Andrade, Schnabel Begin New Term as County Commissioners

Commissioners Andrade, Schnabel and Marble Begin Work for 2013

The first meeting of the year for the Prowers County Board of Commissioners was brief as commissioners Millbrand, Marble and Schnabel approved the low bid from Tri County Ford for a 2013 Fusion for the County Health Department.  Commissioners discussed the 2013 LiveWell contract and Wellnet Contracts with Justin Lee, Director of County Public Health and Environment but tabled any action on them, pending additional information in on-going negotiations.

Staffon Warn, Rural Fire Chief discussed the bids received from two private citizens for the purchase of two fire trucks from the Bristol department.  Identically priced bids, $500, had been submitted for each truck and the commissioners decided that each bid would receive one truck apiece.  On another matter, Warn told the commissioners that the dissolution of the Lamar Prowers County Volunteer Fire Department is in transition.  That action took place at the end of 2012 with former members serving either the city or county on fire calls.  Warn said he had 25 members available, but had bunker gear for only 15, as had been the case earlier.  He explained that county volunteers will now only respond to those calls that are issued from the city under a mutual aid agreement.   Commissioner Marble suggested that CPA Ronnie Farmer be asked to review the transfer of assets between the fire fighting departments.

Linda Fairbairn, Director of Social Services for the county reviewed the language in a RFP, Request for Proposal to be submitted to prospective attorneys who would serve as the county’s child welfare lawyer.  The current attorney, Mark MacDonnell, was appointed to serve as judge on the 16th Judicial District.  An interim attorney will be sought to work for a 60 day period while a permanent replacement is hired.

The last piece of business on the morning’s agenda was the annual review of his department by County Coroner, Joe Giadone.  Giadone said that his 2012 budget came in under expectations, due mostly to a decrease in cases and the number of autopsies performed for the past year compared to 2011.  “We had 101 calls and seven autopsies in 2011 and only 67 cases and two autopsies for 2012,” he stated.  Giadone noted the cost of an autopsy had gone up $500 over the past year and compared local numbers to as many as 3,000 performed in one of the Front Range counties.

With business concluded, Commissioners Millbrand, Marble and Schnabel voted to close the meeting to make way for the swearing-in ceremony of the county’s newly elected officials.  It was at that point that Gene Millbrand, now a private citizen after eight years of service to the county, quietly said his good-byes to his associates.

The ceremony was held in the county courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse with Judge Stan Brinkley presiding.  Wendy Buxton-Andrade took her oath of office from Judge Brinkley before several dozen friends and family.  With her victory in the November general election, Andrade becomes the county’s first female commissioner, representing District Three.

Commissioner Henry Schnabel Receives His Oath of Office

She was followed by Henry Schnabel who will continue to represent the first District for his second term in office.  County District Attorney Jennifer Swanson retained her position in the election for the final time as she is term limited as the county DA, and Judge Tallman took his oath of office, as he too retained his seat in the election.

District Attorney Swanson Being Sworn In

The first order of new business under the commissioners for 2013 was the reorganization of county officials.  Joe Marble was elected as commissioner chairman, replacing Gene Millbrand.  All other individuals under consideration in county service retained their positions, per commissioner vote.  The commissioners authorized the mileage travel reimbursement rate for employees at $0.24 per mile for medical purposes and $0.37 for business related travel.  A resolution transferring $100,000 to the Department of Social Services for payroll from the Sales Tax Fund was also approved.

Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook reviewed the 2013 Prowers County Emergency Medical and Trauma Systems Plan for the commissioners.  He explained that each of the six participating counties in southeast Colorado receive $15,000 in state funding which most will apply to cover the cost of their ambulance services, although each county has leeway in how those funds are spent.  A yearly plan outlining expenditures is required in order to qualify for future funding.  Cook said Lamar and Holly split the funding 75%-/-25% for their ambulance costs.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCityCommissionerscommunityCountyFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarPoliticsProwers CountyThe Journal AlertWiley


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