Grand County Real Estate Transactions, April 3-9, 2011 | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County Real Estate Transactions, April 3-9, 2011

Mountainside at SilverCreek Unit 96, Timeshare No. 096519 – Sandford Boyce to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Parry Peak Lofts Condominium Unit 113 – IW/WP Village Core Development Company LLC to Loft 113 LLC, $580,000 Hideaway Village S. Filing #2, Lot 44 – Robert Gorham Maser Jr. and Annette Freytag-Maser to William and Patti Fielding, $1,120,000 Valentine Subdivision Lot 4 – Beryl and Veronica Hunter to Leslie and Beth Wood, $465,000 Aspen Meadows Condominiums Unit 107, Bldg B, Garage Unit 48 – Aspen Meadows Condominiums LLC to Gary and Debbie Schwartz, $124,150 Inn at SilverCreek PH I Condo Unit 114 – TLC Grand LLC to Kam and Dorothy Kelly, $23,500 Inn at SilverCreek PH II Condo Unit 648 – TLC Grand LLC to Isaac and Maria Rath, $38,000 Eggert Subdivision Lot 10, Block 2 – Laura Ann Jursnick to Jeffrey Dwight, $68,000 Sterling Pointe Condominiums Unit 206, Bldg 2, Garage Unit 206 – Sterling Pointe LLC to JoAnne and John Jordan III, $209,100 Innsbruck-Val Moritz Lot 35, Block 14 – Thomas Fox to RL Sky LLC, $20,000 Base Camp One Condominiums Unit 206R – Dundee Base Camp LLC to Nick and Aimee Limpach, $317,850 Inn at SilverCreek PH II Condo Unit 562 – TLC Grand LLC to John Frederiksen, $23,500 Inn at SilverCreek PH II Condo Unit 421 – TLC Grand LLC to Michael Deedon, $17,600 Base Camp One Condominiums Unit 412R – Dundee Base Camp LLC to Robert and Lynn Koch, $304,500

Climate change scholars: Change is natural

To the Editor: Two people have responded to my letter on the global warming hoax. Both authors quoted papers for manmade global warming. However, for every one, there are papers that argue against. For example, Climatologist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama quotes on his blog that "evidence from my group's government-funded research … suggests global warming is mostly natural and the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity's greenhouse gas emissions." This viewpoint by Dr. Spencer fits in nicely with the statement I made that manmade CO2 is in not the prime driver of climate change. In my letter I mentioned that based on the detailed temperature records for the last 113 years there is a very poor correlation with CO2 and temperature increase. The reference for that article is Joseph D'Aleo, executive director of International Climate and Environmental Assessment Project. The best statistical fit for the last 113 years of temperature data is the 30-year ocean cooling cycle. He predicts 20 more years of cooling. The best summary of the debate for me is Fire, Ice and Paradise, by H. Leighton Steward. In his book he gives a geologic perspective to the problem. Based on the 600 million fossil record there is no correlation of CO2 and temperature. The book also documents that there has never been a constant climate. There have been more than 20 glacier cycles in just the last 2 million years. In the last 400,000 years, we have good ice core data that documents four major glacial cycles. In those cycles there is a correlation of CO2 and temperature. However the details of those cycles show that the increase of CO2 lags behind the temperature increase. If CO2 were the cause of these cycles, it would have to increase before the temperature went up. The cycles of the last 400,000 years are widely accepted as being caused by the elliptical shape of the earth's orbit and not by CO2. Steward's book and the 2008 article by David Archibald documents one of the strongest arguments against the global warming theory. Archibald's research shows the effect of CO2 on the atmosphere decreases as the CO2 increases on a logarithmic scale. In simple terms, that means the first 20-ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere has a greater effect than the next 400 ppm. If this is research alone is correct – it's a hoax. Tim Schowalter Granby

