Craig City Council, Moffat County Commission agree to Geokinetics survey
Also at the meeting
At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:
• Approved, 6-0, Nov. 23 meeting minutes.
• Approved, 6-0, November bills totaling $286,478.79.
• Approved, 6-0, a special events permit for the Craig Rotary Club’s Diamonds and Spurs event Jan. 22 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.
• Approved, 6-0, to award installation of flooring at Craig City Hall to Rocky Mountain TLC, Inc., totaling $42,545.
• Approved, 5-1, ordinance No. 1010 amending the care and treatment of animals portion of the Craig Municipal Code to prohibit the feeding of deer and other big game animals with fines no less than $100 and no more than $1,000. Second reading.
• Approved, 6-0, ordinance No. 1012 amending the Craig Municipal Code to increase the water and wastewater rates to provide sufficient revenues to maintain the water and wastewater fund balances. Second reading.
• Heard a monthly report from the water and wastewater departments.
• Discussed lease and acquisition negotiations between the city and county concerning the Craig Police Department’s space inside the Moffat County Public Safety Center.
• Heard a presentation from Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership Director Darcy Trask on the economic benefits of Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station.
— Council member Byron Willems was absent from the meeting.
The Craig City Council examined Tuesday a proposal for a seismic exploration survey in the city and portions of the county.
Brent Jacobsen, a project manager for Geokinetics, gave the city council an overview of the project, which entails about 53 acres and is expected to start in mid-January and be completed before the summer.
The council reached general agreement to allow Geokinetics to conduct their survey, which will look for oil and gas in the area, on city properties and right-of-ways.
The Moffat County Commission also approved, 3-0, at its regular Tuesday meeting a conditional use permit for Geokinetics in the county, save for inside city limits.
The commission stipulated the work needed to be completed by April 1; the work be done on dry or frozen ground; all trash be picked up soon after the project is completed; and land be reclaimed by fair settlements with landowners.
The city council, however, stipulated the company could not use vibrating trucks, called thumpers, inside the city on city property or right-of-ways, citing concerns about possible damage to buildings, pipes and other utilities.
Instead, Geokinetics agreed to only place receiving cables and stations on city property and right-of-ways, and to not drive thumpers through city limits, except on a limited portion of private property with landowner permission.
The company also agreed to keep vibrating trucks at least 300 feet away from buildings, water wells and certain pipelines owned by the city on property inside the city, or extending into the county.
Craig Public Works Director Bill Earley said he had a few concerns about the project.
One of those concerns stemmed from the city trying to conduct snow removal while the company had the receiver lines laid out.
“There are some details that we are going to have to work out on the wires or cables crossing the highway or streets because we are not going to delay our snow plowing,” he said.
Jacobsen said the company would work to get the lines off the ground if it snowed.
“If it snows, I can guarantee you that there are going to be 75 guys going through town trying to get the stuff off the roads before the plows come through,” he said. “They will only cross the roads where absolutely necessary.”
Earley said he didn’t have many reservations about the company placing the receiver lines on top of the city property or right-of-ways.
“I had significant problems with them creating the vibrations in the city because of our water lines and old foundations and a whole lot of things that could have been an issue,” he said.
Jacobsen said the company would still be able to get readings from the receiver lines in town by using the vibrating trucks in the county. The receiving lines can receive information from the vibrations from up to two miles away, he said.
“We just won’t get as good of coverage in the city,” he said.
Craig City Council member Terry Carwile thanked the company for attending the meeting and hosting a recent open session about the seismic project.
Carwile said such meetings are important to dispelling myths or rumors about the project.
“We are not talking about drilling any time soon, (and) we are not talking about fracking,” Carwile said.
Another Geokinetics representative agreed, adding the surveying would be “very low impact.”