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Hayden fertilizes hemp business with financial incentive package

HAYDEN — In an effort to create jobs and spur the local economy, Hayden Town Council unanimously passed a financial incentive package for a new hemp business at its June 6 meeting.

Natural Path Botanicals, which began as a marijuana grow facility in the town, will become one of only three federally licensed hemp processing facilities on the western half of Colorado.

The incentive package gives rebates on the business’ property over the next three years, starting in 2020. For the first year, the business will receive a 60% rebate, decreasing to 45% for 2021 and 20% for the final year. 

In its financial projections to the Town Council, the business plans to create 10 full-time jobs when it reaches full capacity, with an emphasis on employing Hayden residents. 

Town officials hope this growth will increase revenue for other businesses in the area and attract additional hemp farmers to the Yampa Valley. 

“It gets Hayden on the map in an industry that is going to be really big,” said Mathew Mendisco, the town manager. 

In a recent report, cannabis researchers BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research project that the nationwide sales of CBD — the nonpsychoactive substance for which hemp is cultivated — could surpass $20 billion by 2024. 

This comes after the U.S. passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp across the nation, which has expanded markets and demand for CBD products.

Hemp differs from marijuana in that the plant contains less than 0.3% of THC, which has psychoactive properties. In other words, the CBD extracted from the hemp plant does not get people high. CBD has been touted for its medical benefits, coming in a wide form of products such as cosmetics, supplements and even food and beverages.

Natural Path Botanicals was formerly Emerge Farms, which grew high-inducing marijuana for dispensaries. Chris Franges, sales director for Natural Path Botanicals, said the company switched to growing hemp in May. 

He pointed to the growing CBD market as the main reason for the switch, adding that it is much easier to work in an industry that has the approval of the federal government, unlike marijuana. 

Natural Path Botanicals is primarily a hemp processing facility, according to Franges. While still in its early stages, the company is cultivating hemp plants it will sell to farmers across the state in exchange for the flower the plants and their clones produce. Employees at the company will then extract the CBD from those flowers and sell the cannabinoid to businesses that sell CBD-infused products, such as lotions and sodas. 

Once the company reaches full capacity, Franges hopes to process about 500,000 to 750,000 pounds of hemp plants each year, which he said will keep it competitive with other commercial hemp operations in the state. 

The growth of the business would have a ripple effect on the town of Hayden. Mendisco projects the town to receive about $17,600 in property taxes in the coming years, which is almost double the amount the business brought in last year when it was a marijuana grow operation. 

The jobs the company plans to bring in will pay between $60,000 to $75,000 per year, according to financial projections presented to the Town Council. 

“These are the types of jobs that people can make a living off of,” Mendisco said. 

Natural Path Botanicals currently has five employees, according to Franges, two of whom live in Hayden. 

“We have the opportunity to see this company grow, and we want to see them grow in Hayden,” Mendisco said. 

Twentymile Mine to be part of new joint venture between nation’s largest coal companies

In an effort to make coal more competitive against natural gas and renewable energy sources, two of the nation’s largest coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, have announced that they plan to combine assets in Colorado and Wyoming. Routt County’s Twentymile Mine would be managed under the new joint venture.

In a news release Wednesday, Peabody announced the companies had entered into a joint-venture agreement to combine their properties in Colorado and the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming.

The agreement is not finalized and must have approval from antitrust regulators. The companies will operate independently as they are now until the transaction closes.

“For Peabody, the creation of the joint venture is a clear demonstration of the company’s U.S. thermal strategy to optimize our lowest-cost, highest-margin operations in a low-capital fashion to maximize cash generation,” Peabody President and CEO Glenn Kellow said in the release. “The transaction fully aligns with our stated investment filters, further enhances our financial strength and enables continued commitment to our shareholder return program, in which we are committed to returning an amount greater than our free cash flows to shareholders in 2019.” 

Local impacts

In the news release, the companies said the joint venture aims to strengthen “the competitiveness of coal against natural gas and renewables while creating substantial value for customers and shareholders.”

Colorado mines that plan to operate under the new structure include Twentymile, owned by Peabody, and the West Elk Mine in Gunnison County, owned by Arch. 

“Arch is contributing its low-cost, higher-margin West Elk Mine that enhances Peabody’s Twentymile Mine in Colorado,” the release said.

Twentymile Coal powers Routt County, both in charging up the electric grid and in its tax revenues paid to the county, but it’s been impacted by economic hardships the coal industry has faced nationwide.

