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January 18, 2011
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Public Trustee 4Q Update
Community Resources 4Q Update
Treasurer 4Q Update
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 News from Jefferson County
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Record Number of Foreclosures in Jeffco Even with Improvement of Economy 

Even though the recession was officially over in June 2009, Jefferson County continued to see record numbers of foreclosures and decreasing numbers of releases of deeds during 2010. This is what the Jefferson County Public Trustee, Margaret Chapman, presented to the Board of County Commissioners in her fourth quarter update.


"In 2009, we opened 4,207 foreclosures.  In 2010, we opened 3,849 foreclosures files for a 4.6% decrease from 2009. However, this may not a 'real' number as several major lenders instituted a national moratorium on all foreclosures, even though Colorado has our unique Public Trustee system," stated Chapman.


Historically, as foreclosures have increased, releases of deeds of trust decreased. That trend has continued with a decrease of 5,915 releases from 2009 to 2010.  In 2009 there were 36,578 releases compared to 30,663 releases in 2010.


The much touted state deferment and expedited programs have had little use in Jefferson County. "We have had no expedited foreclosures filed. That program was designed to more quickly move abandoned properties back into the housing market," Chapman explained. While only 52 properties have qualified for deferment during the 18 months the program has been in operation, the value of the program lies in increased use of free mortgage counseling programs.  


"Generally we are seeing more commercial foreclosures. It is difficult to track commercial foreclosures as the deed and note rarely indicate a business name," she explained. Jefferson County saw some well-known properties sold at foreclosure sale, notably the Sleeper House and the Holiday Inn West.


On the residential side, calls to the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline are remaining steady; but the urgency of the problems is increasing. "There is also, I believe, an artificial depression of foreclosure filings with the increase in loan modifications because we see foreclosure filings on loans modified in the last year," Chapman said.


Colorado is unique in having had an independent Public Trustee system since the financial crisis in 1893. This impartial process administers foreclosures through Colorado law outlined in the Colorado Revised Statutes, Chapter 38. The office has no control over what is filed with us, so forecasting is difficult. However, given our past experience and current filings, the Public Trustee's  Office is on track to open another 3,600-3,800 foreclosures and to release 30,000 deeds during 2011. 

Community Resources Department Fourth Quarter Update 
Department news and activities were presented to the Board of County Commissioners during the quarterly update given by Jefferson County Community Resources Director, Tom Hoby.

Some of the projects for BCC consideration include:

  • The Apex Park and Recreation District requested an amendment to the sublease between the district and the Christ Community Covenant Church, at the corner of 82nd Ave. and Simms St., to reduce the square footage the church subleases, reduce its monthly payment, and, beginning Feb. 1, 2011, to allow the district to use the sublease payments for building renovations. These changes will phase in the use by Apex Park & Rec while phasing out the use by the church. This will bring the site back to the purpose for which it was originally acquired.
  • Open Space is working with the Denver Water Board to replace the existing Fairmount Trail Lease with a 25-year term lease that allows for two trail connections from the Fairmount Trail to North Table Mountain Park. Commissioner Kevin McCasky stressed that he'd like to make this project a priority of the board. Hoby agreed and said it was slated to be completed within 2011.
  • Open Space will receive non-exclusive rights from Denver West for the use of eight designated parking spaces for Open Space trail access to South Table Mountain Park. This agreement allows for public and Open Space parking outside of normal business hours. Open Space will provide the signage and limited maintenance and repairs.

Several works-in-progress were also presented:

  • Hoby requested the permission of the BCC to pursue a random sample, scientific citizen survey to measure awareness and support for the Open Space program. Information to be collected would be on outdoor recreation uses and obstacles, how citizens value Open Space, desired programs, and defining the best ways to communicate with citizens. The information will be used to define needs and desires of citizens, assist in management decisions, priority setting and future planning efforts.
  • Hoby also updated the commissioners on the progress of the Open Space Advisory Committee's (OSAC) 10-year plan process and how to best address county land acquisitions, county capital projects, local land acquisitions and the local Joint Venture Program. Over the coming months, OSAC will discuss a variety of strategies and criteria for these funding alternatives in order to accomplish county goals and equitable distributions to cities and park districts. Hoby stated that he would be giving frequent updates to the commissioners.


Treasurer Fourth Quarter Update 

The latest earnings and investment news were presented to the Board of County Commissioners during the Treasurer's quarterly update given by Jefferson County Treasurer Tim Kauffman and Treasury Officer Mark Hubbard.


The investment portfolio continues to be healthy and is actively managed with safety and security as the number one priority. The overall sentiment expressed by both was that earnings at the end of the 4Q 2010 were lower than in prior years when market rates were higher. However, based on the current economic environment, these types of earnings may be the new normal. Overall for the county, the cash interest and gains for 2010 came in at $4,056,113. The projected cash earnings for 2011 are approximately $2,500,000.


Other Actions


Community Services Block Grant Plan for 2011

Since 1985, Jefferson County has received Federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) dollars, used to help low-income families and individuals regain or retain self-sufficiency. These federal funds originate from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Service and are passed to the State Level (Colorado Department of Local Affairs); they are then allocated by formula to local Boards of County Commissioners. Jefferson County's 2011 award amount will be approximately $364,486, of which $72,897 will be used for grant administration. The final award amount will not be known until February and may be subject to change based on Federal budget appropriations.


To receive the funding, Jefferson County must submit a project plan to the state describing how these CSBG funds will be used for the upcoming year. The project plan contain descriptions of each project being funded, a community action plan describing community needs, how services are delivered, efforts the county will make to fill gaps in service by encouraging cooperative initiatives and how each award will be coordinated with other funds.


Truck Replacements for Fleet Services

The BCC approved the expenditure of $141,576 to Dellenbach Chevrolet for the purchase of six 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 pickup trucks with required options. These trucks will replace existing units that are assigned to the Road & Bridge Division, which requires the trucks for road maintenance operations. The purchase follows the approved 2011 Fleet Services replacement program.


Public Meeting CalendarView BCC Meetings Online!
Did you know Jefferson County records each County Commissioners Hearing for rebroadcast on its web site? You can also find recordings of other county meetings, videos of events and Jeffco's video program, Jefferson County Insights. To learn more, click here.