County leaders gathering

Growth, taxes on conference agenda

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— November ballot issues dealing with growth management and tax cuts will be discussed when officials from counties all over the state meet in Steamboat Springs this week.
Colorado Counties Inc. is a non-profit organization of county commissioners that looks for solutions to government issues and legislation. The group's 19th summer conference will be held today through Thursday at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort. The conference is open to the public.
County officials, state legislators and community leaders will discuss CCI's goal of comprehensive tax reform as well as conservation easements and growth management.
From 5 to 6 p.m. today, representatives of counties in the Mountain District will meet to hear more about conservation easements and Routt County's Purchase of Development Rights program. Local speakers include Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, Yampa Valley Land Trust director Susan Otis and Lynn Sherrod, director of the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust.
From 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, CCI's Land Use and Natural Resources steering committee will address growth and whether legislation or ballot issues are needed. A panel on growth management will discuss Initiative 256, called the citizen management of growth.
From 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, CCI Tax and Finance steering committee members will debate whether their goal of comprehensive tax reform will ever come true. The session will include legislators, tax experts and local business people discussing tax issues and the tax surplus in future years.
From 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the CCI Transportation and Telecommunications steering committee will share information on legislation to restore local share of funding, review the TRANS initiative to fund transportation projects and report on the Colorado Fixed Guideway Authority.
Key cabinet members from the Department of Local Affairs, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture will meet from 10:45 a.m. to noon on Wednesday with the CCI Agriculture, Wildlife and Rural Affairs steering committee.
At the public lands workshop from 10:45 a.m. to noon on Thursday, CCI staff members will guide county officials through the wilderness initiative process. Each county will report on progress and Mesa County officials will outline the process they recently began.
The conference winds up with an open discussion between county commissioners and the State Board of Health from 10:45 a.m. to noon on Thursday.

To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail mbales@amigo.net

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