Twentymile supplies coal to Xcel Energy’s Hayden Station. The Yampa Valley Electric Association purchases 95% of its power from Xcel. But with Xcel’s announcement that it plans to produce “carbon-free” power to customers, the future of Hayden Station is unclear.  

Production at Twentymile has seen a steady decrease over the past five years, both in how many tons of coal it produces and the number of employees working at the mine. Once the county’s biggest taxpayer, Peabody Energy was the county’s fourth-largest taxpayer last year, behind Xcel, Union Pacific and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

The mine produced 3,049,509 tons of coal in 2018, according to the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety.

Both Peabody and Arch declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016, before exiting bankruptcy in 2017 and later in 2016, respectively.

In Wyoming, the plan would combine the nation’s two largest coal mines, in terms of tons of coal produced, into one operation. The companies said Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine and Arch’s neighboring Black Thunder Mine would be operated as a single, lower-cost complex.

Other mines included in the joint venture include Peabody’s Caballo and Rawhide mines and Arch’s Coal Creek Mine, all in Wyoming.

Peabody spokesperson Charlene Murdock told the Casper Star-Tribune the anticipated cost savings will come from reduced overhead, not reduced staff.

“All things being equal, we expect the hourly workforce to remain constant and only possibly minor changes in the salaried staffing levels,” Murdock said to the Star-Tribune. “Potential opportunities outside of the joint venture may also open up for employees once the agreement is finalized. The fact is, both companies have talented workforces, and we will work to preserve that pool.”

The news of joint venture comes on the heels of the announcement that the Trump administration will replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with regulations that will allow states to decide whether to require efficiency upgrades at existing coal plants.

Structure of the joint venture

Peabody will own 65% of the new joint venture, and Arch will own 33.5%. The companies will share profits, capital requirements and cash distributions in proportion to ownership. A five-member board made up of three Peabody appointees and two Arch appointees will govern the new joint venture. 

Peabody will operate the venture and manage all activities, including marketing the coal, according to the release.

The companies expect the joint venture to save them $120 million annually for the next 10 years.

According to the news release, in addition to cost savings, the companies expect the the joint venture to allow for:

  • “Optimization of mine planning, sequencing and accessing otherwise isolated reserves;
  • Improved efficiencies in deployment of the combined equipment fleet;
  • More efficient procurement and warehousing;
  • Enhanced blending capabilities to more closely meet customer requirements;
  • Improved utilization of the combined rail loadout system and other rail efficiencies;
  • Reductions in long-term capital requirements; and
  • Leveraging Peabody’s shared services.”

In a conference call Wednesday, CEOs of both companies said that it is unclear when the agreement will be finalized, reports the Star-Tribune. Kellow said in the call that the transaction still faces regulatory approval and expects a “multi-month process” before it closes. Regulators will review the transaction under U.S. antitrust laws.

“The transaction will require clearance under the U.S. Antitrust Laws and certain jurisdictions outside of the United States,” Kellow said on the call, the Star-Tribune reports. “However, we believe the case for customers is compelling. The landscape of U.S. energy production has changed while the nature of coal production has not. Coal is not just competing against coal — it’s competing against natural gas and renewables. The announcement of the joint venture occurs as thermal coal industry conditions has been challenged by increased competition in the face of inexpensive natural gas from shale production, growing build-out of subsidized renewable energy capacity, coal plant retirements, strict regulations and limited power demand growth.”

Proposed treatment center at Moffat County School District Yampa Building expected to attract out-of-town patients

Memorial Regional Health’s proposed substance abuse treatment center would draw patients to Craig from other parts of the state, according to email correspondence about the project.

A new MRH-backed treatment facility called Providence Recovery Services of Colorado, will move into the almost 100-year-old building located at 755 Yampa Ave. if the Moffat County School District Board of Education follows through on a proposal to donate the building to MRH the green light at the board’s Thursday, June 20 meeting.

On May 15, Marlin Eckhoff, Craig and Moffat County regional building official, emailed Donald James “Jim” Blackwood, an administrator for Sunflower Management Group, one of three out-of-state private partners planning to guide the treatment center from an idea to reality, regarding questions the Planning & Zoning department had yet to have answered.

“It says that the facility will “primarily” serve NW Colorado, approximately what percentage of the participants are expected to be from out of town?” asked Eckhoff. 

On May 18, Blackwood responded that the answer is “hard to project.”

