City of Montrose Expands Public’s Role in Annual Budget Process
by Watch Staff
May 02, 2012 | 301 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTROSE – A Citizens Budget Advisory Committee is being organized as a new avenue for community involvement in the city’s 2013 budget development process.  Up to seven individuals will be chosen to serve on the committee, which will meet in the evenings to allow participation by a broad cross section of citizens.  Individuals who are interested in participating are invited to submit a letter of interest stating their reasons for wanting to serve on the committee and their qualifications for doing so.  Letters must be delivered to the City Manager’s Office by June 15.

Additional information and documents concerning the city’s budget process, including a detailed 2013 budget development calendar and past and current city budgets, can be viewed at  Individuals who wish to submit comments on the proposed budget are invited to use the online comment form that is available on the budget Web site.

Second Annual Norwood VFW Fundraiser Fishing Tournament at Ridgway Reservoir June 9

NORWOOD – The Norwood VFW Post 9398 holds its second annual fishing tournament at Ridgway Reservoir Saturday, June 9. It is a fundraiser for the purchase of Action Trackchairs, for use by disabled persons for hunting, fishing, camping and day trips. The chairs travel up to eight miles per charge, climbing 20 degree slopes and allowing occupants to stay level while ascending and descending.

The tournament offers a $10,000 Grand Prize, in the adult and senior category, for the tagged fish, which is provided by the Department of Wildlife, followed by a $1,000 prize for the second-largest fish and $250 for third-largest. The children’s category (12 and under) offers a $100, $50 and $25, for largest, second and third largest, and $24 for the most perch caught.

Ticket prices are $35 for adults and seniors, and $10 for children 12 and under. Buy them at online, or June 8-9 at Ridgway State Park. Tickets are also available at Sam’s Service, in Norwood; at the Mountain Village Police Dept., and at Toads Guide Shop, 309 Main St., in Montrose.

Numerous prizes will be given away.

Randy Skees Memorial West End 4x4 Poker Tour June 9

PARADOX – The Nucla-Naturita Area Chamber of Commerce presents its third annual Randy Skees Memorial West End 4x4 Poker Run next Saturday, June 9, a guided tour that starts and ends at the Paradox Community Center. The event is a benefit for NNACC, and is limited to 35 vehicles.

According to NNACC’s Leah Christen, Randy Skees “was a prominent volunteer for the communities” of Naturita, Nucla, Redvale, Bedrock and Paradox, which the Nucla-Naturita Area Chamber of Commerce serves. He was also a 4x4 fan.

Poker run participants will drive to designated checkpoints and draw a playing card at each one. The person with the best poker hand at the end of the run wins.

“Right now we have five spaces open,” said Christen, noting that this year’s trip runs approximately 50 miles. Asked to reveal the route, Christen said, “Nope. It’s always a surprise.” But she would confirm that it promises to be a fun and informative event, with various guides “that will take over during different periods of the trip,” making stops and talking about the areas they are driving through.

There will be a lunch of grilled hamburgers midway through the trip. And dinner back in Paradox at the community center will be provided by Smokin’ Charlie’s out of Nucla, featuring “pulled pork sandwiches and all the side dishes,” plus beverages, said Christen.

During dinner, the final card for poker hands will be dealt and winners will be announced. There’ll be a “split the pot” winner, as well as other prizes.

Registration is $25, which includes lunch and dinner, as well as a commemorative T-shirt. Additional meal tickets and T-shirts are $15 per person. Poker hands are $10 per hand. Registration check-in takes place at 8:30 a.m. at the Paradox Community Center, 21665 600 Road.

To register or for more information, call NNACC at 970/865-2350.

Reinstatement of Funding for Senior Property Tax Exemption for 2012

MONTROSE – In accordance with House Bill 12-1335, signed into law on May 7, the senior property tax exemption has been reinstated for tax year 2012 (payable in 2013). A property tax exemption is available to senior citizens, surviving spouses of previously qualified senior citizens and disabled veterans.  For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted.  The State of Colorado pays the exempted portion of the property tax.  Once approved, the exemption remains in effect for future years, and the applicant should not reapply.

