Where will the money come from?

Funds needed for publication

The Dolores Conservation District and the Mancos Conservation District are still searching for matching funds through a $4,750 grant they obtained from the Colorado State Conservation Board to publish a 64-page magazine on things to know about living in Southwest Colorado.

The Montezuma County Commission Monday morning told district representatives that they would “think about” providing the money to match the grant funds and asked how much time it had to make a decision. The deadline is July 15.

Dolores Conservation District Manager Judy Garrigues, whose district is in a partnership with Mancos Conservation District, managed by Lea Cody, on the grant, said the last time a publication like this was done was in 1997.

Garrigues said not only are there none of the magazines available, the information in them would have been outdated, and she mentioned the Internet and websites were in the infancy stage when the 1997 magazine was published.

Garrigues said the publication informs people moving to the area from a metropolitan area on what they can expect in a smaller rural community.

Issues such as water irrigation, trash pickup and websites on how to contact entities like these will be included. Garrigues added new residents have been asking for the 1997 guide, which reinforces the need for a current and updated one.

“It talks about what you need to know for rural living,” she said. “This is going to be a real focus on helping people in rural communities, especially in this county.”

The new publication will include segments on gas and oil exploration that was not a big issue back in 1997, as well as new development.

The magazine, called “Rural living in Southwest Colorado,” also serves as the Code of the West that tells new residents about manners and being considerate of the lifestyle that could be different from where they once lived before moving to Southwest Colorado.

As an example, Garrigues said new residents should not be surprised if a tractor was to start up at 5:30 a.m. in the month of June, as this is to be expected in the county.

She also said being considerate includes new residents not letting their dogs bark incessantly, and added the magazine will also discuss fires and when and where they are allowed.

She said the 1997 publication was done on a bigger scale, but everything this year will have to be done from scratch because the information used 15 years ago is no longer available.

The conservation districts need partners to donate funds for the 50-50 grant match and mentioned many people have stepped up to the plate to give their time and efforts.

The commission was given a deadline of the middle of July because that is the date where the funds would have to be paid to go to print, and the 2,500 publications would be available in November.

Garrigues said she was a little surprised the commission did not approve the funding match on Monday, and mentioned funds from Senate Bill 98 that were to be used for projects in the county, though it can use the funds as it sees fit, were never used.

Speaking at the meeting, County Administrator Ashton Harrison said there were county funds available for the match if this is what the commission wanted.

Garrigues said if the commission decides not to match the grant funds, they might look at the Montezuma County Economic Council or some other entity for the money.

Reach Michael Maresh at michaelm@cortezjournal.com