Grand County mulls localizing restaurant inspections | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County mulls localizing restaurant inspections

Grand is one of only four counties that relies on the state to conduct its restaurant inspections, and commissioners will be exploring ideas on how to provide those services locally. Restaurant owners in the county's west end had initially approached commissioners, complaining that health inspections from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment were inconsistent. On March 31, Commissioner Merrit Linke, Commissioner Gary Bumgarner and County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran attended a meeting with state health officials to bring these concerns to their attention and develop a resolution. While commissioners described the meeting as productive, they also learned they were one of only a handful of counties still depending on the state to do restaurant inspections. "It was a little bit of a surprise," Linke said. "There are only four counties that still have the state do the restaurant inspections, us, Jackson, Moffat and Garfield." According to Jeff Lawrence, CDPHE's division director for environmental health and stainability, the state had taken on the responsibility of conducting inspections for many of the state's rural counties decades ago. That all changed in 2008, when Colorado legislators passed the Public Health Act. "Basically, the base message was that it didn't matter which county you reside in, the level and expectation of services should be the same," Lawrence said. Several counties figured they could best provide the new uniform set of standards locally. Most recently, six counties in the San Luis Valley banded together to provide restaurant inspection services regionally so they no longer have to use state inspectors. Commissioners in Grand County could do the same with nearby counties in the northwest. "We are considering it," Linke said. "The state didn't come right out and say it, but it seems that's what they want to happen. They want counties to do it themselves." Lawrence said that's because counties are better able to address their residents' needs. "We believe (inspection services) would be better provided at a local level," he said. "When we go to these communities, we go out of our Denver office, so to respond to issues brought forward is sometimes difficult." The state department isn't pushing any change, however, and Linke said commissioners will need to consider the feasibility of a transition to local inspections. "The downside is in Grand County, it involves a lot of driving," Linke said. "It would require an additional staff person and an additional salary." According to Lawrence, restaurant inspections for the state's four lingering rural counties amounts to one full-time equivalent staff, although the responsibilities are typically divided between two or three people in his office who have other duties as well. Grand County has around 175 retail food operations spread out through the county, most requiring inspections twice a year. CDPHE would provide some funding to Grand County if it took over its own restaurant, child care and school inspections, amounting to about $58,000. The state would provide another $5,000 if Grand and Jackson counties partnered up on those inspections. The state would also provide a data system, computer and training for a local inspector. For the time being, as CDPHE continues to send inspectors to rural northwest areas, Grand County commissioners seem to have reached an agreement on the inconsistent inspection results gnawing at restaurant owners in the Kremlling area, who have a different inspector than restaurants in the east end. "We want more dialogue, not regulation, and for inspections to be more educational," Linke said. "I felt like we made progress … I think there was productive, good dialogue." Among the improvements CDPHE is looking at implementing is providing a checklist for restaurants so owners know what they need to do to stay up to snuff. They'll also be working to train inspection staff so they are able to arrive at the same conclusion in the same types of inspection situations. "What we discovered through dialogue is being able to communicate those needs in a manner not viewed as burdensome or problematic," Lawrence said. "It's just trying to work and collaborate with each other so we reach the shared desired outcome of safe food." Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

