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NACO Conference

Two Fremont County Commissioners just returned from the National Association of Counties Annual Conference following discussion and action on a wide range of topics with other leaders from throughout the country.

County leaders as well as officials from the White House and Congress attended the conference at Prince George’s County, Maryland.

“We are working on issues with other Commissioners from all over the country to become a powerful voice to make our county better,” said Commissioner Dwayne McFall, current board chair. "It is an amazing feeling to know we are making a difference.”

McFall and Commissioner Debbie Bell joined sessions with speakers including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

In addition to serving as voting members on different steering committees, the local two officials attended many workshops focused on the American Rescue Plans Act funding. Those funds are directed to solve problems created by COVID-19 as well as infrastructure and other local issues. Fremont County will receive a total of about $9.4 million, and the county is considering broadband and other projects.

Bell serves on the NACo Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy Steering Committee. She discussed additional broadband issues as well as bio-based products in manufacturing and road materials.

“Allowing us time to delve into a variety of subjects means we bring diverse information back home,” Bell said. “Our time at NACo allows us to dive more deeply into national politics and look at broader issues that affect us all.”

McFall is a part of the NACo Public Lands Policy Steering Committee, which focused on efforts to better manage natural resources, reduce the threat of wildfire, and improve economies in public lands counties like Fremont. He also has been involved with a NACo Broadband Task Force representing both Fremont County and all of Colorado.

“Monday we released a report to push Congress to make high speed broadband available to all at an affordable cost,” McFall said. “High speed broadband is no longer a luxury. It is now an essential.”

Fremont County Commissioners already work through Colorado Counties, Inc. to prioritize issues and lobby state legislators on issues important to all counties throughout the state. Currently serving as CCI President, Bell accepted an Achievement Award for Summit County on its groundbreaking preschool program.

Also a member of Women of NACO’s Leadership Network, Bell was elected to the position of Historian for 2021-22.

“It is truly an honor to be in the same room with so many amazing women leaders,” Bell said. “The power in the room was palpable. I’m excited to serve this group in this way.”

The 2022 NACo Annual Conference is coming to Colorado. Adams County won the bid and will host the event July 21-24 next year. It is expected to bring an economic impact of more than $70 million to Colorado. For more information visit