Grand County commissioners honor Curran for service
On May 24, 1982, the Grand County Planning Department hired a new administrative assistant.
Seventeen years later, she was appointed Grand County manager.
Tuesday, Sept. 1, was County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran’s last board of commissioners meeting following a 33-year stint as a county employee.
Department heads and colleagues filled the commissioners’ meeting room to commemorate Curran’s career with the county.
Commissioner James Newberry is the only sitting commissioner who participated in Curran’s appointment to the manager position on May 25, 1999.
“We made the decision to hire this young upstart coming out of the planning department to lead this county and in my opinion she’s done an outstanding job,” Newberry said.
After joining the county in 1982, Curran rose through the ranks of the county planning department.
Curran was promoted to planning technician in 1987 and appointed to lead the department less than a year later.
On Tuesday, the board of commissioners approved a resolution commemorating Curran’s accomplishments with the planning department and later with the county as a whole.
Among her accomplishments as planning director, Curran played a role in the development of the Grand County Headwaters Master Trails Plan and 1988 Grand County Master Plan, said Commissioner Merrit Linke.
As manager, Curran was instrumental in improving the county’s emergency medical services, Linke said.
Among Curran’s biggest accomplishments were those regarding water negotiations, Linke said.
“Ms. Curran has been a key leader in successful negotiation of numerous agreements related to water resources and water projects and designing cooperative efforts to protect Grand County’s citizens and environment,” Linke said.
Those agreements include the Colorado River Compact Agreement, agreements related to the Windy Gap Firming Project and the Moffat Collection System Mitigation and Enhancement Coordination Plan, among others.
Curran also played a crucial role in the Gore Canyon Whitewater Park, Grand Lake Clarity and the Big Lake Ditch Project, Linke said.
After the resolution was passed, Curran thanked those in attendance.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with you side by side all these years,” Curran said. “You are the greatest bunch.”
Curran thanked Newberry and former commissioners Duane Dailey and Bob Anderson for hiring her.
“I was the hometown girl and they gave me an opportunity that not everyone gets,” Curran said.
Curran also took the opportunity to hit back at previous accusations that she had used her position to benefit family members working in Grand County government.
“Having me in this position has not been easy for them, and they have been great employees for Grand County, and now they will get to be judged on their merit and not on their mother and mother-in-law being here, so I want to thank them, too,” Curran said. “And thank you all, it’s been the greatest ride of my life.”
Curran will stay on with the county as a part-time water negotiator.
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Approaching a year after the East Troublesome Fire destroyed 366 homes, including 132 belonging to fulltime Grand County residents, there are still a few families that haven’t been able to find stable housing.