Grand County commissioners discuss local health inspections

Grand County Commissioners discussed the possibility of localizing health inspections, a recent trend in Colorado counties. If Grand County were to move forward with the proposal, it could have its own environmental health inspector rather than a state inspector. Other options include working with neighboring counties to localize health inspection efforts and leaving Grand County's environmental health inspections in the state's hands. "Some counties use a state inspector and some use an inspector from another county," said Kathleen Matthews, director of Planning and Partnerships of the Department of Public Health and Environment for the State of Colorado, "particularly in small counties where there is never enough dollars or need to have full time inspectors and full-time environmental health programs." "We always add another category to rural, urban, and frontier counties and that is the resort counties," she continued, "because when you have a lot of tourism, camps, festivals, etcetera, there is a lot of work around environmental health. Even though a population of a county might not be so large, the actual work involved in environmental health can be pretty substantial." Grand County currently has about 200 restaurants that require inspection and a number of other establishments such as schools that require inspections. It was estimated that around 275 health inspections take place in Grand County in a year. "We have been trying to move this into more locally provided services for a couple of reasons," Matthews said. "Its not just about coming in and inspecting restaurants if you had one that was having trouble, it is that there is someone there who can help with training." A localized inspection would include retail food services and school laboratories, to monitoring water and air quality as well as responding to health emergencies such as an outbreak of salmonella. "We are not here to protect the environment per se, that's not our primary goal except that the environment and its health affects human health," said Dan Hendershott, Environmental Health Manager in Summit County. "Fifty to 60 percent of our job involves what we call the consumer protection program, which is currently being provided by the state in your county. That includes retail food, child care inspections, and school inspections." "With inspections at a local level, inspectors would be able to establish positive and trusting relationships with restaurant owners," Hendershott said. "This would help them to educate the owners instead of purely regulating the restaurants, which would ultimately help to produce compliance with health standards. "The fastest way we can have compliance is through education and not only telling them what they have to do, but also why its important for them to do it," he said. With inspections in the hands of the state, restaurants do not receive individualized attention as they would if the inspections were localized, according to Hendershott. "I know the commissioners have had that concern about restaurant inspections for awhile now," said Grand County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran. "We had a couple of pretty stark examples of the regulatory hammer." But the commissioners may not be willing to add more government, she said. "First of all, (we're) trying not to create another department or another arm of government because that is not what people are asking of [the Commissioners] right now, they're actually asking them to reduce that," she said. "Have we heard a desire from our constituents that this is something they want?" asked Grand County Commissioner Chair James Newberry. The commissioners asked if it could be a possibility to send out a questionnaires to local restaurant owners with information about the possible change to the way inspections are conducted, to see whether it would be something they would want. "I think we need to know if there is a need or a want for it in Grand County before we really go any further on it," said Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke. While there would be some possible funding mechanisms through the Public Health Act if the county were to move forward, the county would also look at neighboring counties to see if there would be a possibility of working towards a localized environmental health inspection service corroboratively. Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334

Electrical inspector decides not retire

The town of Grand Lake has rejected an electrical services bid from SafeBuilt, LLC, a private building department services company. Approached by SafeBuilt with a proposal to manage overall building inspections, the town of Grand Lake opted to separate out consideration of SafeBuilt’s proposal for electrical inspections, since an annual deadline to sever the state’s service is Sept. 30. It was rumored Bob Shirley of Hot Sulphur Springs, the state’s regional inspector for the area, was thinking of retiring. This notion of losing a locally based and long-standing state inspector motivated not only Grand Lake but also Grand County to reevaluate its electrical services. The county has pondered taking on inspections in-house by hiring a certified electrical inspector and cross-train a residential inspector for back-up. But news of Shirley’s retirement changed by Monday, when in a conversation with him Commissioner Nancy Stuart found out Shirley had decided to remain on for two more years “due to the economy,” she said at last week’s Grand Lake Town Board meeting. Shirley’s decision to stay on longer with the state prompted the county to postpone its plans to take on electrical inspections. “I know it’s going to happen eventually, just don’t know if it’s going to happen right now,” said Grand County’s Building Official Scott Penson to Grand Lake trustees. He stressed that even if Shirley were to retire, the state would continue to service electrical inspections in Grand Lake and the county with another inspector, so Grand Lake would not be left hanging were it to decide it wanted to continue using the state for this service. Grand Lake’s trustees voted unanimously to remain with the state inspector rather than “fix something that’s not broken.” Trustees said the town has not had any problems or complaints from electricians on inspections done by the state. ” To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com or 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

