County hires new finance director

Diane Sorensen won’t have much time to get settled before tackling La Plata County’s loss in revenue as its new finance director.

The county is expected to lose more than $920,000 in property-tax revenue this year because of a 25 percent drop in natural-gas prices in 2011.

Sorensen had been the finance director for Archuleta County for three years, and she was “instrumental” in helping the county through its financial woes a few years ago, La Plata County Manager Joe Kerby said.

He hopes she will bring her experience and skills to help La Plata County navigate its revenue loss.

The contribution of natural-gas producers to the county’s tax revenue is expected to continue downward, and the county has projected that it will see another 20 to 35 percent drop in the value of natural gas this year.

Sorensen was one of the only people among the 58 applicants that has experience working for a county, Keck said, which helped her land the position.

Sorensen is replacing Karla Distel, who left in December for a job at the Grand Junction Housing Authority.

Sorensen will make about $104,200 a year and will start Feb. 19.

She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting with an emphasis in public accounting from Mesa University and is a certified public accountant and government finance manager. Sorensen also worked as the finance director for Rio Blanco County.