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Local News Briefs

Garfield County’s finance department, for the first time, has received an award for its work on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, as well as a separate award for Finance Director Lisa Dawson.The department’s award, called the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, is from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada. It will be presented by the senior partner of the county’s auditing firm, McMahan & Associates, to the Board of County Commissioners at its regular meeting on Dec. 21.Dawson’s Award of Financial Achievement is primarily recognition for the work her office has done to promote “openness and full disclosure” in county finances, according to a statement from the county.”The public has a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and my office works very hard to give them the information they need,” Dawson said.

A Montrose-based ambulance service has been approved to ferry patients between medical facilities next year, when the long-standing West Care ambulance service shuts down.The Garfield County commissioners this week agreed to grant a license to Transcare, based in Montrose, to take over the “inter-facility transport” services in Garfield County as of Jan. 1.The decision had the support of both Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and the Grand River Medical Center in Rifle.The other facet of West Care’s business, the 911 emergency response service, is being assumed by the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District, probably in July 2010.West Care, which had operated as a self-supporting department within the town government of Silt, is having to close its doors in part because of rising costs and liability fears on the part of the town government.

For local residents interested in the current air quality of western Garfield County, there’s a website just for that.The Garfield County Public Health Department is in the midst of updating its site dedicated to air quality, at http://www.garfieldcountyaq.net.The site features current temperatures, wind direction and wind speed; a precipitation report; a picture from a westward-looking vantage on a rooftop in downtown Rifle that is updated every 15 minutes; data on ozone, dust and other air quality measures; and information about county air-quality monitoring efforts.Included is a pdf of the new Citizens Guide to Air Quality Management, a booklet about what the county is doing to keep track of air quality in light of industrial and residential growth in the area.


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