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KVNF Regional Newscast: February 20, 2024

Montrose County ballot box
Cassie Knust
Montrose County ballot box

You should have received your March 5th Presidential Primary ballot in the mail. Donald Trump is listed on the Republican primary ballot. Four of the seven Republican presidential candidates on the primary ballot have ended their campaigns, but failed to notify Colorado’s Secretary of State’s Office. In addition to its candidates, Democrats now have a “none of the above” selection. It’s still unclear if votes cast for Trump will count, as we await the Supreme Court's decision.

Montrose County recently awarded a $7.9 million dollar contract to FCI Constructors, Inc. for the construction of and renovation to the Montrose County Jail. The project, now in progress, is expected to be completed by spring 2025.

The project has been in the works since 2016 beginning with an evaluation of the jail's operations and site. Wold A&E provided the site plans and designs. The construction request for proposal was published in summer 2023 with the county choosing FCI Constructors.

The project will include approximately 6,000 square feet of renovated space and 5,000 square feet of new construction, focusing on improving key areas like booking, medical, kitchen, video courtroom, and the vehicle sally port. The booking area will be expanded westward, while the sally port will expand to the East. Additionally, the loading dock area will be upgraded, and the roof above the booking, kitchen, and laundry areas will be replaced.

According to the county's press release, one of the most significant improvements will be the expansion of the booking area's holding capacity. The current three cells will be replaced with a total of nine, including two dedicated "safety" cells and a larger group holding cell. The county says the change will not only improve efficiency but also prioritize the safety of both staff and detainees.

Delta County Commissioners unanimously approved two Intergovernmental Agreements to place three new electric vehicle charging stations in Delta. The first agreement was made with Delta Health to place two chargers at 1501 East Third Street in Delta. The second agreement with the City of Delta will place a level 3 charger at the Delta Library branch parking lot on Sixth Street. Again here’s Commissioner Koontz

Delta County will hold a public hearing on its Land Use Code tomorrow night at 5:30 pm at the Delta Family Center, 822 Grand Ave.

On the Ute Mountain Ute reservation, the tribe has started a project to open one of the largest solar farms in the United States. For Rocky Mountain Community Radio, Clark Adomaitis of K-S-U-T and K-S-J-D shares the details.

Glenwood Springs resident Cole Buerger and Montrose Mayor Barbara Bynum participated in their first Democratic candidate forum in Basalt last week.

Buerger and Bynum are running for state Senate District 5, which covers all- or part- of Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle, Montrose, Gunnison, Delta and Hinsdale counties.

Buerger grew up on a ranch near Silt, worked in international relations and public policy — and now runs a communications business and an outdoor event space on the banks of the Colorado River. He says his top priorities are diversifying the local economy, protecting the environment, and addressing the housing and affordability crisis.

Bynum agrees that there’s an urgent need to tackle affordability and housing… And she says her years of experience as a city councilor and now mayor have prepared her to take this on at the state Capitol.

Bynum and Buerger also talked about strategies to address mental health challenges and reach unaffiliated voters, among other topics.

The primary for Senate District 5 will take place in June ahead of the November election.
Republican Marc Catlin of Montrose will represent the GOP in its primary election for SD5.

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Lisa was born in Texas but grew up on a small farm in Olathe, Colorado and considers herself a “Colorado native after six years of age.” Lisa has seven years experience in media, beginning as a News Director for a small radio station on the Eastern Plains. Following her initial radio career, Lisa worked as a staff reporter for The Journal Advocate in Sterling, Colorado and most recently as a staff reporter for the Delta County Independent. Lisa is thrilled to join the award-winning News and Public Affairs team at KVNF.