Despite challenges, YC increases fund balance by $700,000

Yuma County Commissioners Dean Wingfield, Trent Bushner, and Robin Wiley met September 30, for their end of month business meeting.
Kara Hoover and staff met with the Commissioners in a Human Services Meeting. Melanie Fisher presented the financial report and most items are within the budgeted amount for this time of year. Food assistance is an item that has been increasing this year, but is common across the State. The Department is interviewing for the Eligibility Department as well as for the Child Protection position.
Tom Anderson and staff presented the Road & Bridge Report. He presented a list of areas where mowing operations have been completed, and all the mowers are running at this time to complete mowing before winter weather. Bids were presented for new graders from John Deere and Caterpillar. The Commissioners requested more information on some of the trade ins. Jeremy Lund presented several different bids on new truck tractors, and gave what he felt was the best truck for Yuma County. He is now going to check for what trucks that would work from inventory on dealer’s lots, to see if there is a savings of purchasing a new carry over 2000 model.  Damian Rock is a new hire for the Department.
Sarah Carwin gave an updated financial report for County operations, specifically on capital expenses. Nancy Wright presented a liquor license renewal for Jo’s Liquor in Joes, which was approved.
Brad and Randy Rockwell visited about the County’s intention to replace the tile on the Courthouse roof with a high grade shingle. Many of the tile are becoming broken and in need of being replaced and there is some repairs needed before putting on new shingles. The Commissioners asked to delay putting on new shingles until weather begins to warm up in the Spring for better results.
During the Land Use portion of the meeting, hearings were held for two Exemptions from Subdivision Regulations, as well as a Development Permit for NextEra Energy to construct a transmission line coming from a proposed wind farm in Logan County to a Tri State Substation north of Yuma. NextEra said easements were signed with all the landowners involved with the new line and they didn’t obtain any from condemnation. Several from the public voiced concerns about damages to existing roads during the construction. They were told that the developer was responsible for any road damage that may occur during the construction and that historically there is little road damage during construction of transmission lines, as opposed to damage when a wind farm is being constructed.
Following the hearing, the Commissioners approved the Development Permit for NextEra, and for Exemptions From Subdivision for Bivins, northwest of Wray, and for Chris Studor, near Joes.
Paul Backes and Billi Lewis gave their presentation of the 2019 Audited Financial Statement.
There was roughly $17 million in total revenue, from all sources, for the County. Even though the County had presented a deficit budget for 2019, because of carefully spending by all departments, the County was able to show a $700,000 increase in fund balance at the end of the year. Backes felt that put Yuma County in a good place as many of the revenues are expected to disappear following the Covid Pandemic of 2020, as we go into 2021 budget year.
The Commissioners re-appointed Micah Seyler, Robin Schneider, and Jed Gleghorn to new three year terms on the Yuma County Fairboard. Krista Terrell was re-appointed to another term on the RETAC Board.
The next business meeting for the Yuma County Commissioners will be October 15. Check the County website for the agenda and how to participate in the meeting by going to