There are still signs that we are in economic hard times on the Western Slope as proven by the fact that Pitkin County emergency assistance fund has run dry. Commissioners set up this fund for people who need help in paying rent, utility bills and other necessities. Initially, the county put $45 thousand in the coffer for this fund. Now, according to the Aspen Times, that has run out and the county has put in another $4 thousand. Most of the money used has been for rental assistance.