Moffat County Commissioners discuss comings and goings

On Sept. 26, Moffat County Commissioners approved two appointments to local boards.

Marshelle Gray was appointed to the Local Marketing District Board, and Kymm Gressett was appointed to the Government Alternate seat on the Land Use Board.

Commissioner Melody Villard commended the board appointees.

“It’s good when we can get people who will participate and be actively involved in their communities,” Villard said.

Rachel Bower of the county’s human resources department also presented two potential employment offers for the open positions of facility maintenance director and the director of Development Services.

Commissioner Tony Bohrer touched on the lengthy vetting process for both positions as he explained that rather than relying solely on the decision-making of county commissioners who “come and go” with each term, the board decided to include more permanent department heads in the hiring process as well, which led to a longer hiring process as applicants moved through successive rounds of vetting from multiple parties.

During a public hearing, the board received an update on the mandated redrawing of the commissioners’ districts. The new map balances the districts and brings the previous 12.77% population deviation down to approximately 4% and within compliance. The updated map was approved.

In other business, RWE Senior Vice President Tom Sweeney appeared before the board via Zoom. Sweeney requested the commissioners’ signatures on a letter of support for the funding of a small modular reactor feasibility study.

Sweeney discussed the potential study, saying that as the name suggests, the overall purpose of the study is to determine whether Moffat County is a feasible location for a small modular reactor. Sweeney said the study would also address the feasibility of repurposing existing infrastructure in the county for that purpose.

The study will be modified slightly and also include a “preliminary assessment about potentially producing hydrogen and/or ammonia as a byproduct from an SMR installation,” Sweeney said.

The adjusted study should be submitted in early October, and final word on approval is projected for December. If approved, the study would take approximately a year to complete.

Regarding the timeline, Sweeney noted that it can seem like “a long process to go through an evaluation and potentially end up with SMR … this is a first step.”

Before adjourning, commissioners took a moment to “give honor where honor is due,” as Commissioner Bohrer put it.

Addressing out-going Director of Development Services Roy Tipton and remarking on the likelihood of it being his last attendance at a Moffat County commissioner meeting, Bohrer reiterated his comments from the recent courthouse dedication ceremony, that “not many people that come into a position and leave their fingerprints in a community, and I think you can look over multiple, multiple areas in our community and see the fingerprints of Roy Tipton.”

Commissioners shared their gratitude for Tipton’s years of service to Moffat County and its people, and wished him well on his future endeavors.

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