After a three-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses in Colorado are reopening gradually — and more quickly in Teller County due to the approval of a variance request by the commissioners.

“I just want to assure everybody that we are going to proceed in a way that is respectful of business rights and also recognizing that it’s each individual’s personal responsibility to respect the rights of others,” said Commissioner Norm Steen, speaking at the board’s June 25 meeting.

While most residents are appreciative of the commissioners’ efforts, others are displeased with the slow pace of the reopenings. “I just want to assure them that we are opening under the conditions of the law and recognize that we are a nation of laws, not a nation of people,” Steen said. “The laws are passed by the legislature and those powers are given to those persons who are elected by the people.”

Commissioner Bob Campbell agreed. “The message is that we have got to stay safe so we can stay open. If the issue blows up and we have huge clusters of cases, guess what?” he said. “We’re not the ones who end up closing; somebody is going to come down on top of us and close. So stay safe so we can stay open.”

In other business, a report from the auditing firm Rubin Brown drew smiles from everybody in the room. Not only did the county comply with all auditing standards but Vicki Caldwell drew rave reviews from the auditor, Rodney Rice.

Interim director of the office of finance and budget, Caldwell worked under Laurie Litwin, who retired last year. “We saw no hiccups in our ability to get through our process. Ms. Caldwell and her team executed it perfectly,” Rice said. “It’s not easy to put together this 70-page document in a way that an independent party — us — can come in and say the documents comply with accounting principles.”

In a heads-up for homeowners, a report by Brad Shaw and Bryan Kincaid, road/bridge supervisor and right-of-way manager, respectively, talked about the schedule for road maintenance for the year. With 560 miles of roads in Teller — 484 of them gravel — the schedule includes regular maintenance, grading, repairing and applying dust suppressant.

“I hear very few concerns or comments about our roads,” said Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder. “That is a reflect of the good work you all do.”

The report, along with weather conditions and road information, is available at

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