Denver gets handout from Delta County

The front page of the Denver Post declares, "Hard Times Getting Harder for Coloradans" -- and Delta County, located in a particularly beautiful part of the state's Western Slope, isn't immune from such problems. It's especially ironic, then, that officials there recently wound up giving $1 million in social-services money to Denver because they couldn't figure out how to take advantage of it under federal guidelines.

According to the Delta County Independent, the cash in question comes from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF, fund -- and with another $700,000 due from the same source in the coming fiscal year, the county found itself with an embarrassment of riches. TANF administrator Ruth Trumpfheller told Delta's Board of County Commissioners, "We can't do anything with our reserves until we spend all of our [yearly] allocation, and we have tried. The reserves are all federal money and the feds have incredible strings attached to their use." Meanwhile, Denver, where 80 percent of folks on the state's welfare rolls reside, can't stretch its dollars far enough. Delta County Health and Human Services director Chuck Lemoine told the board that "Denver has requested other counties that have excess reserves to relinquish them also," and they've done so to the tune of about $7 million.

So on behalf of all Denverites, we offer Delta and the rest of the beneficent counties out there our sincere thanks. And now, can we have all of your water, too?

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