Two ballot questions approved for November | SkyHiNews.com

Two ballot questions approved for November

The Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has officially approved two ballot measures for the November election.

Open Lands, Rivers and Trails

At their Tuesday, August 9 meeting the BOCC voted to refer the "Grand County Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Measure" to the ballot.

According to the supporting document for the measure, landowners, conservation groups, and trails advocates have worked to protect the headwaters of the Colorado River; conserve private lands and the agricultural heritage in the county; and build and maintain trails throughout the large quantity of public lands without any local source of dedicated funding for conservation and recreation.

The ballot measure would impose a sales tax levy of 0.3 percent that expires in ten years to be used solely for: keeping water in the Colorado River and other rivers (such as the Fraser River) available for agriculture, ranching, and outdoor recreation; conserving agricultural lands, natural areas, scenic open lands, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and river access through acquisition; and maintaining hiking and biking trails.

The ballot measure would impose a sales tax levy of 0.3 percent that expires in ten years to be used solely for: keeping water in the Colorado River and other rivers (such as the Fraser River) available for agriculture, ranching, and outdoor recreation; conserving agricultural lands, natural areas, scenic open lands, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and river access through acquisition; and maintaining hiking and biking trails.

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According to supporting documents, if passed, money from the Grand County Open Lands, Rivers and Trails fund would be used to:

acquire lands or interests in lands that conserve and protect water in the Colorado River, Fraser River and other rivers for agriculture, ranching, and outdoor recreation, and that conserve agricultural lands, natural areas, scenic open lands, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and river access

acquire less than fee interests in real property for the purposes provided herein, such as permanent conservation easements, future interests, covenants, developmental rights, subsurface rights and contractual rights, either on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis

acquire fee title interest in real property for the purposes provided herein

acquire water rights and water storage rights for the use in connection with the purposes provided herein

acquire water rights and water storage rights for use in connection with the purposes provided herein

maintain hiking and biking trails

allow expenditure of funds for joint projects, consistent with the purposes set forth in this Resolution, between the County and municipalities, or other governmental entities in the County

Pay for all related cost of acquisition, such as the costs of appraisal, surveying, legal and other services such as easement documentation and environmental reports, as well as the costs of stewardship of easements, and contraction, as set forth above

implement and effectuate the purposes of the Open Lands Program.

If the question passes the BOCC will appoint an Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Advisory Committee, the "Open Lands Advisory Committee." The committee would be composed of nine members—three residents from unincorporated Grand County, one from each commissioner district, and person nominated by each municipality in the County. The committee would convene twice a year to make recommendations to the BOCC regarding the disbursement of money from the Open Lands Fund.

BOCC Term Limits

The second approved ballot measure was accepted by the BOCC at their August 2 meeting. This measure for the upcoming election asks voters if they want to reinstate term limits for county commissioners. In November of 2002 voters approved to remove term limits for county commissioners. The ballot question states, if the term limits are passed, a lifetime limit of three terms of office will be imposed on each person elected to the BOCC, and for the purposes of this limitation, "a term served shall include service of more than one-half of a term, whether by election or appointment; and that this limitation on the number of terms be applicable for terms of office commencing on or after January 1, 2017.

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