Church Park Fire bill exceeds $1.5 million

Fighting fires isn’t free. The massive initial attack that helped firefighters bring the Church Park Fire under control earlier this month cost the U.S. Forest Service an estimated $1.43 million in the first week alone, according to public affairs specialist Tammy J. Williams. By the time the incident is completely wrapped up that figure is projected to reach $1.5 million. The bulk of that cost, Williams said, some 43 percent, was spent on aircraft, including heavy air tankers, helicopters, lead planes, air attack planes, and retardant for a total of $619,163, according to flight invoices. The remaining cost was estimated based on the amount of time each resource worked on the fire each day. “Since we don’t have access to the exact dollar-per-hour cost of each person on the fire, or a particular individual’s cost to government per hour, a national average cost for a person, or a crew, or an engine, etc, is set up in the computer program and then multiplied by the number of hours the resource worked,” Williams said. An estimated 11 percent of the total comprises equipment cost, including fire engines, WIlliams said. Some 23 percent was spent on paying the U.S. Forest Service’s 20-person firefighting crews and another 13 percent paid other personnel, supervisory and overhead costs. An estimated 5 percent was spent on camp support, including food and showers, and some 3 percent was spent on supplies other than food – cache van, fuel, etc. All those costs are being paid by federal agencies, Williams said. The U.S. Forest Service will pick up 93 percent of the bill and the Bureau of Land Management will pick of the remaining 7 percent of the bill, based on acreage of the fire. Grand County paid for all Grand County resources, including personnel and equipment, for a total of about $113,000, according to Grand County Emergency Manager Trevor Denney. Creating a fire tally is difficult, Denney added, because much of the cost is considered “soft,” such as the contribution of two road and bridge bulldozers, the water tender, the ambulance, the county employee time, the Incident Command Post facilities and the park for the fire camp – things that the county owns or wages that would have been paid anyway. Some of the money spent made its way back into the local economy, Williams said. Firefighters purchased their food individually on Oct. 3 -the day the fire broke out. On Oct. 4, all the food was purchased locally, and caterer Sherry Kent of Showboat Catering/Drive By Pies in Granby served three meals on Monday to about 100 firefighters. After that, the national contract requires the Forest Service to use a national caterer. Some cases of bottled water were purchased locally, and City Market donated a truckload of ice. In addition, the American Red Cross paid for two pallets of bottled water at Safeway, and City Market donated the refrigeration truck and 2 pallets of bottled water. The Forest Service also purchased ice from City Market and Safeway. Approximately 25 portable toilets were rented locally. Verizon provided additional emergency cell phone service. All fuel for the duration of the incident was purchased locally for approximately 50 trucks and vehicles. Snow Mountain Ranch’s Neil Willems donated potable water and the disposal for gray water. Most of the fire personnel camped out, but a few hotel rooms were purchased, the Forest Service spokesperson added.

Rep. Jared Polis views Chromebook initiative in Grand County

U.S. Congressman Jared Polis paid a day-long visit to Grand County on Thursday. The fourth term Democratic congressman was in the area for a series of school visits and community forums. Polis visited middle-schoolers at East Grand Middle School and received an overview of the East Grand School District's Chromebook program. He held a school town hall forum at Middle Park High School where he took questions from teachers and students and discussed his legislative priorities for the coming session. In the afternoon Polis stopped by the Mountain Family Center in Granby to hear how the charitable program helps local families and he finished off the evening with a Town Hall event. The Town Hall was held at the Fraser Historic Church Community Center where the congressman fielded questions from local residents. Polis has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills in past legislative sessions and will be looking at many of the same issues again for the 114th Congress. Polis has sponsored legislation that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and place marijuana under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF). Congressman Polis pointed out that such legislation would not legalize marijuana at the federal level but would allow states and counties full regulatory authority regarding the substance within their jurisdictions. Polis also has high hopes for the Arapaho National Forest Boundary Adjustment Act. The legislation was introduced last year and moved through committee but the bill died at the end of the 113th Congress. Polis reintroduced the bill at the beginning of March. The bill would allow the federal government to purchase a "wedge" of undeveloped land located between Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapaho National Forest. He said he is very optimistic the legislation will move out of the House and he is working closely with Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet to bring the bill to the Senate. The congressman also said he expects to work once again this year defending the PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program. PILT is a federal program wherein counties with large amounts of federal land can receive federal funds. The funds serve as compensation for tax revenues counties do not collect because they cannot levy taxes on federal land. The State of Colorado received a total of $34.5 million last year from the PILT program while Grand County received $971,914. Polis will again be on the House Education Committee and will be a member of the Natural Resources Committee for the first time this session. He is also one of 11 members of the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the rules for bringing bills to the House floor. Polis represents Colorado's 2nd House District that stretches from I-25 to Eagle County. He started a series of successful internet-based businesses in the late 1990s. He was a member of the Colorado State Board of Education before being elected U.S. Representative in 2008.