Grand County’s Three Lakes region left vulnerable to invasive species

Grand County's Three Lakes region could be increasingly vulnerable to invasive species next year if funding sources for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's boat inspection program are not secured in the near future. In 2008, Colorado legislators passed a law requiring boat inspections and decontamination for boats going onto the state's water bodies. Since its inception, the Aquatic Nuisance Species program, designed to keep non-native mussels from infiltrating the state's lakes and reservoirs, has been funded through severance tax dollars. However, that revenue stream is taking a major hit. BUDGET SHORTFALL In the spring of 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court reviewed a case brought forward by BP America arguing the state had improperly collected millions in severance tax dollars. The court ruled in favor of BP and required the state to issue refunds. The decision itself was not related to the species program, but the impacts will soon be felt in Grand County. It now looks likely that there will be no boat inspections on the Three Lakes this year. "Unfortunately, due to nothing we did, we found ourselves without a budget this year," said Elizabeth Brown, Parks and Wildlife. "We have been working pretty much nonstop to try to fund for an inspection program but we still don't know if we will or won't have inspectors this year." Brown said the Three Lakes region is "very high-risk waters for invasion." She said the cost for inspectors on the Three Lakes alone averages around $380,000 per year. The total state budget for the inspector program is roughly $4.5 million. She said almost the entirety of the cost is tied up in staff time. Inspectors typically operate from sunrise to sunset from May through October on the Three Lakes. Inspectors are located at five different boat ramps within the network. THE NEED Inspectors are looking for zebra or quagga mussels, which are invasive bivalves that were first introduced to the U.S. in the Great Lakes region in the 1980s. "The inspectors are looking at the hull, the trailer, the engine and any parts of the boat that can carry water," Brown said. "They are looking at places the mussels can attach to. Our inspectors remove vegetation and other organic material, like mud, that can hide these animals." Brown explained the mussels are microscopic in the early stages of their lives and cannot be seen by the naked eye. When fully grown, the two species of mussels reach roughly 1 inch in size. "We spend a lot of time draining boats and making sure we are not moving water from one lake to another," Brown said. Brown said the inspections themselves can be performed very quickly if boat owners have their vessels cleaned, drained and dry. "If we find something, we have to decontaminate the boat." The invasive mussels pose multiple threats to the vitality and quality of water bodies they impact. "From a natural resources standpoint, they will outcompete native species for food and space and disrupt the aquatic food web," Brown explained. "From a recreation standpoint they can clog boat motors and pumps and cause costly damage to boats themselves. They reproduce rapidly, and in places like Lake Mead and Kansas, where they have been for a while, they cover the shorelines with sharp shells." The economic impact is significant, Brown said. "There is no way to control them once they get in," she said. "You can't treat for them. It becomes expensive to move water to homes and farms and hydropower plants and industry sites. The cost of water becomes very expensive." LOCAL HISTORY For Grand County, mussels present a clear and present danger. In June 2016, an inspector caught a boat with a number of mussels attempting to enter Lake Granby. Inspector Fred Ernst made the discovery just before the Fourth of July weekend. It was the first time a boat entering the Three Lakes was found contaminated since 2009, when an inspector caught a mussel-encrusted boat heading into Shadow Mountain Reservoir. The invasive species were first found in Colorado in 2008, when positive identifications of juvenile mussels were found in Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Pueblo Reservoir, along with seven other area water bodies. Brown said the state's concern about the species has continued to grow over time. "Statewide we caught more boats with mussels in 2016 than we did in 2015 and more in 2015 than in 2014," Brown said. "The number of infested boats is increasing annually." Brown said the increases in Colorado are related to increases in the number of infestation sites in other locations. "This program has allowed us to keep them out," Brown said. "We have a program that really works well and we are trying very hard to keep it going." FUNDRAISING Parks and Wildlife is working with stakeholder groups throughout the state in an attempt to raise the funds for the inspector program. Brown said CPW is willing to work with anyone who is interested in protecting the local waters. The fundraising efforts for the program are localized, so money raised towards boat inspections will primarily be directed at local water bodies. CPW has already formed a partnership with Larimer County and Northern Water to provide funding for inspectors on Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake. If you are interested in working with CPW to find a funding solution for the ANS Boat Inspector Program you can contact the Denver Office of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Don’t move a mussel, have boats inspected

