Larimer County Commissioners select Donnelly as Chair, voice support for post-flood erosion control projects

As is the custom, a new Chair of the Board and Chair Pro-Tem for the Board of Larimer County Commissioners is elected by the current Board each January.

District 3 Commissioner Tom Donnelly was elected as Chair for 2014 and District 1 Commissioner Lew Gaiter III as Chair Pro-Tem at the Jan. 7 administrative matters meeting.

Donnelly succeeds Steve Johnson in the position as Chair. Tom Donnelly was first elected Larimer County Commissioner in November, 2008 and re-elected for a second 4-year term in 2012. Lew Gaiter III was first appointed in a vacancy election in January of 2010 and elected to a 4-year term in November of 2010.

Also at the Jan. 7 administrative matters meeting, the Board of Commissioners voiced their support for helping to fund potential projects that could assist homeowners protect homes in imminent danger from increased erosion due to the September 2013 floods. Severe erosion has placed many homes at risk of damage due to any small additional erosion on unstable stream banks.

Larimer County will proceed with contractual negotiations with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to serve as a sponsor and project manager for these potential protection projects.

The NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program provides 75 percent of project funding, and has funding of up to $4M for exigent projects requiring protection measures that would need to be completed by April 15, 2014. The State of Colorado has agreed to provide 12.5 percent of the required match, and Larimer County, as sponsor, would potentially provide the remaining 12.5 percent, approximately $500,000. Significant additional work is now required to finalize contracts and identify individual projects.

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