McElroys win ‘Furnacesaurus’ contest

The granddaughter of a homesteader didn’t know it, but her home’s furnace is nearly as old as the Town of Kremmling itself. In the Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating contest seeking the county’s oldest furnace – or “Furnacesaurus”- Therese McElroy’s 113 year-old relic was the hands-down winner, according to Marketing Manager Lindsey Morrow of Grand Lake Plumbing. The house used as the McElroy’s ranch home since 1945 was originally built in 1882, and the Western Oiled Gas Fire Furnace in the basement was installed just before the turn of the century. Originally a diesel-oiled gas furnace, it eventually was converted to coal. Then in the late 1960s, when McElroy’s parents converted the furnace to natural gas, Xcel Energy awarded the McElroys for being the 1,000th customer of natural gas to the area. Their gas meter was painted gold, and Xcel gave them a gas grill and threw a banquet in their honor. Soon, a gazebo was built on the property to accommodate the new grill, Teresa recalled. The “enormous” family furnace has been a trusty workhorse ever since, sputtering out heat in the two story home just outside of Kremmling with a surprising 81 percent efficiency. “Just by looking at it, I knew it was old,” McElroy said. But there are only two vents in her childhood home, one in the downstairs bathroom and one in the living room. An old cook stove in the kitchen and a wood stove in the living room help supplement heat during winters. “It doesn’t warm the house very well,” McElroy said. For wining the contest, the McElroy home has been awarded a new energy-efficient furnace. A retired school nurse who ran her home as a bed and breakfast for 10 years, Teresa said she looks forward to adding new ducts and vents to heat upstairs bedrooms and the kitchen. But since she can’t afford installation of the new furnace, Xcel rebate programs and money through Recharge Colorado is being tapped to help pay, said Morrow. The “Furnacesaurus” contest took place during the month of March with 19 entries and furnaces ranging in age from 6 to 113 years. Technicians were sent out to entrants’ homes to gather information about the furnaces such as serial numbers, which were verified with manufacturers to confirm proper ages. The contest took place in both Routt and Grand counties. “We figured so many people in this area have inefficient heating systems, and with the cold temperatures, we wanted to be able to give back to the community,” Morrow said. And the next contest planned through Grand Lake Plumbing? “Ugliest heating system,” Morrow said. Although details of the contest are still being worked out, this next contest is planned for October and November – just in time for Father Winter. – Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext.19603

Grand Lake approves 2016 budget

With 2015 drawing to a close municipalities throughout the state spent the month of December performing a number of perfunctory actions from passing resolutions levying property taxes to ordinances setting fee schedules. The Grand Lake Board of Trustees had their own year-end house cleaning session during their last official meeting of the year. During that meeting the Board approved the town's 2016 budget. Board members and town officials have been developing the budget for some time now and have been conducting budget work sessions for several months. For 2016 Grand Lake's General Fund will begin the year with a leftover fund balance of $1,201,623. The leftover fund balance represents the amount of money remaining in the Town's General Fund at the end of 2015. Grand Lake Town Treasurer Erin Ackerman has budgeted $2,641,747 in revenues for 2016 with the town expected to take in approximately $1,702,900 in General revenue and $938,847 in Capital revenue, or revenue that can be attributed to specific capital expenses. For 2016 Grand Lake is projecting General Fund expenditures totaling $2,873,125. After taking in account both the projected revenues for 2016 and the 2015 General Fund ending fund balance Grand Lake expects to end 2016 with a General Fund balance of $970,244. Budgets for municipalities are developed a year in advance and many of the specific figures within the budget are projections or estimates that can and do change over the course of the year. The projections are based on a number of factors including the future economic outlook and ending tallies from previous years. Grand Lake collects taxes and has expenditures through the end of December every year. Similarly the town has a two-month time frame between the end of any given month and when official figures on revenues and expenditures for that month become available. The budget presented to the Board during the December Trustees' meeting includes projections for 2016 and 2015 year-end totals. The 2015 year-end totals use estimates on expenditures and revenues for November and December. Grand Lake further breaks down their General Fund expenditures by the various departments within town government. The department with the single largest budget is the Grand Lake Public Works Dept. with a total 2016 budget of $577,321. Of the total for the dept. $342,271 is applied to personnel costs while $235,050 is designated for operations. The town's Administrative department has the second highest departmental budget with a total of $553,818, of which $294,709 is for personnel costs while $259,109 is for operational costs. The Public Safety department. had the next highest budget for 2016, though the totals for that department, $193,840, are significantly lower than the totals for both Administration and Public Works. The Parks department. has a 2016 budget total of $119,102 broken down between $48,402 for personnel and $70,700 for operations. The Town has projected a total cost of $90,787 for the Board of Trustees with the entirety of that budget designated as operational costs. The Greenway Committee has a total projected budget of $41,197. The Town's remaining departments; Cemetery Committee, Post Committee and the Planning Commission/BOA, each had projected budgets less than $10,000 with the Post Committee having a projected budget of zero. Grand Lake has projected $130,007 in debt service payments in 2016. The town is projecting $113,961 in debt service payments on Administrative work and $16,046 in debt service for public works projects. The town also sets aside a Tabor Reserve Fund which is set at three percent of the overall General Fund, or $57,566. Grand Lake's 2016 budget is a part of the public record.

