County OKs land swap with animal shelter

Roice-Hurst directors happy to get centrally located parcel

Mesa County commissioners on Monday approved a land swap with Roice-Hurst Humane Society that will allow the nonprofit organization to move into a larger, more centralized facility.

Commissioners agreed to trade the former county Animal Services building at 362 28 Road to Roice-Hurst in exchange for Roice-Hurst’s current site at 3320 D 1/2 Road. The county intends to turn around and sell the property. Animal Services moved into a new building at 971 Coffman Road on Orchard Mesa earlier this year.

On its face, the deal appears to favor the county. Roice-Hurst’s 8.6-acre site is valued at $905,150, while the old Animal Services’ 2.7-acre property is valued at $540,800, according to the county assessor’s website.

But Elaine Johnson, president of Roice-Hurst’s board of directors, made it clear Monday the swap is key to the nonprofit’s future.

“I don’t know if I can overestimate the importance of this transaction for our organization,” she told commissioners.

Johnson said Roice-Hurst will gain nearly 900 square feet of space at a newer facility that is in a centralized location, which could boost the number of pet adoptions and volunteers.

“We just think it’s a better use of our donors’ money rather than put a Band-Aid on our crumbling facility,” she said.

In other business, commissioners:

Agreed to pay Grand Junction-based FCI Constructors $245,903 to serve as the general contractor that will oversee the conversion of the old City Market Warehouse at 105 W. Colorado Ave. into the county’s new Consolidated Services Building.

FCI Constructors beat out bids from Asset Engineering of Grand Junction ($347,255), Shaw Construction of Grand Junction ($454,302) and Kissner General Contractors of Austin ($462,783). FCI also proposed the shortest construction period of five months.

The county will relocate a number of departments and offices and storage space into the building, allowing it to save rent and sell its building at 750 Main St.

Reconstruction of the building is expected to cost $3.9 million and be completed next summer.

Accepted a $50,450 federal grant to help install keyless lock systems at Central High School, Grand Mesa Middle School and Clifton Elementary School and exterior lighting enhancements at Thunder Mountain Elementary School.

Officials say the keyless lock systems will reduce the number of access points at the schools, as well as the number of false alarms. The additional lighting will improve the safety of people who use the school after-hours.

The federal grant will match $50,450 in funding from School District 51.


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