Steamboat Springs Congressman Scott Tipton, representing Routt and Moffat counties along with most of Colorado’s sprawling Western Slope, has a new representative in Steamboat Springs, and local officials have already provided him with a small list of issues they are keenly interested in.
Ian Lyle introduced himself to the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Monday and said he would be interacting with business people and local governments in Lake, Pitkin and parts of Eagle and Garfield counties as well as Routt and Moffat counties.
“What I hope is that I will be able to serve as a conduit between the people of Routt County and the congressman,” Lyle said.
He said he would be in a position to take on casework for the congressman’s constituents. For example, if a military veteran is having difficulty obtaining benefits, he would work on their behalf, he said.
The county commissioners were eager to tell Lyle about some of their biggest concerns with the federal government.
Commissioner Doug Monger told Lyle the federal government needs to find funds to help rural areas of the West restore health to large tracts of national forest where insect infestations have killed many thousands of acres of trees.
“Right now we have an unhealthy forest,” Monger said. “We can’t perpetuate the mistakes we made in the past. It includes not having a monoculture of tree all 60 years old.”
Commissioner Steve Ivancie said rural Northwest Colorado needs Tipton’s help creating more bandwidth for broadband Internet connections.
“Out here in rural Colorado we don’t have the population of the Front Range, but broadband is still very important to us in terms of commerce and attracting location-neutral businesses,” Ivancie said.
Josh Green, Tipton’s press secretary, confirmed that Lyle’s presence here marks the first time the congressman has had a staffer based in Northwest Colorado.
Lyle will work out of his home. His email address is Ian.Lyle@mail.house.gov.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com