Grand County, Colorado is a local government entity that determines and implements local policies, determines public needs and how these needs are met, provides services, and collects taxes.
Organization & Structure
Counties are the largest units of local government, numbering about 8,000 nationwide. Colorado is divided into 64 counties whose boundaries are established by the state. Per the Colorado Constitution, counties have seven elected offices. Grand County's elected offices are the County Commissioners, Treasurer, Assessor, Coroner, Clerk & Recorder, Surveyor, and Sheriff. Each officer elected serves a four-year term. Commissioners are the main policy-making body in the county. They are also responsible for the county’s administrative and budgetary functions. By law, they are independent of each other and from the county commissioners. Their powers and duties are described in the Colorado Constitution. County commissioners have no direct authority over the other elected officials in the county except that commissioners do approve budgets for all the other elected officials’ departments.
Services & Responsibilities
Generally, counties are responsible for law enforcement; the provision of social services on behalf of the state; the construction, maintenance, and repair of roads and bridges; and general control of land use in unincorporated areas.
Required Services: In accordance with state law, county responsibilities include the provision of jails, weed control, conducting elections, and establishment of a county or district public health agency to provide, at minimum, health and human services mandated by the state.
Optional Services: There are several services that County governments are not required to provide, but have the right to. The County Commissioners choose whether or not the county carries out these services.
- provide veteran services;
- operate emergency telephone services;
- provide ambulance services;
- conduct law enforcement;
- operate mass transit systems;
- build and maintain roads and bridges;
- construct and maintain airports;
- lease or sell county-owned mineral and oil and gas rights;
- provide water and sewer services;
- provide park and recreation facilities or districts;
- control wildfire planning and response;
- promote agriculture research and protect agricultural operations;
- regulate marijuana licensing and distribution;
- administer pest control; and
- operate districts for irrigation, cemeteries, libraries, recreation, solid waste and disposal, and various types of improvement districts.