Bent County Commissioners held their second meeting of the month on April 11 following a visit to the Bent County Sheriff’s building.

Undersheriff Wick Turner reported 36 inmates were housed in the county jail during March. Otero County housed the most inmates with 20. Bent County housed 10 inmates, the Department of Corrections housed three, Kiowa County hosued two and Cheyenne County housed one.

According to Turner, the sheriff’s department has received four local bids for oil changes for the fleet vehicles,  new tires on one car, and county logos for all department vehicles.

The undersheriff stated the weekend would be busy for his department as both McClave and Las Animas were hosting proms and the areas would have increased patrols.

Beginning the end of April, barrel racing will be held at the County Fairgrounds, resulting in the need for frequent patrolling.

Jonna Parker, director of social services, presented payroll and reports for the month and discussed several issues in her department.

Bent County Recreational Committee, headed by Sonny Smith, submitted the following 2019 approved projects: Bent County Fair Board, arena groomer equipment, $6,600; Las Animas Golf Course, 18-hole Disc Golf equipment, $13,200; and McClave School, a Gator, $4,500.

Additional requests received by the committee include Las Animas Swim Pool, diving board, start blocks and concrete work, $19,200; Las Animas Golf Clubhouse, windows, $14,200; and Ballfields, safety fence topper, $3,000. The Rec Committee’s share for the additional three projects is $15,000. The total budget for 2019 was $28,000. The projected year-to-date budget is $39,300.

Smith requested permission to use capital reserve funds for the budgeted excess of $11,300. Commissioners approved the request.

Commissioners granted a building permit to T-Mobile to install a pad for electronic equipment, located south of the end of the asphalt on Highway 101.

Churck Netherton, commissioner, met with the local fire department and reported 16 area units responded to fight the Black Bridge Fire. Bent County paid fuel costs of $669.83 and provided ports-potties for the fire fighters.

The board was informed that electricity was fully restored to the Fort Lyon facility on April 10 at 3:20 p.m. Lamar Light and Power owns the line for Las Animas to Fort Lyon. There has been long term cooperation between La Junta, Lamar and Las Animas Municipal Utilities.

County Administrator, Calvin Feik, was instructed to look into selling the Kit Carson Building.

Jason Nichols, county coroner, requested permission to purchase a used vehicle for body transportation at a price of $3,700. His request was approved.

Teale Hemphill, newly appointed Bent County Community Center (BCCC) Board and a member of the McClave School Board, asked for a part-time paid recreation coordinator for the McClave area. She said, Las Animas has 90 to 100 youngsters active in the center’s youth sports program and there are about 50 to 60 youth involved in a youth sports program in McClave.

The McClave School Board would provide mowing of the field and the BCCC would run the program. Commissioners gave approval for the BCCC board to hire the recreation co-ordinator for McClave.

Chairwoman Jean Sykes read a resolution terminating the local disaster declaration signed on April 5, which declared a local disaster in unincorporated area of Bent county resulting from the Black Bridge Fire. It was moved, passed and adopted, April 11.

All decisions and votes were unanimous. The next commissioners meeting is at 9 a.m. April 22.