By next week, Chaffee County residents will know which of them will be charged with making recommendations to fund approximately $1 million in 2019 sales tax revenue generated by the county’s new 0.25 percent sales tax increase known as Ballot Issue 1A. The Board of County Commissioners will be interviewing candidates for the Chaffee Common Ground Citizens Advisory Committee beginning Friday, March 8, in county offices at 104 Crestone Ave., Salida.
Twelve applications have been received from residents interested in serving. Discussions will be held at the BoCC regular meeting March 12 on who to appoint to the seven-member board. This committee will be charged with making the recommendations for fund allocations from the revenues generated by the county sales tax increase approved by the voters in the November 2018 general election.
This year that sales tax is expected to generate approximately $1 million in revenue, earmarked for strengthening forest health, conserving and supporting working ranches and rural landscapes, and managing the impacts on the county of recreation growth.
Once the committee members are selected, the group will need to move ahead quickly to develop the grant process, the grant application and evaluation criteria, as well as establishing the grant funding cycle.
“It was never the intention to spend the funds as they arrive,” said Commissioner Greg Felt. “But we want to do whatever we can with the revenue as soon as we can, subject to the criteria and the grant system the committee will have to develop.”
The final decision on project funding will come from Chaffee County Commissioners; the committee is charged with making funding recommendations to the commissioners.