Governor Polis tours eastern plains communities
Colorado Governor Jared Polis was greeted by a small group at the Kiowa County Fire Protection District Firehouse in Eads this week.
The day started in Julesburg where the Governor met with farmers, ranchers, local officials, and community members discussing the South Platte and water issues.
Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg joined Governor Polis touring Vision Angus. Vision Angus is a farm and ranch in Phillips County locally owned family passed down many generations and recipient of the Agricultural Workforce Development Program.
The Governor also made stops at the South Republican State Wildlife Area, what was known as Bonny Lake, Old Town Museum in Burlington, and Cheyenne Wells before the Eads stop.
In Eads, Governor Polis spoke to several volunteers of the Kiowa County Fire Protection District about the challenges the district faces. They told the Governor district funding is through a mil levy and donations. The county is about 1800 square miles with a population around 1500, and a quarter of those residents are under age 18. The volunteers said when a call come in, there have been issues where an employer wouldn’t release the employee to respond. They cited instances where a volunteer was a Colorado Department of Transportation employee, and the supervisor would not allow the employee to respond. The Governor said he would look into the situation.
The district volunteers also told the Governor they have old equipment always needing repair. They often must rely on other fire departments to assist in their own district, and much of the time are unable to assist other counties because of the lack of reliable equipment. Governor Polis spoke to the group about several bills he had signed into law this past June, and suggested they look to these to see if would be of aid. Before the Governor departed, he again assured the issue of volunteers that work for state agencies and not being able to respond to fire would be addressed.
Among the group in attendance was a couple touring all Colorado 64 counties. They had heard the Governor was to be in town and decided to attend. This wasn’t the first time they had been in Kiowa County. They had previously taken the Peddle the Plains bike tour that had taken them through Kiowa County. This trip was to see the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.
Another visitor was Brad Young of Lamar. Many will remember Brad as state representative late nineties early 2000s.