San Juan County has a new administrator to take the place of Rick Bailey.
Kelly Pehrson, who is the current City Manager in Monticello, has been hired and will begin work on April 1.
Bailey has held the position for 27 years. “These are going to be hard shoes to fill. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Rick for the next two years,” said Pehrson.
Bailey will continue in his position as he trains Pehrson and will then focus on emergency services.
Kelly Pehrson is a native of Monticello. He has a background in banking and has been working as the Monticello city manager since 2010.
He said he has contributed much to Monticello City. “We have been able to reorganize the general fund to where we are now saving money instead of borrowing money from the enterprise fund to balance the budget.”
While Pehrson was Monticello city manager, the city received new revenue by annexing the Rocky Mountain Power substation, which will provide $50,000 a year in property taxes.
Under Pehrson, the city cut $150,000 in its expenditures, primarily by cutting employee expenses through employee attrition.
The city also has a new water storage project and finished the airport.
“The Hideout Golf Course has also had their best two years in a row. A lot of the credit for that goes to Tyler Ivins and Chriss Leavitt,” said Pehrson.
Pehrson said the combined years of knowledge held by the people who work for the county will be a big asset as he takes on this new challenge.
Gunnison sage grouse were also discussed at the March 11 Commission meeting. A meeting will be held in Dove Creek on Wednesday to discuss what Gunnison County, CO has done and to see about the feasibility of San Juan County doing something similar.
The meeting is open to the public and interested parties are encouraged to attend. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Dove Creek Community Center. For more information, call the Dolores County Commission at 970-677-2383, Nick Sandberg at San Juan County at 435-587-3223, or USU Extension Agent Jim Keyes at 435-459-1825.
Commissioner Phil Lyman said, “This whole issue is not about sage grouse, it is about the control of resources.”
Nick Sandberg reminded the commission that the comment period on the sage grouse proposal has been extended to April 2.
The commission heard a report from Linda Larsen, Wanda Franklin, and Tammy Gallegos on the heart health challenge that county employees were encouraged to participate in during the month of February.
County employees had walked a total of 5,120 miles, biked 1,527 miles and logged 713 hours of physical activity. In all, 310 pounds were lost by the employees. The road department team was the overall winner.
A San Juan County Health and Junior Expo is being planned for the county so watch for more information.
In other business this week, Dianne Eddington is the new deputy clerk, and Marcie Musselman is a new dispatcher for the sheriff’s department.
The commission gave the go-ahead for the architect and design bids on a road shed to store sand mixture in Monticello. A similar building was constructed in Blanding in 2011 at a cost of $115,000.
Community Impact Board funding was approved for the Eastland fire building addition for $81,596 and for a Blanding road maintenance building for $115,000.
A beer license was approved for Richard Knapp at Valles in Mexican Hat.
A building permit was approved for a pottery-manufacturing building near Blanding.