Mayor Wendell Koontz

Mayor Wendell Koontz


Welcome!  After many years of discussion and evaluation, the Town of Hotchkiss is implementing a website.  Please feel free to explore the site and let us know what we can do better.

The Town of Hotchkiss is implementing this site as a service to the citizens and residents of the North Fork Area.  You should be able to find meeting announcements, contact information, meeting minutes, Town ordinances and much more.  Also, you will find the site is organized by department and committee with links to many other sites and services. Our goal is to provide easy access to information you need and continue to make Hotchkiss the Friendliest Town Around.

My thanks and appreciation to Marlene Searle, Mike Owens, Sheila Maki, and especially Marshal Dan Miller for their work above and beyond their normal duties in making this site come to life. I am amazed at the amount of thought and effort that went into “behind the scenes” design of this website. Also, thanks to Adam Silverstein of Earthbound Website Development & Hosting, for his efforts in making this website a reality.

Longwall at West Elk Mine in the E Seam

The developers of this site asked me to provide a short background on myself and my career for those who do not know me. I grew up in a small Indiana town, about the size of Hotchkiss, and graduated in 1983 with a degree in Geology from Hanover College, a small Presbyterian college also in Indiana. That summer I moved to Alaska and began my career in mining in the hard rock mines and gold projects. After many years of attending UAA, struggling to get mining experience, and traveling on geophysical crews, I landed a job at Skyline Mines in Utah. My first coal mine geology position. From 5 years there, to accepting a position at West Elk Mine in 1996, I have never looked back. I truly love the work I do. Currently I am a 15 year employee of Arch Coal located at West Elk Mine as a Senior Mine Geologist. We are blessed with an abundance of coal resources in the North Fork area, and I look forward to many more years at West Elk.

Personally, I am equally blessed with family. My wife Esther serves as the District Administrator for the North Fork Pool, and Park, and Recreation District. We are celebrating 21 years together this April. (I remembered!)  Children Will and Sarah both graduated from Hotchkiss High School.

Thanks again for your interest in the Town of Hotchkiss and this website. We hope it is of benefit to everyone and continues in our tradition of providing great services at low cost. Please feel free to contact me. 

To contact Mayor Koontz, please fill out the below form: 

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