News

Tricia Slater

Tricia Slater

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thursday, 19 March 2020 11:52

County Offices Restricted To The Public

Rio Grande County has restricted access to the county buildings due to COVID-19. Business is still being conducted and employees will be at work.  Phone numbers have been provided on the entrance doors so the public may call the Department needed.  

 

ASSESSOR   719-657-3326

BUILDING DEPT  719-657-9472

CLERK/RECORDER  719-657-3334

DEPT OF SOCIAL SERVICES   719-657-3381

LAND USE  719-657-4003

PUBLIC HEALTH  719-657-3352

ROAD & BRIDGE  719-852-4781

TREASURER   719-657-2747

ADMINISTRATION  719-657-2744

A group of current and former Rio Grande County Planning Commissioners recently gather together with Dwight Freeman and his wife Kandy to thank him for nearly forty years of volunteer service on the Planning Commission.

 

Dwight and Kandy moved from Oklahoma to Monte Vista in 1975 to take a job as an ag loan officer at the Monte Vista Production Credit Association.  Five years later he was offered a job with the Bank of Monte Vista where he worked with farmers and ranchers for many years.  Shortly after he came to the bank Dwight's mentor and Rio Grande County Planning Commissioner Bud Haigler unexpectedly passed away.  Dwight took over more responsibility at the bank and was also appointed to fill Bud's seat on the Planning Commission in 1980.  It wasn't long and Dwight found himself elected Chairman of the Planning Commission. 

 

Rio Grande County has had a tradition of filling seats on the commission with community members that have a expertise that is important for the intelligent growth and development in the County.  For that reason, at any given time, there will be farmers, ranchers, contractors, consultants and/or business men and women serving on the Planning Commission.  The purpose of this board is to work with community members as they develop ideas for growth in Rio Grande County.  The intent is not to stifle growth but to encourage ventures that will hopefully be successful and also benefit the County in a positive way. 

 

Throughout Dwight's long tenure the County has seen many changes that have offered challenges for promoting growth and also maintaining the rural agricultural atmosphere that many of us have enjoyed for decades.  The western part of the County transitioned from livestock and lumber to summer homes and tourism.  The southern part of the County had a large contingent of residents from the Midwest move here that were used to living in a self-sufficient style and preferred providing for their community needs mostly with nearby small businesses.  In the north portion of the County farms continued to get needs mostly with nearby small businesses.  In the north portion of the County farms continued to get larger and crops change following market trends with the main challenge being the lack of water. 

 

Dwight remained chairman throughout most of the these challenges.  The characteristic most appreciated by his fellow board members was Dwight's ability to conduct a meeting in a room full of community members, and sometimes non-community members, who all passionately felt that they would be impacted by the proposed business or project.  Although emotions could be high and voices sometimes loud, Dwight always knew how to control the situation and end discussions on a positive note. 

 

The last major project that Dwight oversaw was a professional rewrite of the Land Use Code Book.  This project was meant to replace a code book, which was sometimes confusing and contradictory and had been updated many times, with one that was well organized and designed for easy change in the future.  The process took over a year to complete and was approved in December. 

 

Dwight and Kandy may now move to Parker and enjoy retirement with their daughter's family and know that he left the Rio Grande County Planning Commission with the tools and knowledge to move forward for another forty years.  Thanks Dwight!!

 

Written By: Mike Mitchell

Thursday, 15 August 2019 07:54

Summitville Mine Tour