Treatment CDP 061919 1 by Andy T Bockelman on Scribd

“Initially, 100 percent will be within an hour or two driving distance from Craig,” Blackwood said. “The number of patients from out of town will increase once the sober living component is fully operational. Of 40 potential patients living in sober living, we believe 50 percent will be from a distance further than an hour or two drive, and hence need living accommodations, which the sober living component provides.”

Eckhoff asked if participants are charged a fee for the sober living rooms, if the rooms excluded children, where the clients will live when they are off-site, and if there is any transportation that will be provided for off-site clients.

The sober living rooms will cost $750 a month, Blackwood said, a cost “typically paid out of pocket by the patient, not paid by insurance.”

Children and spouses will not be allowed to live in sober living residences, he answered. The $750-a-month sober living residences “will likely be a requirement for admission to the program” for patients coming from out of town and those who have been in recovery for only a short time, according to Blackwood. 

Transportation within an hour or two drive would be available through Providence Recovery Services of Colorado, he said. SMG is working on obtaining grant funding for peer recovery coaches to provide rides in their personal vehicles, he said.

Providing the building transfer continues, the treatment center is slated to open this summer, according to a two-page overview of the facility. Providence would provide an “intensive outpatient program,” three hours a day for three days a week; a “partial hospitalization program,” described as six hours a day for five days a week; medication assisted treatment; telemedicine; a “wilderness component,” and “Sober Living” dorm areas to accommodate a maximum of 20 men and 20 women, according to the document. 

In an April 29 email to Moffat County commissioners, Eckhoff described comments he’s received from “several people” regarding the zoning of the treatment center.

“All occupants will be allowed to come and go as they please, and the dorm rooms will be similar to a boarding house where they share facilities,” he wrote. “While we do not have any designation for ‘Rehab Facility’ in our Land Use Code, I believe the proposed use would be classified as a ‘Convalescent Center,’ which according to the sections I attached is a permitted use in this zone. I have done some research and have found that many of these facilities are in residential areas of other municipalities.”

Treatment CDP 061919 3 by Andy T Bockelman on Scribd

Eckhoff commented further on the project stating that the treatment center would be “an allowed use,” with which he believed planning and zoning officials would concur.

Treatment CDP 061919 4 by on Scribd

“The ones I spoke to there at one of the planning and zoning meetings at this time, regardless of their personal feeling about whether it’s a great location, they agreed that that is what that should be labeled as and that it would be a permitted use in that zone,” he said. “From everything we’ve come up with so far it does meet the zoning requirements of mixed-use as far as I’m concerned.”

Treatment CDP 061919 5 by on Scribd

MRH CEO Andy Daniels said he “has no further comment about this topic at this time.”

The Board of Education will decide on the proposal to donate the Yampa Building to Memorial Regional Hospital in exchange for a discount on health-related services over the next three years.

The next public BOE workshop and regular meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 20 at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

Murdoch’s donates to Memorial Regional Health’s newest building

The Memorial Regional Health Foundation received an extra boost in its campaign to raise $1 million in community donations to help fund the completion of MRH’s newest medical office building. 

Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply donated $2,500 to the foundation, a move which strays from the company’s typical agriculture-related philanthropy. 

“We are at $901,000 right now from donations from corporations like Murdoch’s, but I have to say we feel very honored to receive this donation from Murdoch’s because this is kind of beyond their funding priorities,” MRH Foundation Director Eva Peroulis said. 

Local Murdoch’s manager Lee Anne Schmid presented a check on behalf of Murdoch’s to MRH CEO Andy Daniels, Peroulis and MRH Foundation Vice President Ashley Kawcak Wednesday. 

“Murdoch’s feels like health care in a small community like Craig is important, and they want to see it grow,” Schmid said. 

Peroulis is still accepting new campaign donations.

“The building is going to be done on August 30 so we still have a few more months to reach our goal,” she said. 

When completed, the new medical office will house MRH’s physical therapy department, a pharmacy with a drive-through window, an infusion clinic, orthopedic surgeons, primary care physicians and administrative staff. 

Those who donate to the foundation’s campaign will receive an engraved leaf to be added to a donor recognition wall once the project is complete. 

For more information, contact Eva Peroulis at 970-826-2424 or email eva.peroulis@memorialrh.org.

Q&A with Jeremy Behling, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 7

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?

A. As a commercial lender for nearly 10 years and an owner of several small businesses in Steamboat Springs, I have an extensive understanding of fiscal responsibility and how to strategically advance an organization. Understanding how to succeed in free market enterprise has proven to be valuable in my nonprofit work. Over the last 10 years, I have participated on several nonprofit boards, serving in many capacities, from at-large board member to treasurer and board chairman. During this service, I received formal training in nonprofit financial management, governance, strategic planning and development. Understanding the role of the board versus the  role of the CEO or president of a nonprofit organization is crucial. If elected, I will continue to grow, learn and improve my ability to represent the interests of our local communities.

Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?

A. The Yampa Valley is a special place. Routt and Moffat counties have amazing history. Many great people have laid the groundwork to provide the next generation better opportunities to live and raise families here. I want to serve on the YVEA board because of the work that has been done before me to build our communities into what they are today. Be it as a board member of YVEA or the owner of small businesses or teaching my kids, I believe that it is my responsibility to give back to our community and bring positive growth that will  provide the next generation to come even more opportunities to grow and succeed in our wonderful valley.

Q. What are your goals for YVEA?

A. I have five major goals for YVEA.

  1. Improve strategic planning and governance of  YVEA.
  2. Develop new revenue opportunities for YVEA that will allow for lower costs to all members. Providing high speed broadband internet to all members of our community is a real possibility through YVEA.
  3. Keeping our electric cost as low as possible while ensuring that YVEA remains fiscally solvent. 
  4. Drive accountability through thoughtful policy adoption that will provide a more consistent customer experience for the benefit of our members.
  5. Understanding what our communities need and want from YVEA and working to make them realities.

Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?

A. I believe that the goal for YVEA in our community is one of support and collaboration. As a member-owned utility, YVEA’s main purpose is to ensure that our community has affordable, reliable energy. YVEA is in a unique position to not only provide a large number of high paying jobs to our community but also has the ability to positively impact other industries and their ability to create jobs and grow our community. I believe that YVEA should have a goal of finding solutions to energy issues that will enhance our communities ability to grow wisely over the next several decades. Election information

Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?

A. The only constant in our lives is change. The future of energy in the Yampa Valley is on the precipice. Whether we are ready for it or not, the landscape of energy production and emissions is coming. Both state and federal legislature are working toward reducing emissions and decreasing the use of nonrenewable energy. If we are not preparing for these changes, they will have dramatic negative impact on the communities of Routt and Moffat counties. As a member of the YVEA board, I would like to champion a progressive approach to creating job opportunities within the new energy production landscape. YVEA needs to blend our economic need for our coal mines and power plants with the new opportunities that lie within the renewable energy sector. This needs to be done with the primary goal of providing affordable energy to our members, while at a minimum, maintaining jobs.

Q&A with Sonja Macys, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board of directors, District 7

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?

A. Here in the Yampa Valley, I have held positions of leadership and consistently demonstrated my commitment to fiscal responsibility, transparency, good governance and local control. I’ve worked for constituents, developed policy and balanced capital and operating budgets. I have nearly a decade of broad-based experience with energy issues in the YVEA service territory, and I understand the role of the YVEA board in setting policy and providing direction for the cooperative. Having served as a member of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado from 2011 to 2013 and having interacted with elected officials from the communities of our coal-based economy, I understand the tension and angst that exists due to energy industry changes. My experience with energy and public policy has prepared me to help YVEA negotiate the changing world of energy, while also preserving jobs and the tax revenues that local governments and schools receive from the energy industry.

Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?

A. I believe that my deep interest in energy issues, familiarity with the regulatory landscape and commitment to supporting good jobs and economic prosperity make me the right choice for the YVEA board. I have been interested in the YVEA board since I started to attend their meetings nearly 10 years ago, but until now, I have not had the time to fully dedicate myself to this important position. I have previously worked with YVEA by (1) helping to develop a rebate program — Cen$ible Energy — that rewards YVEA members who opt for energy efficiency in their homes and (2) promoting YVEA’s first solar garden, located in Craig. Over the past decade, I have been a part of YVEA’s growth and change. I am uniquely positioned to help YVEA meet member needs and keep pace with consumer choice as YVEA navigates Colorado’s newly set goals for greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy.

Q. What are your goals for YVEA?

A. My goal is to build a path to fiscally-responsible, locally-controlled, 21st century energy.

  • Fiscally-responsible: We must balance operational spending with appropriate capital investment, particularly in our aging infrastructure, to guarantee reliability.  
  • Locally-controlled: Since 1940, YVEA has forged its own path to safe, reliable, low-cost energy. YVEA must continue drive its own future and be decisive about how the cooperative wants to grow and invest in new energy opportunities. This is particularly important given recent changes in greenhouse gas emission and renewable energy targets from the state legislature.    
  • 21st century energy: We assume that when we flip a switch the lights will come on, and they almost always do. We don’t have that same reliability, or even access, with broadband across our communities. I will support YVEA’s efforts to provide all members access to high quality broadband, which is becoming a part of how we define energy. 

Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?

A. First, YVEA must deliver on its mission of providing safe, affordable, reliable power and efficient energy services to members. To do that, it must be the best employer it can be. YVEA employees are on the front lines of service delivery. YVEA is, and should remain, a good neighbor to its communities. “Operation Round-Up,” where members can round their bill up and donate to worthy nonprofits, is a great example of YVEA implementing the principle on which electric cooperatives were built: neighbor helping neighbor. Lastly, YVEA can be a positive part of community development. In Steamboat Springs, as downtown grew to become more pedestrian-friendly, YVEA sold its historic office building and made room for that local vision. Last month, the renovated building won a State Honor Award from Colorado Preservation, Inc. As a director, I will seek out these types of win-win opportunities across the entire YVEA service area.      Election information

Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?

A. Energy use and sourcing desires nationally — and in the Yampa Valley — are changing quickly. Some communities are interested in distributed generation using renewable energy sources, which may be an opportunity for YVEA. And generating power in locations throughout the grid can provide increased energy security and help with job creation in the energy industry. Fun fact: the renewable energy industry supports more jobs than the ski industry in Colorado. Also, there is a growing trend towards electric vehicles. In my first term on Steamboat Springs City Council, we installed the city’s first EV-charging station with an eye toward connectivity between Steamboat and the Front Range. That vision is now becoming reality. As more companies look to fleet conversion, EVs may present a revenue-generating opportunity for YVEA. Since most EV charging occurs at homes, they draw electricity from the grid at night, removing pressure — and lowering YVEA costs — during peak-load times.     

Q&A with Frank Roitsch, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 5

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?

A. Twenty-seven years of managing various coal-fired power plants, including Hayden Station, qualifies me to be on the boards of Yampa Valley Electric Association and Luminate Broadband. This career caused me to learn how to manage $20-plus million budgets, work with 100-plus employees and to solve problems. I am a mechanical engineer.

Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?

A. I’ve run for the board to share expertise gained in management of large electric-generating stations. Many of the issues and equipment are similar to those at YVEA.

Q. What are your goals for YVEA?

A. My goals for YVEA are to provide reliable, low-cost, clean electricity and quality broadband to our owner-members. Also, excellent jobs for our employees.

Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?

A. I see YVEA’s goal as being an excellent corporate citizen with friendly employees while providing reliable, reasonably-priced electricity and broadband.

Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?

A. The need for electricity will continue to grow. The sources of energy will gradually change from coal to solar, wind and combined cycle gas turbines.

Q&A with Patrick Delaney, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 5

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?

A. I am a long-time resident of Routt County who is a business owner and involved community volunteer.  I have extensive experience in customer service, leadership, management, strategic planning, budgeting and project management. At Resort Lodging Company, I work with 55 individual board members overseeing 11 different communities on a daily basis and understand what members require of those who represent them. At Wild Goose Coffee at the Hayden Granary, I interact with members of and visitors to our community on a daily basis over good coffee and lovingly prepared food. I am interested in the business of the distribution of electricity and broadband and, if elected, look forward to contributing to this successful organization.

Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?

A. I recognize that most of us take it for granted that we can flick on a switch and have light and heat in our homes. I am excited about the future of local energy distribution and look forward to helping guide our cooperative in the quest to provide affordable, clean, locally generated power and efficient affordable broadband. YVEA has excellent management and staff who do a great job overseeing the day-to-day operations. Board members need to be focused on strategic planning and ensuring that the future of the organization is strong. For example, with new low carbon emission requirements, how can we work within our existing contract limitations to meet new standards while keeping electricity affordable and local? This is a challenge I look forward to helping solve.

Q. What are your goals for YVEA?

A. • Involvement by the owner members: Our electric cooperative has approximately 28,000 members. This is an incredible community of knowledge and wisdom. How can we engage this wisdom for the benefit of our community?

  • More transparency and availability: Most people cannot attend a day-long board meeting on a Tuesday in Steamboat Springs. If you want a voice or if you are interested in the oversight of our cooperative, how can you participate?
  • Continuation of affordable, local, clean, safe power: The next 20 years will be incredibly exciting as we transition to a renewable energy economy. While many factors will be out of the control of YVEA, we will need to do our part to thread the needle and continue to provide affordable, locally produced clean energy.
  • Engagement with community in economic development through broadband and facilitation of funding sources.
  • Growing our electric and broadband cooperative into an organization that continues to reflect the community it serves.

Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?

A. As a cooperative, YVEA’s mission is to provide value to its member owners by providing safe and reliable electric service in an environmentally and financially responsible manner. The good people who work for this organization are passionate about serving the community and improving the business. They work to ensure that our electricity — and soon broadband — remains consistent and affordable to all the members served. We need to make certain that the infrastructure that delivers power throughout our communities is robust and that the source of energy delivered is stable and secure. I know YVEA also takes pride in ensuring that much of the power delivered to members is generated locally.  Election information

Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?

A. Reliance on coal for electrical energy production and economic vitality is changing dramatically. We need multiple sources of energy production to ensure cost-effective and environmentally responsible energy production. The economics of cleaner energy are becoming a reality. I am participating in our local solar cooperative because the economics work. Locally produced and stored energy makes sense. Local coal burned in state of the art plant has to be part of the solution for the time being. Our community will need to work with developers and individuals to establish sufficient solar and other clean energy resources. YVEA will play a huge role in sorting through solutions that are strong, reliable, affordable and unique to our community.

Q & A with Chuck Grobe, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 4

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?

A. My qualifications to serve on the YVEA board include 41 years in the electrical field, almost 30 years of elected public service in the Yampa Valley and my current appointment to the Air Quality Commission for the state of Colorado. I am a forward thinker and problem solver. I have dealt with budgets both in business and government. I am known for listening to my constituents and following through on their concerns. I believe I can be a valued asset to YVEA.

Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?

A. I care about the community and the members and want to give them the best service possible. With my background in the electrical field, I believe I can help YVEA move forward with the new energy requirements and the changing electrical supply issues with common sense.

Q. What are your goals for YVEA?

A. Challenging times are ahead with clean air regulations and Gov. Jared Polis’ dedication to 100% renewable electricity by 2040. My goals are to see reliability, low cost and the best service possible continue for our members.  As we are moving forward in broadband — to get all the members connected who desire broadband in their homes — at a reasonable price.

Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?

A. YVEA’s goal should be to give the members the best electrical service for the dollar. They should be educating members on what is trying to be done and what direction the board is taking and any changes being made. Input from members is vital to making these changes. Also promoting and supporting any and all energy saving ideas.

Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?

A. We should be incorporating all forms of electricity to keep electricity as reliable and inexpensive as possible. We need to be looking at all technologies that are available to us as they exist today and what will be developed in the future. Nothing should be off the table to make sure that the members have the best service available while minimizing outages.

Q & A with Dean Brosious, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 4

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?

A. I have served on the YVEA board for the last 15 years. Seven of those years were as chairman of the YVEA board. I have obtained the Credentialed Co-op Director Certification, Board Leadership Certification and Director Gold Certification from the National Rural Electric Association. With an undergraduate degree in business and economics and a graduate degree in banking, as well as a history of owning and managing businesses, I feel I have the appropriate background to develop the vision and direction that the board should provide for YVEA. 

Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?

A. I would like to finish the job at hand: to continue the transformation and development of an electric co-op that was stuck in the 1950s, with an aging infrastructure, into a vibrant business that addresses the energy needs of its member owners. YVEA needs to be an energy resource partner for our member owners, not just an electrical distribution co-op.

Q. What are your goals for YVEA?

A. We need to develop YVEA into an energy resource partner for our member owners. As the energy landscape continues to change, it is imperative that YVEA becomes a resource partner for our member owners to use. Further, we need to continue the build out of our Luminate Broadband partner. Continued economic prosperity in the Yampa Valley is tied to being able to communicate with infrastructure. YVEA needs to be a partner in meeting the needs of its member owners.

Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?

A. YVEA needs to become a premier and dynamic employer and business partner in each of the communities that we serve. The days of just being “the electric company” are over. We need to continue to evolve and participate in the development of vision and direction for the entire Yampa Valley. Election information

Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?

A. I believe that the future of energy in the Yampa Valley will undergo dramatic change in the next few years. The conversion from coal-based generation to alternative energy sources will provide huge challenges for YVEA. YVEA is currently held captive with an all-inclusive contract with Xcel Energy. The contract has an expiration date of 2042, but we can start to ramp out of the contract in the next few years. We need to begin to develop partnerships with local alternative energy resource providers to generate power locally and to take control of our own destiny. Technology is ever changing and being tied to a single power provider is a thing of the past. YVEA must move rapidly into the future or be left behind.