Moffat County Commission recap for Sept. 8 | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County Commission recap for Sept. 8

Patrick Kelly

Moffat County Commissioners John Kinkaid, Frank Moe and Chuck Grobe listen to Zoning and Planning Director Jerry Hoberg's request for a variance at their weekly meeting.

At their weekly meeting Tuesday morning, the Moffat County Board of Commissioners did the following:

During general discussion:

• County Commissioner Chucked Grobe thanked the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for completing the environmental assessment of Colowyo Coal Mine before the deadline.

"There were some challenges along the way but they put in a lot of hard work to get this thing done, in fact, they turned it in two days early from their schedule," he said.

County Commissioner Frank Moe said he could see the relief in the community now that the Colowyo ordeal is over.

"It literally was weighing on everyone's hearts and minds," he said, adding that Moffat County still has a lot of challenges to take on in terms of economic diversification.

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It is good to celebrate victories but there is still a war on coal threatening the area, said County Commissioner John Kinkaid.

"We'll see what happens with Trapper," he said referring to the ongoing legal challenge to Trapper Mine's 2008 mining plan.

• Moffat County Natural Resources Department Director Jeff Comstock said representatives of the oil and gas industry are reviewing the Bureau of Land Management's greater sage grouse environmental impact statement. If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not list the bird as an endangered species, the BLM's EIS will set the rules for future development near grouse habitat.

"I think our companies in Moffat County and across the state are really working to point out some of the things that need to be corrected before that plan becomes the law," he said.

On the agenda:

• Approved an outdoor storage yard at 82224 U.S. Highway 40 with the condition that no hazardous materials are kept on site. Southwestern Energy had approached the property owner and asked to use the lot as storage yard and staging area while it drills a well nearby. The permit expires after five years.

• Approved a variance at 1481 Sequoia Ave., allowing the property owner to build a shed along the property line.

• Sgt. Todd Wheeler, fire management officer for the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, presented a draft memorandum of understanding to coordinate the use of Craig/Moffat Airport for BLM and Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Prevention and Control single engine air tankers, fixed-wing aircraft and firefighting helicopters.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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