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Park County issues and the effort to improve what matters to Park County residents.

Roads - Park County is taking a new direction in road maintenance.

Park County is taking a new approach to road maintenance. With the hire a Director of Operations with a career in CDOT and road building projects, he now leads Public Works. A new direction will deliver new results.

With our new Public Works leadership, Park County is developing a list of all county roads and ranking them from worst to best in each of the maintenance regions. In the winter and spring of 2024 Road and Bridge is building an inventory of gravel, clay and magnesium chloride, all binders needed to rebuild roads. Starting with the most critical roads in each region first, roads will be rebuilt to hold a surface, not just graded. This will be a multi-year endeavor, but the end result will provide noticeable improvements.

Since 2022 I have been fighting for funding to rebuild Park County roads that provide access to our State Parks. Working with State Senator Mark Baisley and Colorado Counties Inc., we drafted legislation SB23-059, to request the Colorado Division of Natural Resources, DNR, dedicate a portion of the excess proceeds from the Keep Colorado Wild State Park Pass to a grant for the maintenance and rebuilding of state park access roads. In 2023 the amended bill was passed by the Colorado Legislature and signed by Governor Polis. As amended the bill will allow local governments to add a $2.00 stipend to day park passes for road maintenance. It is recognized the stipend will not be enough to rebuild the roads but over several years assist with maintenance costs. Additionally, the bill will study the access road challenges and traffic beyond county numbers and make funding needs recommendations to DNR. I am involved in the study process and working diligently to communicate the dire need.

I applied for $13.8 million in Congressional Designated Spending Federal Grants through Senator Bennet and Hickenlooper. Unfortunately, our road needs do not fit into the Senate grant criteria. I also applied for a $2.4 million Community Project Funding, CPF, Grant from Congresswoman Brittany Pettersen. Park County was awarded $825,000 through the Transportation, Housing, Urban Development Committee appropriations. However, the CPF must now be passed through the full congress.

Wildfire Mitigation

Fire mitigation is a concern to all living in Park County. The United States Forest Service - Pike National Forest leadership is working diligently to reduce fuels in a thoughtful manner that reduces the rapid spread of wildfire and improves wildlife habitat.

I serve on the Advisory Council for the Central Colorado Forest Collaborative. My goal is to coordinate fire mitigation work in the Pike National Forest, conducted by the United States Forest Service, with adjacent private property owners and the fire districts within Park County to help residents. Also the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention will make funds available and I hope we can participate in some grants that will help property owners. The project is in the developmental stages; more information to come!

Aging in Park County

Many of us have decided to retire in Park County, myself and my husband included! We made the choice to live in a great place, though it can be a challenge for older residents living in a remote location. We will never have the convenience of living close to groceries and services, but I want our Seniors to have the ability to age in place and enjoy living in Park County.

I am Vice Chair for the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments’ (PPACG) Commission on Aging. Our goal is to help older Coloradoans age in place, to stay in their home as long as they want to. Our efforts throughout Park County, Teller County and El Paso County focus on improving access to healthcare by expanding tele-health in the County, to simplify a digital visit with a doctor.  Other goals to strengthen caregiver support, promote social engagement and inclusion and create age-friendly housing and transportation are in the works. We have ambitious 4-year goals. I am also involved with input on legislation that focuses on helping older Coloradoans through the Colorado Center for Aging. This work does not happen overnight, but we are making progress.

PPACG helps fund The Senior Coalition who has established several great programs: a frozen meals program with freezers situated in Guffey, Lake George, Fairplay and Bailey. These meals are available for those in need. We also have a volunteer driver transportation voucher program for people who need a ride to a doctor or grocery store. The volunteer receives payment for providing a ride. We have a chores program for those who need help making their home safer with ramps to doorways, installing grab bars in the bathroom and other safety improvement assistance.

County Budget and fiscal Responsibility

Government zero-based budgeting is kind of confusing if you are used to a profit structure budget along with a business profit and loss statement and a balance sheet type format. Here is an explanation of the budget and a 2024 budget summary.

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Paid for By: Amy Mitchell for Commissioner
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