Government lobby group sets meeting, planning in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Government lobby group sets meeting, planning in Craig

Tyler Baskfield

The Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC) will hold its board of directors meeting at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 7 in the Moffat County Courthouse.

The focus of the meeting will be a discussion of the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program. AGNC wants to see jurisdiction not be used as prioritizing criteria when grant money is being issued. The way the program is now, if both Moffat County and Craig apply for grants from the program one of the two would automatically be made a lower priority since both groups requesting the grants are in the same jurisdiction.

AGNC has been attempting to change this rule and has been unsuccessful. The group will examine other ways to get this rule changed at the meeting in Craig.

The board will also examine the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program (UMTRA) this federal program has payed for 90 percent of the clean up from uranium mines in Northwest Colorado to the tune of $700 million. There are still a few sites that need more clean up, according to Jim Evens, AGNC board member.

“They left a few loose ends,” said Evens. “The horse corral at the Moffat County Fairgrounds is one of them. We’re debating where to get the fund to continue the clean up.”

The corral at the Moffat County Fairgrounds is made from beams containing uranium. While it doesn’t pose a risk to users of the corral unless the beams would somehow be ingested, Moffat County does want to see it cleaned up. The process is expensive and the county would like help with funding the process. A possible solution the AGNC board is looking at is a Post UMTRA trust fund.

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The board will also outline the issues that will take main stage for the group in 2000. State issues will include the highway transportation issue, electrical deregulation, tourism funding, coal issues, air quality, oil and gas issues, land use and growth issues, area agency on aging funding and tax policy issues.

Federal issues the board will focus on in the 2000 include the Bureau of Land Management wilderness issue, federal oil royalty regulations, endangered species reauthorization and welfare reform surplus issues.

According to Evens the AGNC board wants to examine how it can best continue looking out for the interests of Northwest Colorado into the year 2000.

“We want to look at state and federal programs that affect the whole region from a local level,” said Evens. “We want to continue to perform our watchdog role for the cities and counties of Northwest Colorado.”