Non-native zebra mussels – small barnacle-like mollusks with dark and light colored stripes and their look-alike relative, the quagga mussels – can clog pipes, valves, gates and any water-related equipment or surface. They can ruin boats by jamming equipment, cause motor damage, and they can destroy fisheries by consuming nutrients, wrecking aquatic food chains. They spread very quickly and attach themselves to boats and aquatic plants carried by boats, and when boats are trailered from lake to lake, the mussels spread to new fresh-water homes. It’s for this reason, trailered and motorized crafts will be subject to Colorado Division of Wildlife boat inspections at 200 locations statewide. In 2009, inspectors checked more than 400,000 boats, conducted 3,300 decontaminations and intercepted 19 boats encrusted with invasive mussels entering Colorado from other states. This year, inspectors have already intercepted seven contaminated non-resident vessels, causing great concern for officials. “Boats trailered here from other states pose the greatest threat to our lakes and reservoirs,” said Elizabeth Brown, DOW invasive species coordinator. “Any one of these encrusted vessels could have introduced mussels to a new location in Colorado. This is why it’s imperative that inspections continue and the boating community continues to support the watercraft inspection program.” Boats launched on any Colorado lake or reservoir where mussels have been detected must pass an inspection prior to launching at a new location.    Colorado lakes and reservoirs testing positive for zebra or quagga mussels include Lake Pueblo, Lake Granby, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain, Willow Creek, Jumbo (Logan County) and Tarryall reservoirs.  Biologists consider Blue Mesa Reservoir “suspect” for the presence of zebra and quagga mussels and monitoring and testing are ongoing. In Grand County, most DOW boat inspections are available at public boat ramps seven days a week, starting May 14 throughout the summer. When inspectors are absent, boaters must be responsible for cleaning, draining and drying boats before launching. Boat inspections and high-power washes are necessary to prevent the non-native aquatic nuisance species from destroying Colorado lake habitats. Mandatory inspections are limited to trailered watercraft. Hand-launched crafts, including kayaks, rafts, canoes, sailboards and belly boats, pose a low risk for spreading nuisance species and may launch without an inspection. Owners of hand-launched craft are strongly encouraged, however, to adhere to Clean, Drain and Dry practices to further minimize risks. Beginning in May, select DOW offices, state, federal, county and municipal reservoirs and a number of private marinas and boat dealers will offer state-certified inspections and decontamination services. Publicly operated inspection sites are free-of-charge and privately operated service providers are fee-based. Prices may vary among vendors.  Boaters are encouraged to obtain a “green” seal and corresponding receipt before leaving inspection sites. Green seals validate prior inspections, allowing boaters to launch more quickly at reservoirs. Boaters who have completed inspections at other locations are required to stop at reservoir inspection sites to have seals and receipts verified, and to ensure vessels are clean and dry.     State law enforcement officers are also on the lookout for boats carrying mussels or other invasive species across state lines.       “Contaminated boats unlawfully entering Colorado waters is something we take very seriously,” said Jay Sarason, DOW chief of law enforcement. “Willful violations can result in vessel impoundment along with tickets issued to the operator.”

Grand County Real Estate Transactions, Nov.10-Nov. 16, 2013

Nov. 10- Nov. 16 Winter Park Ranch 2nd Filing, Lot 22, Block 4 – Terrance and Patricia Stewart to Robbers Roost LLC, $89,000 Meadow Ridge Lodges Court 17, Unit 4 – James Cartwright to Robert and Yolanda Christiansen, $113,500 Winter Park Highlands Unit 1, Lot 55 – Timothy Ferrell to Lynn Hanna, $155,000 Kicking Horse Lodges Unit 3 202, Lot 3 – Deutsche Bank National Trust Company TSTE, Thornburg Mortgage Securities Trust 2003-6, Mortgage Backed Notes Series 2003-6 to Shawn and Erica Dufford, $166,750 Hi Country Haus Bldg 5, Unit 7 8 – Mark and Caroline Goosman to Michael and Gretchen Mullen, $157,500 Pine Beach Subdivision Lot 5A, Block 7 – Harold and Diane Leid to Christopher Oliver, $340,000 Hillside Addition to Pine Beach Lot 1, Block 5 – Kristol Jaskul to John and Bonnie DeAgostino, $190,000 Aspen Pine Acres Subdivision Lot 19 – Edmund Couch to Rodney and Jill Archer, $609,000 Big Horn Park Filing #2, Lot 17 – Edward and Rosemary Dreher to Andrew and Caral Jeanjaquet, $99,300 Iron Horse Building D, Condo Unit 3014 – Wayne Leiser to Cristina Woodings, $103,400 Iron Horse Building C, Condo Unit 2053 – Terrance Ryan to Peter and Christina Logi, $110,000 Grand Lake Lot 16, Block 22 – LJH LLC Colorado Limited Liability Company to Donald and Linda Dickinson, $320,000 Inn at SilverCreek PH I Condo Unit 128 – Mary Jo Wiley Revocable Living Trust to Andrew and Veronica Mericle, $21,400