The exemption is available to applicants who meet the following three requirements, as of Jan. 1, 2012: They are at least 65 years of age, have owned their home for at least 10 years and occupied it as their primary residence for at least 10 years. The application form is available online at: or can be picked up at the Montrose County Assessor’s Office, 320 South 1st St., Room 9, P. O. Box 1186

Montrose, CO  81402. For more information, contact the Montrose County Assessor’s Office at 970/249-3753.


Women’s Outdoor Skills Workshop June 22-24

MONTROSE – Women who are interested in taking up hunting and fishing should sign up for a special upcoming weekend workshop sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

This women's-only event will be held June 22-24 at the Jim Olterman/Lone Cone State Wildlife Area in Dolores County.

"This is a great event for women who are curious about hunting and fishing but have never had a chance to give them a try," said Kelly Crane, district wildlife manager in the Ouray area. "No experience is necessary and we have a lot of fun."

At this workshop women will learn the fundamentals of archery, fly fishing and shotgun shooting. Participants will also learn about the basics of wildlife biology and wildlife management. Expert instruction will be provided by Parks and Wildlife staff.

The weekend is especially designed for novices. All equipment and ammunition will be provided. Participants can bring their own fishing rods, bows and shotguns. Those bringing guns must provide their own ammunition. Participants ages 16 and older must have a current Colorado fishing license. Food will be provided; but those with specific dietary requirements should bring their own food.

A cabin and camping are available on site. Participants must bring their own sleeping bags and can bring their own tents if they wish. The registration deadline is June 4, but call early as this event usually fills up quickly. The workshop is limited to 15 women, ages 14 and older. A $40 refundable deposit is required.

The event will start June 22, at 5 p.m., and conclude on June 24, at noon. The state wildlife area is located 25 miles south of Norwood.

To register, or for more information, contact Dawn Bresett at the Parks and Wildlife office in Montrose at 970/252-6000, or at

Ouray Woman’s Club Goes Countywide

OURAY – In March 1897 a small group of women met in the Ouray Courthouse to organize Woman’s Club of Ouray, which, 115 years later, continues to foster the traditional values of its founders.

Clubmembers recently voted to change the name to the Woman’s Club of Ouray County.

“At the inception of the WCO, travel around Ouray County was a slow process, and naturally the majority of the founding members lived in the City of Ouray,” explained longtime member Vicki Caldwell. “As our modern age emerged and transportation and travel became more easily available, the Woman’s Club quickly added members from the entire Ouray County area. Today less than half of the membership lives in Ouray; the majority of our 80-plus dedicated members live throughout Ouray County. Hence, the need and the recognition of our organization’s name which represents unified women committed to making Ouray County a better place to live.”

From the establishment of the Lincoln Memorial Library in 1898 to the recent funding and maintenance of a hospice room in Valley Manor Care Center, as well as the opening of the first Medical Loan Closet available to all people in Ouray County, the Woman’s Club continues to keep the tradition of philanthropy alive.

In October 2011, the Woman’s Club granted over $9,000 in funds to 21 Ouray County nonprofit organizations in order to support other important groups within the county. The Woman’s Club also concluded a series of outstanding monthly programs in May centered around “Uncommon Women: Uncommon Lives,” all of which highlighted exceptional Ouray County women and their unique contributions to the county.