Letter: Newberry has done much good for Grand County

To the Editor: These pages have seen so much vitriol hurled at James Newberry over the past few weeks that I wonder how the worst of it can actually be coming from Grand County. As Shakespeare wrote: "The evil that men lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones." We are all human; none of us is perfect. I understand the anger some people are expressing, but we should also not forget James' good work as county commissioner over 18 years, greatly improving Grand County and the lives of all of us who live here. I will not give a long laundry list of everything he has on our behalf (although I could), but instead focus on one issue of importance to most Grand County residents: Water. We all know that about 80 percent of the snowmelt in our county that makes it into the Fraser or Colorado rivers goes to be used, often wasted, in places like the Front Range or California. Most also know that the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, which James tirelessly spearheaded, is our single best protection against further water loss. (For those who don't, check out last year's Sky Hi News article: http://www.skyhinews.com/news/10272033-113/river-colorado-district-compact). While I am pessimistic about the long-term fate of our county's water, this agreement gives our rivers legal protections they never had, and pushes the day that they dry out further into the future. In my opinion, for this reason alone, we owe this man a debt of gratitude many times larger than the few thousand dollars that some are obsessing about. I ask the haters: What have you done for Grand County over the last 18 years? If you really think it's more than James has done, then by all means continue your vicious attacks. (Those inclined will probably do so regardless.) For the rest of us, let's continue to love and enjoy the magnificent lakes and rivers of this place we call home, especially now that summer seems to have finally arrived. And let's not forget to treat our neighbors with respect. Rick Edelson Fraser

West Grand wrestling

West Grand wrestling Coach Jeff Matney has six wrestlers this season and his charges have been getting increasingly competitive as the season winds toward the regional tournament in Palisade on Feb. 10-11. The team is led by seniors Landon Schneider (138 pounds), Max Wall (132 pounds) and Michael Lengel (120 pounds). Austin Faeth wrestles at 126 pounds and is joined by fellow sophomore Daniel Terwilliger at 120 pounds. The squad is rounded out by Cole Tracy at 113 pounds. Faeth has had the most consistent results, Coach Matney said, and has placed in every tournament this season. All of the grapplers have gotten better this season and Matney hopes they remain healthy for the last few weeks of the season. The team travels to Center on Saturday, Jan. 28, for a tournament.

Granby Adult Volleyball standings

The Granby Adult Co-ed Volleyball League continued its season with some hard hitting competition. Results of last week’s games were:Sagebrush BBQ & Grill over Trash Company, 3 – 0.Canucks beat Trash Company, 3 – 0.Canucks defeated Drowsy Water Ranch, 2 – 1.Sagebrush BBQ & Grill downed Drowsy Water Ranch, 2 – 1.TeamWLCanucks113Sagebrush BBQ/Grill95Drowsy Water Ranch77The Trash Company113