Grand County Real Estate Transactions, Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, 2015

Grand County transactions Oct. 4 to Oct. 10 TRT D/E SEC 1 TWP 1N R 77W Partial Legal – See Document – John B Murphy Revocable Living Trust, Carolyn Hudak Murphy Revocable Living Trust to ST Ranch LLC, $858,627 Hot Sulphur Springs 1st Addn Block 16, Lots 5,6,7,8,9,10 – Rick Myers to Matthew and Jeannine Swatzki, $170,000 Columbine Lake Lot 82, Block 8 – Gregory and Susan Glass to Stephen and Tessa Tarr, $217,500 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 332 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Kevin and Anne Dingle, $381,377 Eagle Addition to Kremmling Lot 4, Block 3 – Craig and Cindy Naill to Shane and Kimberly Bodemann, $35,000 Sun River Townhomes Lot 3 – John Bartley, Jerome and Joyce Turrin to Douglas Holt and Tuba Ustuner, $200,000 Trade Exchange Rockies Inc Minor Subdivision 1, Lot 11A, Block 3 – Gregory Browne to Andrea and Jess Buller, $172,000 Meadow Ridge Lodges Court 10, Unit 8 – Larry and Sandra Glasser to Christopher and Kathryn Purcell, $184,250 Lakeside at Pole Creek Townhomes Unit 25B – G3 LLC to Lyle and Sue Pfeifer, $394,900 Timbers Condominiums Unit 1, Bldg 8 – Michael Juhnke to Kenneth and Angela Mackey, $242,000 Nobel Outright Exemption Lot B – Daniel and Denise Verdoorn, Denise Overhardt to Jacquelyn K Beaver Trust, $1,074,000 Winter Park Meadows Condo Unit 1C – Wilbur and Nichole Sameshima to Kim Turnbo, $71,900 Frontier Investment Company Addition to Kremmling Block 27, Lots 7,8,9,10 – J D Ward to Steven Hatcher and Lannette Eastep, $120,000 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 322 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Andrew and Beth Inhelder, $359,900 Sawmill Station Townhomes Unit 1D – Peter Edwards to Esteban and Imelda Rocha, $340,000 Columbine Lake Lot 89, Block 8 – Richard Williams to Joseph and Stephanie Osborn, $242,000 Whistlestop Townhomes Exemption No 1, Unit E2 – Cabin Properties LLC to Dulce and Jose Munoz, Dulce Maricela Llamosas Demunoz, $615,000 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 311 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Frederick and Lisa Schuth, $234,125.64 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 97 Timeshare 097617 – Stone Living Trust to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Telemark Condominiums Unit 578 – Stephanie Christensen and Ryan Hunter to Kevin and Jillaine Horn, $312,500 Soda Springs Ranch Filing 2, Unit 5, TRT C – Anthony and Lynette Belfiore to Thomas Lathers, $102,500 Lot 18 SEC 22 TWP 3N R 76W Partial Legal – See Document – Michael and Janet Wickenheiser to Starnes Family, $85,000 Fairways at Pole Creek PH 1 & Open Space Unit 2 22 – Gary and Margaret Alcorn to Shane Harvey and Kathryn Reilly, $649,000 East Mountain Filing 3, Lot 28 – Kirk Olson and Brenda Drake to Patrick and Joanna Ball, $445,000 Meadow Ridge Lodges Court 3, Unit 6 – Mary Kennedy to Jason and Karen Bristow, $137,750 Columbine Lake Lot 2, Block 15, State Columbine Subdivision Lot 28 – Dorothy Fine to Sean Holamon, $222.000 First Valley Addn to Granby Lot 4, Block 1 – Robb and Molly Rankin to George and Alexandra McGuan, $260,000 Robbers Roost on Balsh Lot 2 – Robbers Roost LLC to David Griffus, $506,917 Lyons Homestead Subdivision Lot G, Block 3 – Wayne and Victor Grider to Gerald and Jean Lammers, $57,000 Slopeside Village Unit 2, Bldg H – Thomas J Vessels Revocable Trust, Tina H Vessels Revocable Trust to Rodney Valdez, $570,000 Grand Lake Lot 14, Block 22 – LJH LLC to Sandy Waters, $365,000 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 312 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Taft Valley LLC, $367,480 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 333 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Dean and Maxine Funk, $503,178 East Mountain Filing 5, Lots 104,115,116,123; East Mountain Filing 7, Lots 88,89,90,91,92,93,109,110,111 – Rendezvous Colorado LLC to Rendezvous Homes LLC, $750,000 Shadow Mountain Yacht Club Unit 5, Bldg Wescott, Garage No 5 – Peter Muncaster and Carol Lehr Muncaster to John and Louise Dillon, $315,000 SEC 23 TWP 3N R 76W Partial Legal – See Document – Alan and Evelyn Wentworth, Carol Hanna to Michael and Beth Minnick, $70,000 Granby Ranch Filing 1B, Lot 58 – William Lyon Homes Inc, Village Homes, NVH INV LLC to Ginger and William Oliver III, $563,467 Summit at SilverCreek Bldg 4, Unit 4301 – Peter and Annette Frith to Polly Gaskill, $95,000 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 314 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Michael and Stacey Messer, $358,781 Pole Creek Valley Addition Lot 63 – Darren and Leslie Dines to Robb and Molly Rankin, $435,000 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 313 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Paul and Leslie Hartmann, $474,900 SEC 25 TWP 1S R 75W Partial Legal – See Document – Robert and Ann Hinds to Shawna Yaussi, $30,000 Trailhead Lodges Lodge 3, Unit 324 – Summit Legend Trailhead Inc to Michael and Lisa Early, $367,748.94

