Sarah Bennett and Christopher Howe, owners of the Shaggy Sheep restaurant in Grant, received a hotel and restaurant liquor license from the Park County commissioners on Dec. 22. Bennett said the restaurant will serve beer and wine once the building is remodeled. (Photo by Lynda James/The Flume)

The Park County commissioners approved the 2017 county budget with $43 million in expenditures.

The budget is a projection of revenue and expenses. If more is received or expended, supplemental appropriations are used to balance the budget at year’s end.

If less is expended, the funds’ fund balance will increase.

All dollar amounts were rounded by The Flume.

Besides taxes, revenue sources include county fees, state and federal funding for specific programs, grants and $5.6 million in certificates of participation to construct phase two of a new county building.

A little more than $8.5 million will be collected in county property taxes. The general fund will receive most of the property taxes at $7.8 million. Total expenses in the general fund are projected to be $14.9 million.

The commissioners expect to use $734,000 of the general funds, leaving $3.2 million in the fund balance.

The public works fund will receive $383,000 in property taxes and about $5.4 million in highway users’ tax fund. HUTF comes from gasoline taxes and is distributed to local governments by the state.

The public works fund balance will be reduced by $931,000, leaving a little less than $2.3 million.

County Administration officer Tom Eisenman said the public works budget doesn’t include any road upgrade projects in 2017, but money from the fund balance will be used for more maintenance of roads.

Commissioner Dick Hodges said that in the past, the fund balance was used for road upgrade projects, not for maintenance.

“If you use reserves for maintenance, it will drain the reserves in three years,” Hodges said, “then you won’t have money to complete major upgrades to any roads.”

The grant fund is expected to be $2.6 million. This is mainly because state and federal funding for specific programs were moved from some departments’ expenditures to the grant fund.

Departments include victim services, public health, human services and South Park National Heritage Area.

Capital projects fund has expenditures of $7.5 million. Most will be used for the new office building to replace the annex building in Fairplay.

Other capital projects this year include repairs at the jail, completing a public works building in Jefferson and an equipment shed at the main public works building in Fairplay.

A chart in the budget message broke out expenditures into five categories. Operating costs account for 50 percent of the budget; personnel costs are 29 percent; and capital projects will take 17 percent of the budget. Debt service and transfers to other funds each account for two percent of the budget.

The commissioners also passed a resolution stating the mill levies and levying taxes for the county, Alma, Fairplay and 20 special districts in Park County.

Property taxes per parcel are the result of multiplying the assessed property value by all the mill levies for each local government and special district that the property is in.

Park County’s mill levy for 2017 is 20.764.

State law requires the commissioners to approve mill levies and taxes for each taxing entity in the county. Those entities provided the county with the amounts that the commissioners approve.

The budget will be posted on the county website,, under the “county government” tab.

Shaggy Sheep

Sarah Bennett and Christopher Howe, owners of the Shaggy Sheep restaurant in Grant, received a hotel and restaurant liquor license.

Bennet said the restaurant is closed for remodeling and plan to open again in March with a lounge/dining and bar area in the portion of the building that is east of the main dining area.

She said their seating capacity will increase from 30 to 54. Plans are to have three beers on tap and a small variety of wine.

“We’re becoming a gathering place like Cheers. We feel like a part of the community already,” Bennett said.

The Shaggy Sheep opened earlier this year, serving breakfast and lunch.

Bennett said they would start serving dinner on week-ends and if that goes well, the restaurant would expand the days the Shaggy Sheep is open for dinner.

Lone Rock

After an executive session, the commissioners postponed until Dec. 29 signing a contract to purchase 270 acres along Deer Creek owned by Lone Rock Ranch, LLC. The purchase price is $1.242 million.

Lone Rock Ranch, LLC is owned by David Crane, Stanley Brown and Dozier Family Ranch, LLC managed by James C. (Duke) Dozier.

Land Use

Three land use cases were approved.

Moore Dale Ranch Resort, represented by Grant Peck, president of the homeowners association, received a plat amendment to Moore Dale’s planned unit development plat. The amendment changed the club house into a residential unit.

Moore Dale is adjacent to U.S. Highway 285 between Bailey and Shawnee.

Peck said the HOA is owner of all property at Moore Dale and the residential units are each privately owned.

He said the club house isn’t used and 87 percent of the HOA members voted to change the use into residential and sell it.

Peck said the money from the sale will be used for general repairs and upgrades of Moore Dale Ranch.

Common plat amendment

Rocky Guerrero received a plat amendment that removed 33 very small lots from Wandcrest Park subdivision and combined them with a five-acre lot he owns south of the small lots.

Guerrero said he bought the Wandcrest property in 2005 and lives there. The larger lot was purchased in 2014.

The Wandcrest property is too small for a garage. He plans to house his heavy equipment and vehicles in the garage once it is built.

Erik and Michele Wayland received a rezoning from residential (R) to residential estate (R-20) for a 40-acre lot in Badger Creek Ranch in the southwest corner of the county.

Wayland had two 20-acre lots combined into one lot earlier.

Michele Wayland said they currently live on another lot and the new zoning will allow them to have a hobby farm when they retire.


The commissioners signed a 2017 Continuity of Operations. The document is a list by department of what needs to be completed; what is in progress; what has been completed so each department can continue their essential functions during major emergencies; whether the emergency is local or national, from natural or man-made causes, including technological threats.

Vouchers in the amount of $196,024 were approved. The grant fund spent $83,000, public works $53,000, general fund $48,000, and human services $7,500. Four other funds spent amounts ranging from $15 to $2,300.

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