Other recent highlights include monthly contributions to the Ridgway Community Food Pantry, participation in the 4-H Holiday Bazaar, selection of Joan Fedel as WCO Woman of the Year, reorganization of the Medical Loan Closet, an annual salad luncheon to honor all Ouray County graduating senior girls and their mothers, and sponsorship of the Cedar Hill Cemetery Clean-Up. All projects, donations and grant monies provided to others have one common monetary funding source – The Woman’s Club of Ouray County’s Annual Rummage Sale. A longstanding tradition, the sale offers gently used clothing, books, linens, housewares, sporting goods, home improvements, arts and crafts, floral items, furniture, luggage, jewelry and decorative/miscellaneous items each year. The Corley and Wolkin families allow their garages to be used for storage; club members work many hours sorting and pricing the items, and bargains abound. This year’s sale takes place Friday, June 22-Saturday, June 23; donations will be accepted on Wednesday, June 20. For information, contact Caldwell at 325-4816, Nancy Wolkin at 325-4368 or Nancy Rule at 325-4306.

New officers will be installed June 12.

Montrose Medical Alliance Donates to the San Juan Healthcare Foundation Caring Friends Fund

MONTROSE – Phoebe Benziger and Dr. Gayle Frazzetta, representing the MontroseMedical Alliance, donated $750 to Tom Barrett of the San Juan Healthcare Foundation for the Caring Friends Fund.  Funds were raised through their annual holiday auction and other fundraisers. The Caring Friends Fund provides items and services to help patients and their families at Montrose Memorial Hospital and the San Juan Cancer Center.  The donated money helps provide services that are beyond the patient’s medical needs including; massages, manicures, PlayStation video console for hospitalized children, gas cards, grocery cards, medication assistance, travel and lodging expenses and meals for nutritional support during therapy. Call 970/240-7397 for information. 

OCPAG Awards Performing Arts Scholarships

OURAY COUNTY – Two students from the 2012 graduating classes at Ouray and Ridgway high schools have received distinguished scholarships to be applied toward their college studies in the performing arts.

Lizzy Ficco of Ouray received $1,000 from the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild toward her first year of music study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Lizzy has had lead roles in various school theater productions and has performed in numerous music engagements around the state. She stated in her application, “I can safely say that music is my passion; it is where my heart lies and will always remain.”

Ridgway’s Jess Weaver also received $1,000 toward his studies in the arts at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood, Calif. Weaver has played in numerous school theater productions and has received numerous honors in speech competition. He will be attending the National Forensic Speech and Debate Tournament in Indianapolis next month. His speech coach said of Weaver, “He has grown in his ability to craft a character and convey the realism required for powerful performances.”


Seven 2012 area graduates are the recipients of a scholarship from the Cindy Watson Scholarship Foundation: Natalie Emery, Central High School; Katari Lewis, Delta High School; Emily Anderson, Montrose High School; Brent Harris, Norwood High School; Erica Ramirez, Olathe High School; Sarah Stovicek, Ouray High School; and Halli Benasutti, Ridgway High School.

Watson, owner and founder of The Watson Insurance and Financial Group, which has been serving Montrose and the surrounding communities for 22 years, started the nonprofit scholarship foundation as a means of giving back to her community. The foundation hosts a golf invitational each year, where all staff is voluntary and all proceeds go to the scholarship fund, to recognize individuals who demonstrate accountability, contribute to their own goals, and plan to continue their involvement in their community after college graduation. Cindy states in the scholarship information to students: “You must contribute something of your own to truly realize the gifts you have been given.” Recipients must plan to attend a four year accredited college or university within Colorado, demonstrate community involvement, have well established future goals, and have a need for financial assistance.

Emery plans to attend Colorado Christian University and whatever field she eventually chooses, she wants to serve and help others. Lewis will attend Colorado State University to study biology with the goal of becoming a biomedical engineer; Anderson will also begin her studies in biology/pre-med at CSU with a goal of becoming a pediatrician. Harris will study environmental engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and hopes to make a positive effect on the earth with his future work; Ramirez also plans to become an engineer and will begin her studies at Colorado Mesa University; Stovicek will study history at Regis University and may eventually teach at the secondary level. Also heading to Regis, Benasutti will study biomedical engineering, to help change the lives of those less fortunate than she.

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