Mussel concerns lead to mandatory boat inspections, closed boat ramps this summer

Boat inspections and changes in boat-ramp accesses are part of new Colorado Division of Wildlife policies to control the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels throughout Colorado. For the “Great Lakes” region of Grand County, the Hilltop boat ramp near the canal that connects Shadow Mountain Reservoir to Grand Lake will be closed to all trailered watercraft for the entire 2009 season. And at Willow Creek reservoir, where low-wake boating used to be accepted, motorized boats and any boats that are trailered will not be allowed. Only hand-launched non-motorized crafts will be allowed on Willow Creek. Lake Granby, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Willow Creek Reservoir are all lakes where mussel larvae have been detected; thus mandatory boat inspections will be required upon leaving these lakes. Boats being launched that do not bear evidence of a certified boat inspection elsewhere will also be inspected. At public boat ramps ” Sunset Point, Stillwater and Arapaho Bay on Lake Granby; Grand Lake public boat ramp near Grand Lake’s east inlet; and the Green Ridge boat ramp on Shadow Mountain Reservoir ” DOW personnel will be conducting boat inspections of boats from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, starting May 15. Ramps will be open to nighttime use. However, boaters are required to follow the “Clean, Drain and Dry protocol” when inspectors are not present and must have vessels inspected at a state-certified site before launching in any other Colorado lake. “Boaters cannot launch anywhere without getting an inspection first,” said DOW spokesperson Jerry Neal. Colorado law prohibits the possession and transport of any aquatic nuisance species in Colorado. Inspections are free Free inspections and decontamination with hot-water/hot-pressure units will be offered at the lake inspection areas as well as at the DOW office at 346 Grand County Road 362 in Hot Sulphur Springs, he said. Boaters who have successfully passed a state-certified inspection will receive a green seal and receipt. Boaters must have both the seal and receipt in their possession before they may launch at a new location. Hand-launched crafts, including kayaks, rafts, canoes and belly boats, are not considered high risk for spreading aquatic nuisance species and may launch without an inspection, according to the DOW. For Grand County motorboating lakes where mussels have not been detected, at the Williams Fork Reservoir, the west boat ramp will be closed the entire 2009 season, and all ramps will be closed at night. Overnight beaching of watercraft is prohibited. Wolford Mountain Reservoir, which opened to boat launches on May 1, also has mandatory boat and trailer inspections for mussel contamination from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Lake officials at Wolford will only accept green seals from Dillon Reservoir. A boat decontamination area is located in the back of the Day Use parking area at the reservoir. Private launch sites Those with private boat launches in Grand County, all permitted by the U.S. Forest Service, will be required to provide inspections if they plan to continue public boat-launching services. Private watercraft inspections will be free at the Grand Elk Marina boat launch on Lake Granby, according to manager Mike Dixon. The marina will be working with the DOW or independent contractors to provide decontamination services primarily at the end of the season when most people are removing their boats. Launching fees are expected to remain the same, he said. At Beacon Landing, staff members are getting certified to perform inspections, but whether inspections will affect launching fees is yet to be determined. Owners of the Highland Marina could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Mussels multiply quickly and can clog water works at dams and foul up boat mechanics. In recent years, the mussels have spread to the West from the Great Lakes region. In the last year, they have been discovered in four Grand County lakes and in Blue Mesa Reservoir, at the Jumbo State Wildlife area, at Lake Pueblo and at the Tarryall State Wildlife area. “It’s up to each individual boater to make sure they are following the Clean, Drain and Dry protocol. The success of this program relies strongly on the watercraft owners acting responsibly,” said DOW Fisheries Chief Greg Gerlich. ” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

