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2012 Statistics on Code Enforcement & Road Maintenance Shared with Commissioners

Fremont County’s Code Enforcement Officers told the Board of Commissioners last week that while the number of code enforcement complaints for 2012 are down they remain busy with violation site visits, waste tire cleanups, and Special Mobile Machinery (SMM) registration enforcement.   Code Enforcement Officers Ron Zenisky and Robert Sapp told the Commissioners that they have received 40 complaints regarding code violations so far in 2012 which is ten fewer than in 2011.    Eighteen of the code violations are still active for enforcement efforts.

Sapp told the Commissioners that Fremont County continues to lead the way in the state for utilizing grant money from the Colorado Waste Tire Management Program.   Sapp noted that 10,700 waste tires have been removed from private property and recycled in 2012 which came about using nearly $32,000 in grant money from the Waste Tire Program.    He said that the biggest project undertaken this past year was the removal of 7,000 waste tires that had been stockpiled in a grove of cottonwood trees on a ranch southeast of the Holcim Cement Plant at Portland.    Sapp said the waste tire enforcement, cleanup, and use of grant money have saved Fremont County a total of over $69,000 in tire cleanup costs.

Zenisky told the Commissioners that revenues from SMM enforcement have dropped because of a downturn in the economy.   He said a lot of the machinery that was previously registered was either sold or moved out of the county.   Zenisky said the Fremont County Clerk’s Motor Vehicle Division collected $349,000 in SMM fees in 2012 which is $44,000 less than was collected in 2011.    Zenisky says from an enforcement standpoint the officers understand the plight of some of the companies and individuals who have a difficult time staying current on SMM registration fees.  He said the officers’ main purpose is to give every SMM client a fair and impartial assessment of the regulations, as well as assisting them in understanding the necessity and purpose of SMM registrations.   He said mailing a reminder letter has proven to be a much more effective collection tool for delinquent registrations.

The Code Enforcement program also is tasked with correcting improperly addressed properties across the county which creates serious public safety issues for EMT’s, Sheriff’s deputies, and other emergency responders.    Sapp said the intent is to correctly address properties identified in Fremont County’s 9-1-1 data base.   Sapp said 186 addresses have been successfully changed in 2012 and that over the last four years 527 improperly addressed properties have been corrected.

The Commissioners also heard a report at their November 26th regular meeting from Fremont County Transportation Director Tony Adamic who summarized road maintenance projects completed this year.  Adamic said 7.8 miles of county roads were chip sealed this past summer at a cost of $377,000.  Another 60.1 miles of roadway received an application of dust suppressant at a cost of $130,000 and 23 miles of roadway received additional gravel during 2012 at a cost of $542,000.   Adamic said only ¾ of a mile of county road was overlaid with new asphalt last summer which was the new pavement on Drake and Elizabeth at the north edge of Cañon City.   It’s anticipated that with declining revenues for road and bridge maintenance the county won’t be able to apply any new asphalt in 2013 and will have to cut back on the number of miles being chip sealed.    The 2013 county transportation budget shows that not only do local property taxes continue to decline but state dollars from the Highway Users Tax Fund are also dropping.    Fremont County’s share of gasoline taxes and ‘Faster’ registration fees are estimated to drop by $26,000 in fiscal 2012-2013 to $2.46 million.   That money is used to finance year round road and bridge operations including road grading, repairs, and snow removal, not just the costs of road improvement projects.

At the November 26th meeting the Board of Commissioners approved an application for $84,785 in Colorado Energy and Mineral Impact grant funding to help finance an upgrade of the county’s Department of Transportation radio communications.    Road and bridge crews need to have their VHF radios converted to a digital format to meet a federally mandated frequency narrow banding deadline in 2013.  The county would match the grant funds for the $169,000 cost of the radio upgrade.

The Commissioners also set a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19th for the purpose of certifying all of the mill levies from every government entity in the county which collects property taxes.