Garfield County covers liens on horses | AspenTimes.com

Garfield County covers liens on horses

Phillip Yates
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Garfield Coun­ty commissioners have approved taking $11,500 from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office budget to clear all liens against the seized horses that went up for auction Saturday.

The issue about the liens devel­oped just a day before the horse auc­tion, said County Attorney Don DeFord. The county auctioned 28 horses after the sheriff’s office took custody of the animals last year in response to a New Castle case involv­ing animal neglect.

Following seizure of the horses, Tim Melton provided pastureland and hay for the seized horses for about three months, DeFord said.

“As result, he asserted a lien on the horses,” DeFord said during the com­missioners’ meeting Monday.

With the horse auction just a day away, Sheriff Lou Vallario, Commis­sioner John Martin and DeFord talked about the lien issue on Friday. During that meeting, Vallario said he was willing to transfer $11,000 out of his office’s budget to clear the liens against the horses, DeFord said. The purpose of clearing the liens was so that people who bought the horses on Saturday could have clear claim to them.

The horse auction, at the county fairgrounds in Rifle, raised about $15,975 for the county, according to the sheriff’s office. The county also received a $5,000 donation for hay feed from Rising Hearts Ranch, Val­lario said. The cost of caring for the horses’ hay, boarding and veterinary expenses totaled about $41,000, not including the cost of clearing the liens.

In other business Monday:

– Commissioners approved a con­tract not to exceed $111,898 to the Eastern Research Group to monitor air quality in the county in 2008. The air-quality monitoring for 2008 will look into volatile organic compounds in the county and will build on VOC data that was collected in a two-year study of the county’s air quality.

The focus of the 2008 air quality monitoring will focus on four sites: Parachute, Rifle and two gas-produc­ing sites in the county.

– Commissioners approved $66,000 from the Road and Bridge Department’s fund balance to pur­chase a snowblower because of increased snowfall this winter.

“Our winter has been a little more severe than we had in quite a while,” said Marvin Stephens, head of the county’s road and bridge depart­ment.

Stephens said his department needed the blower because the county has been having a hard time finding places to put snow and the blower allows county to blow snow over greater distances and limits the chance of knocking down residents’ fences.

– Commissioners postponed con­sideration of the rezoning of the for­mer Bair Chase property to the high­est urban density allowed in the county because Commissioner Larry McCown was out of town. The com­missioners are expected to consider the matter on Feb. 19 at 1:15 p.m.

pyates@postindependent.com


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