Commissioners OK mine reducing royalty rate


Representatives from Trapper Mine met with Moffat County commissioners on Tuesday to seek a reduction in the royalty amount paid to the county from its coal-mining operations.

Ray Dubois, president and general manager of Trapper Mine, explained how the easily accessed coal has given way to deeper seams that have split and are harder to remove.

"A royalty rate reduction may allow us to mine coal that was previously not economical to mine," Dubois said.

A letter was sent to the governor with the reduction request, with the Bureau of Land Management concurring with the decision.

The commissioners were asked for a letter of support for the mine's request that would lower royalties from 12 1/2 percent to 8 percent on mined coal.

The commissioners approved the letter and noted the contributions that Trapper Mine has made to the community, including donations to Moffat County United Way.

Commissioners also approved changing a part-time position at the Moffat County Sheriff's Office to a full-time position for an administrative assistant who takes care of billing and accounting for the jail.

They also signed a memorandum of understanding to complete the antenna sites needed for the county's 800-megahertz radio operations. The Dalton Flats site is expected to be operational by the end of the month, and although Commissioner Tom Gray pointed out that there was a better site than the Vermillion antenna location, it would cost $150,000 to run power lines to that site. He said he would look into obtaining grant money for the project.

The Road and Bridge Depart--ment has been working on many of the county roads, assisted by recent rainfall. They have been grading county roads 7, 22, 78, 105 and 211. The department has been repairing a washout on Moffat County Road 41 and working on cattle guards on Moffat County roads 9 and 27. They have reseeded the Cross Mountain gravel pit and made repairs to the Stockdrive Bridge. The crews have been applying gravel to roads 161, 16, 61 and 95, and they are grading Moffat County Road 10 North.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or

The commissioners also:

• Approved a conditional use permit for state tract 38 gravel pit.

• Approved a Social Services review of Sept. 5 minutes. • Approved proposed budget changes.

• Approved changing a part-time administrative assistant to full-time for the Sheriff's Office.

• Approved waiving the bid process for workman's comp insurance.

• Approved Buckley Minor Subdivision with a stipulation that drainage problems are addressed, the road is widened to 60 feet, and the cul-de-sac meets county requirements.

• Approved an exemption for SOA Enterprises.

• Approved a conditional use permit for Pioneer Natural Resources to construct a four-inch pipeline seven miles long crossing Moffat County Road 7.

• Signed a division order with Beartooth Oil & Gas.

• Approved an offer from Samson Resources Co. for royalties.

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