeting, each appointee to serve a one-year term from Nov. 3, 2009 to Nov. 3, 2010.

In addition to county staff representative Karin Kohake and town staff representative Tom Carosello, the appointees are: Michael Whiting, JD Kurz, Gwen Taylor, Mat deGraff, Beverly Compton, Jim Schaffer and Larry Lynch, who will also serve as a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association representative.

The selections were made from 10 candidates submitting letters of intent to the county, seven of whom were returning PROST members, Kohake said in presenting the request for appointment to the BoCC.

Each commissioner individually rated the applicants, then votes were tallied to choose from the 10 applicants, Commissioner Clifford Lucero said in a phone interview Tuesday.

“You hate turning three people away who are willing to volunteer their time, but again, if you get too big of a committee, it gets harder and harder to get things done,” Commissioner John Ranson said Tuesday.

“Anyone that applied would have fully fit the bill,” Lucero said.

Ranson echoed that sentiment.

“Out of the ten, I thought all of them looked very strong, very diversified, when you’re talking parks, recreation, open space and trails. It looked like a really good mix to me to not have too many in one area.”

PROST, organized in the fall of 2008, is responsible for the facilitation of the Regional Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Master Plan. The group also makes recommendations to the BoCC regarding use of 1A Parks and Recreation Funds, as well as for prioritizing capital projects based on the master plan, acting as a work group for some projects, reviewing funding and serving as a voice of the community.

Other topics of discussion at the Tuesday meeting included:

• The BoCC approved the 2010 County Tourism Commission budget as presented by CTC representative and Archuleta County Special Projects Manager Karin Kohake.

Projected beginning balance for the CTC in 2010 is $81,171 and projected revenue is expected to be $81,000, making for a total income of $162,171.

As for expenditures, Visitor Center funding is set at $66,000 and $35,000 is allocated for event funding, leaving an ending balance of $61,171.

The CTC budget is also set to carry over $20,000 from reserves.

The County Tourism Commission is funded by a lodging tax of 1.9 percent and funds collected assist organizations holding special events, generally for marketing purposes.

• Diane Sorensen has signed a Letter of Acceptance for the County Finance Director position and will begin work Dec. 7, according to County Administrator Greg Schulte.

Sorensen, a CPA, is currently the finance director with Rio Blanco County, Schulte said.

Schulte said Sorenson was “essentially” the unanimous choice for the job and “we’re looking forward to having her here.”

• Former commissioner Ronnie Zaday expressed her concern with the status of the new solid waste cell being built — in light of the Solid Waste Fund being over budget for September due to a compactor repair.

“Cell three is done and, basically, it’s all complete and we are now waiting for the final approval from the state,” said Schulte.

Schulte said the paperwork for the final approval has been in the hands of the state for about two weeks.

• Zaday also questioned the nuisance ordinance and status of a code enforcement officer.

“Let’s clean up this community. Clifford, that was one of your big stands. We’ve got a lot of problems out there and we’re destroying the land,” she said.

Rick Bellis, of the Archuleta County Planning and Development office, said that, as of Nov. 2, a contract was accepted for a code enforcement officer who would start in January.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Bellis said the position was offered to and accepted by Gary Barreras, who currently serves as a building official in Belen, N.M. Barreras is slated to start the first week of January.

Bellis said he, the building inspector and planning department staff have started the process of photographing sites and completing initial reports in order to be able to move forward despite possible snowfall when the new officer begins work.

randi@pagosasun.com