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Montezuma County

  • Property taxes were on the minds of the Montezuma County commissioners this week.
  • Much local recycling remains on hold even as Montezuma County moves forward with efforts to repair the baler the county landfill uses to handle recycled materials.
  • A lengthy and contentious public hearing Thursday night on high-impact and special-use permits for new operators at the Ironwood mill site ended with the Montezuma County Planning and Zoning Commission continuing the hearing to June 13.
  • Montezuma County attorney Ian MacLaren has been appointed judge for the Dolores County Court, and wolverines may return to Colorado.
  • With a 2-to-1 vote, the Montezuma County commissioners on Tuesday denied a high-impact permit for a Dollar General store at Highway 145 and Road N
  • Voters in Montezuma County may have the opportunity in November to decide whether to adopt what’s being called a “public-safety sales tax.”
  • Later this month, Montezuma and Dolores counties will be transitioning to a new emergency alert system called Everbridge. Both counties and the Cortez Police Department will make the change from using the Nixle alert system to Everbridge. The switch comes after recent shootings in Cortez and flooding in Dolores this past spring exposed weaknesses in the old system. Vicki Shaffer, the public information coordinator for Montezuma County, says that the upgrade will mean officials will be able to target specific neighborhoods during an emergency when sending out alerts. And Colorado House District 32 has a new Representative at the statehouse.
  • Last weekend, a community group held its second annual suicide awareness walk in downtown Cortez. The organization, RISE Southwest, was founded by Cortez residents Derek Streeter and Corin Wolf, who decided to start a suicide awareness walk in Montezuma County after the death of Streeter’s brother. According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Montezuma County has a higher rate of suicide than the state average, with 10 suicide deaths reported in 2022. Streeter says events like the walk on Saturday – which comes during National Suicide Prevention Month – can help remind people that they’re not alone. And ahead of next week’s 2023 United Nations summit on climate solutions, youth in New Mexico will call attention to the state’s challenges related to fossil fuels.
  • A new seed store and bakery is opening its doors in Cortez for the first time on Saturday. Pueblo Seed & Food Company sells seeds that originated in and are adapted to the desert Southwest, as well as curated seeds from different arid regions all over the world. The company’s farm is located in McElmo Canyon on land protected by a Montezuma Land Conservancy easement, and grows crops like heritage wheat, rye and barley. Nanna Meyer, a baker and co-owner of Pueblo Seed & Food Company, says that she hopes the store will help provide a return to food culture for the residents of Montezuma County after years of isolation during the pandemic. And a new Colorado gun-control law that’s on hold due to a court challenge won’t be going into effect anytime soon.
  • The Montezuma County Homelessness Prevention Coalition is a collaboration between groups like The Bridge emergency shelter, Sih Hasin Street Medicine and the city of Cortez to help homeless friends and relatives living in Montezuma County, Colorado. One problem the coalition faces is a lack of available information on homeless people who have lived in the community in the past.