Citizen Telegram Community News Briefs – April 24, 2014
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Hubbard Mesa clean-up volunteers sought
Volunteers are needed for the annual community clean-up at the Hubbard Mesa and Fravert Reservoir area north of Rifle on Saturday, April 26.
High Country Four Wheelers, White River Trail Runners, the Bureau of Land Management, Redi Services, MRI and other local businesses and off-highway vehicle groups are sponsoring the clean-up of the popular off-highway vehicle area.
Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Hubbard Mesa trailhead. To reach the trailhead, travel north from Rifle on Fravert Reservoir Road for 1.5 miles. Keep right on County Road 290 for another mile to the parking lot.
Volunteers should come dressed in long pants, sturdy work shoes and leather gloves and bring rakes and shovels if possible. Lunch will be provided by High Country Four Wheelers. The clean-up should be completed by 3 p.m.
For more information, call Greg Noss, (970) 366-2237 or Dan Alvis, (970) 309-5368.
Energy efficiency rebates offered
A new pool of rebate funding for energy efficiency upgrades is now available for households and businesses in Western Garfield County on a first-come, first-served basis.
The funding is provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Supplemental Environmental Program. Garfield Clean Energy, a partnership of 10 local governments, contracts with CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region to provide free energy coaching services that help people take advantage of these rebates. Coaching is offered in English and Spanish.
For households, rebates are provided for qualifying projects that include air sealing, insulation, programmable thermostats and heat tape timers, as well as high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, whole house fans, water heaters and LED lighting.
For businesses and commercial properties, including multi-family housing, energy coaches will conduct a free building walk-through and provide recommendations for the most cost-effective energy upgrades.
Rebates for businesses can be used for a variety of projects that can reduce costs for electricity, natural gas and propane. These include lighting, refrigeration, heating, cooling, building controls, insulation, motors, engine block timers and heat tape timers.
These rebates can be combined with rebates offered by Xcel Energy and Holy Cross Energy to cover up to 50 percent of project costs, although dollar limits apply.
For information, contact CLEER at 704-9200 or ActNow@GarfieldCleanEnergy.org . More information about residential and commercial rebates is available at GarfieldCleanEnergy.org.
Prescribed burn planned
BATTLEMENT MESA – Pending favorable weather conditions, Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Fuels Management crews will conduct a prescribed burn around the end of April or early May on the north aspect of Battlement Mesa, roughly seven miles from Parachute, on White River National Forest lands near Garfield County Road 306.
Up to 2,000 acres of Gambel oak and mixed mountain shrub vegetation will be burned to benefit wildlife habitat.
This project is part of a large-scale, 5- to 10-year effort by the White River National Forest, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Forest Foundation and others to improve habitat for bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer and other native wildlife across approximately 115,000 acres of the White River National Forest. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has pledged financial support for the cost of federal fire crews and Grand Valley and Plateau Valley fire protection districts plans to participate in the prescribed burn.
Information regarding this project and the objectives of the work is available at the Rifle Ranger District office, 0094 County Road 244, or by calling Kim Potter at 625-2371.
It’s a boy!
Richard Jay Fawson and Cassi Boe of Silt are delighted to announce the birth of their precious baby boy, Atticus Jay Fawson, at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs on Monday, March 24, at 9:39 p.m. Atticus was 18 inches long and weighed 8 pounds, 6.9 ounces at birth. Grandparents are Barb Boe, Debra Fawson and Scott Fawson, all of Colorado. Great-grandparents are Sarah and Frank Martinez, Connie and Norm Boe, Betty and Wayne Fawson and Kay Blue, all of Colorado.
Heating help deadline nears
Colorado residents behind on home heating bills still have time to apply for help. The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) encourages Coloradans in need of financial assistance with home heating bills to take advantage of the program and apply for benefits before the April 30 deadline.
LEAP is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. The program pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and lowest incomes by family size. Applicant income cannot exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty index, which equals a maximum income of $2,944 per month for a household of four people. The average benefit is estimated to be $440 per household.
To date, LEAP has helped nearly 85,000 Colorado households with their heating bills. However, there are still thousands eligible for the program that have yet to apply.
People interested in applying can call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to order a mailed application or visit the Garfield County Department of Human Services, most utility companies and community agencies like Catholic Charities. Applications can also be downloaded from colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.
River cleanup planned
The Middle Colorado Watershed Council is hosting its first annual Colorado River cleanup and needs help picking up litter along the public river banks from South Canyon to Silt on Saturday, April 26. Many areas will be accessible to volunteers on foot, but boaters are especially encouraged to participate. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Grand River Park in New Castle.
The cleanup will be followed by a community barbecue and picnic for volunteers, with burgers, bratwurst and more food, donated by local restaurants, starting at noon.
Volunteers can sign up online at midcowatershed.org/rivercleanup.html and should wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and work gloves and bring drinking water.
For more information, call (303) 204-4164 or email email@example.com.
Final month for seedling tree sales
The Bookcliff, South Side and Mount Sopris conservation districts are offering seedling trees, for a nominal fee, to landowners who own one or more acres and live in Garfield and Pitkin counties.
The seedlings and small potted trees can be used for wildlife plantings, reforestation, windbreaks, snow fences and erosion control. The last day to order trees this year is April 29 and distribution will be on May 8. Some species have already sold out.
Call 945-5494, ext. 105, to receive an order form or go online to southsidecd.org.
LIFT-UP takes part in hunger challenge
Through April 30, LIFT-UP will participate in the Feinstein Foundation’s 17th annual Challenge to Fight Hunger, which offers $1 million to be divided among qualified hunger relief agencies nationwide, based on the amount of food and money they collect during the two-month period. Last year, more than $211 million was raised by 1,857 hunger-fighting agencies. Over the previous 16 years, the annual campaign has generated more than $2 billion.
As an added incentive this year, the locally-managed Stone Foundation has offered an additional $10,000 in matching funds for the first $10,000 that LIFT-UP raises from this campaign through April 30, a dollar-for-dollar match.
LIFT-UP’s services are offered year-round and they serve between 2,000 and 2,500 people per month from their seven area food pantries. More than 1,600 meals per month are served at LIFT-UP’s Extended Tables in Rifle and Glenwood Springs.
In 2013, LIFT-UP received $1.8 million in donated food from individuals, food drives and local grocery stores, which is distributed from its food pantries to families in need. LIFT-UP also purchases food from Food Bank of the Rockies in Grand Junction, and from local grocery stores as needed. People may request assistance up to four times in a calendar year, and receive four days of food for their family size.
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Rifle and New Castle are seeing decent increases in tax revenue, according to financial administrators.