After a visit to the Bent County Jail, the Bent County Board of Commissioners convened for their regular meeting, March 14 at the courthouse.

Undersheriff Wick Turner, filling in for Sheriff Jake Six, reported 44 inmates currently incarcerated, but only 17 are from Bent County. Other prisoners are from Kiowa County (one), Otero County (23), and the Colorado Department of Corrections (three).

Turner reported that revenue for BCSO in February was $30,653.49. He also reported that members of the Sheriff’s Posse are receiving 12 hours of training. He said the Bent County uniform patches and badges have not been received yet, so deputies continue to wear Kiowa County patches on their uniforms.

Jonna Parker, director of Social Services, talked about problems with the parking lot at the Social Services building (the former Memorial School).

“It’s very messy when it rains or snows, with large puddles," she said. "There is only room for eight cars on the paved portion."

Parker also said that only one bathroom in the building is wheelchair-accessible. 

County Administrator Calvin Feik reported on wind damage around the city: the roof blew off the recycling center on Highway 50, part of the roof came off the county-owned Kit Carson Museum building on Ninth Street, the former Memorial School flag pole on Sixth Street blew over, an air conditioner unit on the courthouse roof was moved, and the wind took out a light pole on Sixth Street near the Social Services Building.

Robert Arguello, director of the Bent County Community Center, gave the commissioners a handout with a description of the Recreation Coordinator duties and responsibilities from previous years and a description of his current duties.

He mentioned the membership rate increase did not cause a decrease in usage but instead showed an increase. Arguello said 1,000 visits to the center's weight room were recorded in January, and revenue generated so far in the first quarter of 2019 is 75 percent of all revenue received in 2018.

Since December 2018, approximately $4700 has been donated by five local businesses, he also reported.

Arguello announced membership in several organizations that promote wellness including AIM XL, Otero Junior College Navigator Advisory Board, and Community Action. He has visited the Lamar Community Center and Recreation League to learn their business practices.

Regarding the center's After School program, Arguello reported he has initiated partnerships with Care and Share, Lamar Hope Center, Las Vegas All-Stars and the After School Alliance. He stated storage areas of the BCCC have been cleaned and reorganized, resulting in hundreds of dollars of unused craft supplies put into a new craft room. All recreation equipment has been inventoried, cleaned and centrally located, he said. 

Tom Duke, Historic Preservation architect, will be put on an annual contract for redevelopment of the Fort Lyon Campus. Duke will provide 17 hours a month at $85 an hour, or $1,445 per month.

Duke's contract will not cost the county anything, as the money will come from the Department of Local Affairs' contract with Bent County. Before commissioners sign the contract, it will be sent to County Attorney Sam Vigil for review.

Duke’s contract will be reviewed annually. The architect has done an historic site assessment as part of the master plan process for the Fort Lyon Campus.

The County Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. March 28. All commissioner meetings are open to the public, including work sessions that are usually held on Tuesdays at 9 a.m.