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We have an award-winning Colorado State Veterans’ Home in Rifle. The administration and the staff are dedicated to comfort and safe surroundings for the residents. If you visit, you will have a warm welcome and encounter a clean, odor free environment where there is staff attention to individual needs. They are very appreciative of local support.

The home is at the very end of Fifth Street. A large slab from the Marble mine marks the entrance. It was donated and installed by caring companies and individuals in the area.

This facility is under threat of closure by the state because it is an unprofitable enterprise. Any closure and depletion of care resulting from a reduction of staff or facility services would be a serious blow to Western Slope veterans. The federal hospital facility in Grand Junction sends area patients to Rifle for care.



We see many “Support Our Troops” stickers on vehicles. Here is a chance to take action and support a facility that is helping troops who have selflessly served in the military and now need care. Many appeals for funds are made to the Colorado state legislators, but none may be more meaningful than an appeal to maintain and even expand the Rifle State Veterans’ Home.

The Grand Valley Post 5485 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has been a participant in support of the Rifle home, and as a member I write this appeal.



Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

It appears from the front page Christmas Day article that I have been cast as the Christmas Grinch, having ruined Christmas week for Mr. Gross, from Fort Collins. When this newspaper ran an article about solar energy and the interest it has generated on county property, specifically at the Garfield County Airport, my curiosity was piqued. You see, there are numerous projects being proposed throughout the valley for solar projects large and small. Requests for Proposals for solar projects typically result in numerous companies attending various sites and walk-throughs. I have attended walk-throughs with 30-plus interested parties from multiple states attending. Thus I was curious how Mr. Gross and his company were in a position to be awarded a lease on airport property without other companies offering other proposals. You should be also.

When the county purchases equipment or services and costs exceed a certain amount, the county solicits bids for the equipment or services to ensure a fair and open process and to (in theory) get the best deal. I appeared before the Board of County Commissioners requesting the same process be applied to the leasing of county property. Sounded fair to me. This lease would be for $84-120,000/ year for at least 10 years. I think that’s a significant amount of money, don’t you? I do wonder about the $36,000 spread. The other variable in this deal? SoleVento has no solar agreement in place, as they are attempting to secure an RFP with Holy Cross Energy. Multiple local companies are “bidding” on the same project. Should GarCo be competing with private landowners for commercial projects? Should we investigate a solar project to offset the electrical use at the airport?

Finally, quoting Mr. Gross, “I feel like I was railroaded.” From Encarta Encyclopedia, “Railroaded: 1. force something through quickly without discussion: to push something through a legislature, committee or other decision-making body quickly so that there is not enough time for objections to be considered”

Query: Who was “railroading” whom? I objected and the commissioners agreed with me. May the best offer and GarCo win.

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle


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