County aids in wildfire response

    Phillips County Commissioners met Friday, March 31, noting their involvement with the Phillips/Logan County wildfire response earlier in the month.
    Wednesday, March 8, the board approved a resolution for a Declaration of Emergency regarding the wildfire. The wildfire was declared a local emergency, and planned  response and recovery were activated.
    The board met with Greg Etl, a representative from the Department of Local Affairs; Chris Shelley, representative from CSU Extension; and Ron Koberstein, local Farm Service Agency director, to discuss the fire and disposal of 200 head of livestock that were destroyed.
    Commissioners reported that Koberstein stated that approximately 32,000 acres were burned — about 23,000 in Phillips County. Approximately 5,000 of those acres were in the Conservation Reserve Program, and about 16,000 were pasture land. Shelley read the requirement for livestock disposal by burial from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
    In addition, commissioners cohosted the Disaster Assistance Center in Haxtun Thursday, March 16. The DAC included representatives from a variety of local, state and federal agencies that offered assistance to victims of the fire. Phillips County worked with Logan County to host the event, and all residents who suffered loss due to the fire were invited.
Parcel rezoned
    The board held a public hearing on a rezoning application for a parcel on the west edge of Haxtun. Rezoning a tract of land in the NW¼ of the NE¼ of Section 29, T8N, R47W of the 6th P.M., Phillips County, Colorado was approved. The planning commission recommended the 147-acre area be rezoned from A-1 to commercial, and the property is intended as a site for a new Dollar General.

Other business
    Also during the month of March, commissioners:
    —Met with representatives of the NE Colorado Tourism Board to discuss their efforts to promote tourism in the area.
    —Approved abatement from the state on NKC Railnet in the amount of $12,550.36.
    —Hired Phil Biersdorfer as a part-time deputy sheriff until a new deputy can be hired to fill the position left by Ryan Williams.
    —Approved creation of a new road and bridge position. Dave Salyards was promoted to the new chemical spraying crew leader position, effective March 1.
    —Approved a contract with Dean Brom to recycle metal at the Phillips County Landfill.
    —Approved the use of the courthouse front lawn for Dandelion Daze June 17.
    —Met with residents concerning restoration of the Dunkard Cemetery southeast of Amherst.
    —Received notice from the Northeast Colorado Bookmobile Service that they have a replacement bookmobile bus, thanks to a grant from the El Pomar Foundation.

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