Commissioners approve subdivision, dig up time capsule

Officials decide to adjust Moffat County Public Safety Center layout by 30 feet

It was a busy day for the Moffat County Board of Commissioners Wednesday, covering issues from from fire bans to the Moffat County Public Safety Center to time capsules.

Commissioners voted to enact an immediate fire ban for Moffat County. This move was recommended by Sheriff Buddy Grinstead because of unseasonably warm weather and little moisture, making conditions extremely dry and getting dryer across the county.

The board unanimously approved the request.

Weber subdivisions No. 2 and 3 were up for approval by the board. Both were recommended for approval by the Moffat County Planning and Zoning Board. Subdivision No. 3, located near Thompson Hill south of Craig, was approved without any concerns voiced from neighboring land owners. Weber subdivision No. 3 includes three 5-acre plots and one 11.5-acre plot.

Weber subdivision No. 2, located about 12 miles west of Craig off Moffat County Road 15, wasn't so lucky. Rex Walker, owner of the Sombrero Ranch that boarders the proposed subdivision, complained the area is an active sand pit and septic systems will leach into the sand pits and Lay Creek. He stated the proposed subdivision violates the intent of the law. Two of Walker's employees objected to the subdivision because they said the area is not appropriate for a residential subdivision since it has been a ranching area for 40 years. Neighbors are also concerned dogs from the subdivision will chase hoses that graze on the Sombrero Ranch and believe the area could became unsightly and cluttered with mobile homes.

Despite objections made about Weber subdivision No. 2, the Moffat County Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of it as long as covenants could be created that would protect the Sombrero Ranch.

Pat Weber, owner of the subdivisions, agreed to work with Walker and come up with a resolution to Walker's objections.

Judith Orton, Planning and Zoning secretary, believes the differences will be resolved.

"The nice thing is that they are trying to work things out," said Orton.

The Board of Commissioners moved to table the approval of Weber subdivision No. 2 until Nov. 22 giving time for the Sombrero Ranch and Weber to work out an agreement on the covenants that would include customs and culture of a ranching community.

Dan Davidson of the Museum of Northwest Colorado Board updated commissioners on the status of the museum. Davidson told the board the museum would be using visitors' donatations to help pay for the recently purchased cowboy gunfighter collection. The collection was appraised in 1991 for $338,203. Bill Mackin, who put together the collection, added an estimated $10,000 worth of items since then. Moffat County purchased the collection in 1999 for $710,000. In January 1999 the collection was appraised at $759,797. The value of the collection increased 118 percent in eight years.

Jim Robertson, Moffat County Public Safety Center Project director, updated the board on the status of that project. The work group, which helps plan the project, decided to change the angle the building will face. Members decided to shift the building to the northeast 30 feet to be able to use more of the available land.

"It is the right thing to do," said Robertson. "It will potentially reduce cost. And the bottom line is the work group agreed on it."

The only concern with the change in plans is some people housed at the building will view Fleischli Oil, according to Robertson.

Robertson made it clear none of the spaces in the building will be affected. Colorado State Patrol, Moffat County Sheriff's Department and Craig Police Department will meet with architects Monday to review a special needs list. The list will include any special types of lighting, venting or other construction users will need for their space in the center.

The bid package for the dirt work and demolition of existing buildings on the site will be prepared and sent out for bids in two weeks.

Another piece of business that took place at the meeting Wednesday was that the Moffat County Courthouse time capsule dug up on Tuesday will be removed from the spot where it was buried and put into the courthouse safe. Maintenance workers removed the capsule because Moffat County officials believed the capsule was supposed to be opened in the year 2000. It turns out the capsule is scheduled for opening in the year 2008, 50 years from when it was buried in 1958.

Former Moffat County commissioner Marion Jones, who held office when the time capsule was buried, asked current commissioners to move the capsule into a safe place since word of its removal and location quickly spread through town.

"It's been the talk of every bar in town," said Jones. "We need to put it some place safe before someone comes and digs it up."

Commissioners are still debating whether to open the capsule in 2000 as part of a millennium celebration or wait until 2008.

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