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Among the many items on the agenda for the Chaffee Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) work session on Monday, March 13 will be an update on the state of childcare in Chaffee County.

The update by Chaffee County Early  Childcare Council Director Sarah Romack and Chaffee County Community Foundation Executive Director Betsy Dittenber will lay out in stark terms the situation resulting from the sudden closure of the Chaffee Childcare Initiatives program at The Schoolhouse.

The closure placed the early childhood arrangements for 24 children in limbo and impacted the lives and work schedules of Chaffee county’s working parents, but as Dittenber points out “childcare is everyone’s issue.”

Dittenber and Romack say they plan to lay out the effects of the county’s current childcare crisis on working parents, on the children, the chilling effect on other early childhood providers and its impact on the local economy. They’ll propose three possible actions that could help address the current childcare crisis.

The work session begins at 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 13, and will be held in the commissioners’ meeting room at 104 Crestone Avenue, in Salida. The public can attend in person, or view the meeting on Zoom by following this link.

Image courtesy of the Chaffee County Clerk’s Office.

Also on the agenda for the session are updates by the landfill committee, the Chaffee Department of Public Health, and the Department of Human Services; which will consider for approval a new policy for disciplinary action for the misuse of sensitive information including a “criminal history record information” (CHRI) policy.

The BoCC will also review the terms of several contracts, get reports from the Building Department and EMS (Emergency Medical services), and get an overview of the CDOT Region 2 Bridge Bundle project.

Chaffee Sheriff John Spezze will discuss the new purchase of what is being called a “multi-jurisdictional vehicle.”

In case the public isn’t clear about what this is; it’s an armored military tactical vehicle; the kind we used in Iraq. The kind on the front lines in the war in Ukraine. It has been jointly purchased by the Sheriff’s Office, the Salida Police Department, and the Buena Vista Police Department. In a rural resort county, it could seem a bit strange to witness the militarization of our law enforcement departments. But apparently, all the law enforcement departments budgeted for this purchase and quietly purchased it without letting the public know.

The work session will end with a discussion of the 2023 Redistricting Study and Timeline,  presented by Chaffee Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell, the Assessor’s Office, and the Chaffee Legal Office.