Grand County Real Estate Transactions

Scanloch Subdivision Lot 1, Block 2 – Gerald and Jo Ann Shumaker to Dylan and Gabrielle Taylor, $79,000 Winter Park Ranch 3rd Filing, Lot 62, Block 1 – Luanne Kay to Adam Gould and Veronica Callinan, $250,000 Winter Park Highlands Greenridge Lot 16 – Paul and Karen True Trust to Justin and Deborah Bridge, $207,000 Rio Rancho Small Tracts Sub Exempt Lot 1 – Larry and Judith Ware to Hadley and Joan Bradbury, $898,000 Columbine Lake Block 3, Lots 14,15 – Gerald and Kathryne Vanner to Benny and Susan Law, $285,000 Aspen Meadows Condominiums Unit 207, Block C – Aspen Meadows Condominiums LLC to Gordon McGlinchey and Brenda Kraft, $116,900 Winter Park Lodge II Bldg F, Unit 201 – Raymond and Judith Hall to Kenneth Richardson and Kelly Fraser, $137,500 Grand Country Estates TRT 77 – Richard Timothy Parry Living Trust to Cozens Pointe LLC, $65,000 Cozens Pointe at Grand Park Unit 201, Bldg B, Garage Unit B – Cozens Pointe LLC to Richard Parry and Abby Bleistein, $324,000 Villa Harbor Subdivision Lot 18 – Bell Crest Enterprises LLLP to William Henry Peltier III, $365,000 River Run Condominiums Unit 203, Bldg B – PennyMac Loan Services LLC to John and Barbara Rankin, $89,120 Copper Creek Lot 46 – John and Nancy Rice to Bruce Campbell, $299,999 Meadow Ridge Lodges Court 27, Unit 8 – Smith Family Trust to James Reasor and Margaret Copeland, $160,600 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 111, Timeshare No 111504 – Tom and Louise Massoni to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 99, Timeshare No 099649 – Leo and Ann Lussier to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 91, Timeshare No. 091535 – Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association to Michael B Ensley Revocable Trust, $500 E.J. Vulgamotts 1st Block 5, Lots 1,2, Tabernash – Steven and Charlene Hayward to Chuck and Marie Huston, $52,000 Yacht Club Estates Lot 5 – FDIC, Firstier Bank to Gary and Linda Knippa, $1,250,000 Lakota Flg 3, Tract C, Lot 33 – SNAD II LP to M6 Capital LLC, $975,000 Longview Addn/Hot Sulphur Springs Block 15, Lots 10,11,12 – John and Taura Perdue to Roger and Michelle Gable, $213,000 Exhibit “A” Not Attached for Legal Description – Liberty Savings Bank FSB to Allen Schrieber and Suzette Kynor, $13,000 Lakeview Subdivision Unit 2, Lot 1, Bldg B – Fannie Mae Federal National Mortgage Association to Kenneth and Paulette Nolan, $106,000 Hamilton Hills Subdivision Exempt TRT 2 – Patricia Jacques to John and Florice Lietzke, $285,471 Mountainside at SilverCreek B U 064, Timeshare No. 064128 – David and Sharon Anderson to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek B U 035, Timeshare No. 035126 – Thomas Farrel and Joann Debruin-Farrell to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Cozens Meadow at Grand Park Lot 3 – Grand Park Homes LLC to Robert and Debra Gnuse, $523,000 Pines at Meadow Ridge Court B U 6, Week 38 – Stephen and Susan Clemens to Naomi Yahn, $1,500 Slopeside Village Unit 113A, Bldg E – Stephen and Cary Paul to James Byerrum, $382,500 Fraser Crossing-Founders Pointe Condominium Unit 3611 – Smith Living Trust to Hyo and Jina Kim, $360,000

