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Commissioners Approve Plan to License Building Contractors

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners has taken action to put into place a program to license building contractors in Fremont County to help offer a layer of protection to consumers looking to hire contractors for their home or business.   County Building Official Mike Cox said his office surveyed contractors about five years ago and they remain overwhelmingly in favor of licensing.   Cox said the licensing regulations he drafted are patterned after contractors licensing programs for Cañon City, the Pueblo County Regional Department, and the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

Cox said the licensing fees are lower than other programs in the region.   He said the fees to be charged are intended to only reflect the department’s actual expenses of running the licensing program.   As an example he said the annual licensing fee for general contractors in Fremont County will be $75 compared to $225 now charged by Pikes Peak and $100 charged by the City of Cañon City.    Cox said the contractor licensing program will start on January 1st and will allow a six month grace period to allow contractors to become licensed no later than July 1st if they want to perform work in Fremont County.

County Attorney Brenda Jackson noted that consumers in Fremont County could still hire an unlicensed contractor but the licensing program allows consumers to recognize who is properly licensed and familiar with the county’s building code.    The contractor licensing program will not include mechanical contractors because Fremont County has never adopted a mechanical code.   Jackson said the county would have to adopt the uniform mechanical code before those contractors would have to be licensed.

Cox said once the program is up and running a comprehensive list of licensed building contractors will be available for consumers to review on the county’s web site under the office link for the County Building Department.

The November 25th meeting of the Board of Commissioners also saw the Board renew its’ annual agreement with the Upper Arkansas Recycling Program.  Once again the county will subsidize the recycling program through the UAA Council of Governments at an annual cost not to exceed $1.30 per person.   The large pale yellow recycling bins for newsprint, steel & aluminum cans, plus clear and brown glass that are located throughout eastern Fremont County are part of the UAACOG recycling program.

Also at the November 25th meeting the Commissioners approved an Energy and Mineral Impact Grant application to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to help fund Phase 2 of improving roads southwest of Florence impacted by oil and gas drilling in recent years.   The application seeks $354,750 in grant funds for the project which is projected to cost $702,699.   The county’s matching share is the use of manpower and equipment to do the road work.

Fremont County Department of Transportation Director Tony Adamic said Phase 2 of the project in 2015 will cover 2.85 miles of roadway.   The work includes 2.3 miles of paving on county roads, and just over a half mile of paving in Coal Creek and Florence.

In other business at the November 25th Commissioners’ meeting the Board:

  • Approved a road maintenance agreement with the Bureau of Land Management providing that the BLM will take over maintenance of about 2,700 feet of County Road 127 northwest of Penrose that is an important access to the Penrose Commons OHV area;
  • Approved a two year extension of the 89 lot preliminary plan for the Mesas of Sunrise Ridge development that was initially approved in 2006 but has never been developed;
  • Reappointed J.R. Phillips to the Fremont County Weed Advisory Board;
  • Ratified approval of a signed agreement with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the Fremont County Pathfinder Park design grant.