Commission approves subdivisions

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Following recommendations of the Moffat County Planning Commission, Moffat County commissioners Tuesday approved the final plats for two subdivisions in the county.

The first is a minor subdivision on Moffat County Road 105 owned by Larry and Sue Lyster, of Craig. Three lots of 5 acres each will be subdivided off of a 40-acre parcel north of Craig.

Questions about access to one of the lots brought up in the preliminary phase of approval were resolved, and the proposal was approved, 2-0. Commissioner Saed Tayyara was absent from the meeting.

The final plat was approved for Wapiti Trails, a subdivision on the Park Service Road leading to Deer Lodge Park in Dinosaur National Monument. The subdivision near Lilly Park allows the splitting off from a 77-acre parcel of land, two 10.5-acre lots, and one 28-acre lot north of the park service road, and one 27.6-acre lot south of the road.

Previous concerns by the commissioners about access and utility availability were addressed, and the proposal was approved, 2-0.

Commissioners also approved entering into a contract with Mary Ellen Denomy for an amount not to exceed $1,000. Denomy is an expert witness with a background in oil and gas exploration and a certified public accountant. She is expected to help the county's case in denying an appeal of a tax decision.

The commissioners waived the bid process because of Denomy's expertise in the field.

Wexpro, a Salt Lake City-based natural gas supplier, asked the county to refund $46,946 because of a clerical error in 2003 that based its taxes on wellhead pricing rather than net production.

The commissioners denied the request for an abatement of taxes paid, and Wexpro has appealed that decision.

Wexpro is protesting its assessed value, and trying to get a refund from the county for taxes the company paid in 2003, 2004 and 2005, claiming it failed to take deductions allowed for processing and transporting its product.

"They have taken the deductions for 2006, and that's fine," said county assessor Suzanne Brinks. "I'm not going to take money away from the county and the school district because they didn't want to file that way in the past."

The appeal will go before the state Board of Assessment and Appeals in Grand Junction on Sept. 25, after which the board has 30 days to make a decision, Brinks said.

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