Grand County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran tenders resignation |

Grand County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran tenders resignation

Lurline Underbrink Curran
Sky-Hi News file photo | Sky-Hi News

Grand County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran has submitted a letter of resignation, effective Sept. 7.

The Grand County Board of Commissioners accepted Curran’s resignation at its Tuesday, Aug. 11 meeting.

“It has been one of the great honors of my life to have been employed by Grand County for 33 years and been allowed to be involved in issues that will have long reaching and positive outcomes for the future of the county,” Curran wrote. “I hope that the county will continue to push important issues with the courage and foresight as it has done in the past.”

The commissioners offered their thanks to Curran for her 33 years with the county.

“It’s a tough job and Lurline grew into the job, came up through the ranks through the planning department and everything that I have seen her do she does with her whole heart and with the best interest of Grand County in mind, and I see her put that on the forefront time and time again,” said Commissioner James Newberry.

In addition to managing the county, Curran played a major role in county water issues and was one of Grand County’s lead negotiators regarding the Moffat-Gross Expansion Project.

“I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done as well, and you’ve done a lot of good things for the county,” said Commissioner Kris Manguso.

In her letter, Curran touted the county as a statewide leader in water negotiations, adding that, “careful tending of the water agreements will be necessary and will also pay huge dividends.” Curran’s accomplishments didn’t come without criticism.

She took flak for Grand County’s deal with Denver Water on the Moffat-Gross Expansion Project, with critics saying the county’s negotiators gave too many concessions and condemned the Fraser River.

Anger at the scandal within the Grand County Building Department, which saw around $500,000 in county funds go missing, was often directed at county management.

A 2014 report from a grand jury investigating the missing funds was heavily critical of Curran’s office, stating that the county manager seemed to be “without any actual duties of oversight or power to manage most of the departments within the county.”

Multiple county officials criticized the report for fundamentally misinterpreting the county’s management structure.

Curran responded to those criticisms in the pages of the Sky-Hi News.

Newberry mentioned some of those criticisms on Aug. 11.

“There was criticism of management sometimes, and all of us, we all get it, but for a manager to come in an manage this county, with the size of this county, and put on top of that all the water negotiations … it’s remarkable,” Newberry said. “Being around her made me a stronger person, and I think this county owes (Curran) a great deal of gratitude for putting the county in this financial situation and the position we are as far as leadership in the State of Colorado.”

Curran’s letter did not give a reason for her departure and did not hint at her plans for the future.

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