Inspectors catch mussels en route to Granby

At every boat ramp around the three lakes, orange-vested Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) employees stand guard against an insidious and almost invisible enemy: the tiny and prolific invasive bivalves known as zebra and quagga mussels. On Monday, June 27, a boat arrived at the Stillwater boat ramp on Lake Granby with a number of half-inch long mussels attached to its hull. Inspector Fred Emst made the discovery. As inspectors prepare for the massive increase in boat traffic over the Fourth of July weekend, the catch was a sobering wake up call about the importance of their work. "I'm doing my best to keep anything from getting in this lake," said John Hall, a CPW inspector at Stillwater. "I want this to be here for my children's grandchildren." The two species of mussel have been making a steady march west from their initial introduction to the Great Lakes in the 1980's via ballast water from ships that had carried them across the Atlantic from Europe and Asia. Mussels haven't been found entering the three lakes since 2009, when a contaminated boat was caught entering Shadow Mountain Reservoir, according to CPW's Brad Clements, who is in charge of field support for the 21 inspection sites in northwest Colorado. They were first found in Colorado in 2008 when positive identifications of juvenile mussels were made in Pueblo Reservoir and Shadow Mountain Reservoir as well as seven other area water bodies, according to CPW's invasive species coordinator Elizabeth Brown. Shadow Mountain and the other water bodies were delisted after a new regional standard for what constituted an infestation was set in 2014. Pueblo remains listed as having a quagga mussel population, but Brown said CPW is hoping to delist it soon. Mussels haven't been detected in Pueblo since 2011. An adult mussel has never been identified in the state of Colorado, Brown said. But the threat of invasion is growing. Surrounding states including Arizona, Nebraska, and South Dakota have no program in place to prevent the introduction of mussels. "As these other states become infested, there's more pressure on us to keep mussels out of the state," Brown said. Utah's Lake Powell, a popular destination for Colorado boaters, is now the site of carpets of mussels on canyon walls and underwater structures. Brown and Clements both expressed concern about Colorado boats returning from Lake Powell and bringing mussels with them. The mussel-infested boat that arrived in Grand County Monday had been purchased out of state and had not yet entered the water in Colorado. According to Colorado law, all vessels must pass an inspection before entering a body of water. It is also illegal to transport mussels between bodies of water in the state. Once the mussels were identified, the boat in question was taken to Grand Lake's East Inlet boat ramp where there is an open field large enough to conduct the decontamination process. Clements said that CPW then took care of the cleaning the boat, at no cost to the owner of the boat. Each inspection site is equipped with a massive heated pressure washer that will kill and remove mussels, as well as other species of concern. Brown said the interception at Stillwater was one of five interceptions of mussels this week and 13th this year, putting 2016 on pace to eclipse last year with the most interceptions in the inspection program's history. There were 24 interceptions in 2015. Monitoring lakes for mussel infestations involves trying to identify mussels at all three life stages, from the microscopic veliger stage to the "settler" stage where the organism develops into a two shelled organism, and finally to visible adult mussels. Brown said there was a dive team in Lake Granby Wednesday searching for evidence of mussels, but didn't find any. As thousands of boaters prepare to make the trek to Grand County for the Fourth of July, Clements and his inspectors are bracing themselves. "It's going to be chaotic this weekend in Grand Lake I'm afraid," Clements said. Inspectors are on hand from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at inspection sites, but Brown said their days will likely go longer. "You're not putting a boat in this lake without me inspecting and decontaminating it," Hall said. "It's going to be crazy."