The Mesa County Board of Commissioners presents its State-of-the-County address Friday. There was one reoccurring theme throughout; rapid growth.
With an estimated 9,000 more people living in Mesa County than just two years ago, growth is one of the biggest challenges facing the commissioners and the county staff. Much of the growth the county is experiencing is a result of the booming energy industry, and as more natural gas activity makes its way into Mesa County, the commissioners are trying to stay ahead of the curve by preparing an Energy Master Plan.
From a public safety prospective the fight against Methamphetamine took center stage in 2006 with the creation of the new Methamphetamine Fast Track program. And as construction on the new Meth Treatment and Community Corrections facility wraps up this spring the fight against Meth will continue to linger in the spotlight in 2007.
With the influx of new residents comes skyrocketing property values, a 40 percent increase in the last five years; low unemployment rates, 3.2 percent for December 2006; and higher hourly wages at $15.75, $1.65 more than the average in 2005.
Some of the other major accomplishments mentioned by the commissioners: the opening of the Long Family Memorial Park; establishing community plans for the Clifton, Fruitvale, and Whitewater areas; and the completion of the 29 Road Bridge.
In 2007, the county will continue with its new outcomes-based approach to balancing the budget. On the transportation side, the completion a new Grand Valley Transit transfer station in Clifton as well as replacing the bridge over the Colorado River near De Beque are some of highlights for 2007.