Home is where the work is: Telecommuters choose to work in Grand County

Software engineer Steve Klabak begins working each day at 6 a.m. He's not just an early riser; that is when his co-workers in Indianapolis start their workday. "I typically work on Indiana time," Klabak said. "Normal business hours I work are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. I do a fair amount of collaborative work, but it's not a problem because of instant messaging, video conferencing, and conference calls." Klabak was already employed by Flexware Innovation, a small manufacturing I.T. company, when he relocated to the Fraser Valley in 2012. He is forging new territory, not only by venturing out west, but also as the first and the only employee working remotely on the company's 30-person payroll. "They were happy to keep me on and allow me to work from home out here. It started on a trial basis. I think it was a good opportunity to experiment with it." His commute is very short — just steps to his home office — and he finds that working remotely fits his temperament and gives him the work-life balance he wants. "I have the right personality; I can work independently," he said. "During the summer, I'll bike most every day after work. And on big powder days, I can usually sneak out for a couple of hours." Klabak is one of an undetermined number of workers who choose to live in Grand County while working for a company based elsewhere, traditionally called telecommuters or remote workers. According to DiAnn Butler, coordinator of Grand County's economic development office, a change is under way to "location-neutral businesses," an economic term that refers to entrepreneurs and other types of careers that can be based anywhere because of technology. "They could live anywhere in the world. A lot of people who are living here permanently and are members of our communities — just like anyone else — are working remotely," she said. Butler doesn't have a firm grasp on how many of these workers are here, nor what they do. She would like to conduct a county-wide survey to find out. More information might lead to the creation of new jobs in the county. "What we are trying to determine is," Butler said, "'Does their industry need products or other services that we could somehow make or supply here?'" A trend hard to trace In a 2012 U.S. Census American Community survey on commuting habits, 8.6 percent of workers in Grand County identified themselves as "working from home." But because the sample size for Grand County is so small, there is a lot of room for error in the research, according to Bill Thonnes, public information officer at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. "This U.S. Census Survey simply asked people if they had no commute all or part of the time. This would capture all telecommuters but the Census Bureau's numbers also include the self-employed who have no employer-employee relationship," he said, meaning that other home-based businesses, such as home day care providers, are included in that number. Colorado ranks 8th among states with job seekers actively looking for remote work, according to FlexJobs, a San Francisco-based company that aggregates flexible, part-time, and telecommuting job listings and makes them available to subscribers for a fee. "Job seekers shouldn't let their geographic location limit their job search options. It's often the case that telecommuters wind up working for companies based in another state," said FlexJobs CEO, Sara Sutton Fell, in a press release. Limited data makes it hard to know if opportunities to work from home are shrinking or growing. But advances in technology and more widespread internet access make it certainly easier now than in the past. Jane Blackstone, economic development director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce, noticed a definite correlation between the prevalence of high-speed internet and the increase in location-neutral business activity. "In 2000, we had about 5 percent of the workforce in home-based business," she said. "By 2009 it was 10 percent — boom — it was suddenly a big jump… These folks want to live in beautiful locations, but they need the services, like broadband, to do their work." Steamboat Springs now actively markets itself as a destination for location-neutral businesses. "We are getting the word out that it is possible to live where you want to live in a community like Steamboat Springs and do your business," she said. Blackstone didn't identify one specific industry in which Steamboat is seeing growth, but professional services, scientific, technical and consulting fields are among the top. Sometimes missing out The desire to live in the mountains drew Sally Spillman, a director of finance at Hewlett Packard, to the Fraser Valley in 2001. She and her husband were both working for the tech giant and living in Fort Collins, Colo. But they had a condo here and then decided to build a home. "We said, 'Gosh, we're building this nice house in Winter Park. Why don't we live there?' It worked out I was able to work from home remotely from Winter Park. They [H.P.] were definitely open to this — we are a technology company. We provide the infrastructure to allow people to do this." Spillman sees the option to work at home as a benefit that should be offered to those who have a proven track record with a company. "The preference is that I would be in the office," she said. "Partly because I have 25 years of experience that I could be sharing with people, but I'm not there. The pendulum is swinging back toward people working in the office for collaboration." Like all telecommuters, her livelihood relies on reliable internet. "In the time that I have been doing this, it's changed. The technology has changed. I don't have a home phone anymore, it's all voice over I.P.," she said. Although Grand County and internet providers are making great strides in improving broadband in even more remote area's of Grand, the area as a whole has lagged behind other parts of the state for access to high-speed internet that meets the demands of today's user. "The bandwidth limitations here impair my ability to do my job. That is probably my biggest frustration," Spillman said. In some ways, her flexibility as a home-based worker benefits her employer. Since Spillman supervises people who live all over the world, she works odd hours. "I have meetings at 5 in the morning and at 10 at night. I am able to cover the time zones very effectively," she said. "My husband actually jokes that I need more hobbies. I'll work weekends — whenever." Family and lifestyle tie Spillman to the area, even as she has sacrificed some professional mobility. Her two sons consider Grand County home; they go to school here, and one is competing in snowboarding at the national level. "It's a personal choice I made. Was it the best choice for my career? No. It's not the best move you can make to further your career," she said. Creativity inspired Wife and husband team Stephanie and Jim Kroepf left Denver corporate jobs in March 2014 to live full-time in the Grand Lake area and write for a living. The couple writes novels targeted towards teenage boys, which they describe as a modern-day Hardy Boys. The couple has fully adopted Grand Lake as their home. With flexibility in their schedules, they dove into volunteering with community organizations. Between them they serve on eight different boards and committees in the area. "You can have an effect in a town of this size that you can't have in a big city," said Stephanie. "You can make a difference." Their home office is in the Columbine Lake area. "The beauty of the place is very inspiring," said Jim. "We literally walk around the lake every single day and we plot out our stories in our book. "We have the greatest office in the world."