Moffat County Commissioner Sept. 16 meeting recap |

Moffat County Commissioner Sept. 16 meeting recap

Janelle O'Dea

At their weekly Tuesday meeting, Moffat County commissioners discussed and decided on the following topics:

During general discussion, the commissioners talked about:

Last week’s community meeting with Environmental Protection Agency representative Shaun McGrath: Audrey Danner, executive director of Craig and Moffat Economic Development Partnership, said, “We have our work cut out to tell our story and look to the future of coal development, and what will that look like? It may not look like it looked 20 years ago.”

Chairman Tom Mathers likened the Craig community’s feelings about the changes in the coal industry to feelings whalers had years ago when kerosene began lighting people’s lanterns.

“I know how we all feel about the coal market. But years and years ago when the whalers were out there and all of your kerosene lanterns were lit by whale oil, and all of a sudden kerosene came into the picture, do you suppose those whalers feel the same way we’re feeling about, ‘How can you take our industry away from us like this?’”

According to Craig City Council member Ray Beck’s “unofficial count,” 562 people attended the meeting at Moffat County High School with EPA Region 8 Administrator Shaun McGrath.

Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe serves on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Air Quality Control Commission. Grobe said the AQCC would work with the EPA to set the air quality standard for the state of Colorado.

The EPA’s open-comment period on standards for existing coal-fired power plants ends Dec. 1 (see cover).

Strengthening Economies Together: Danner introduced three guests, Pattie Snidow and Bob Koenen from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Peggy Schlechter from South Dakota State University’s extension office, who all work on the SET program, which focuses on strengthening regional rural economies.

The SET group focuses on areas of economic interest that stretch across county borders, including education, coal and energy, tourism and broadband.

Danner said the group met over the last 14 months to develop a regional economic plan and are now in the process of hearing comments from Craig and surrounding communities about the plan.

“What intrigued me about this area is that I thought probably I would find some similarities here compared to some of the regions I work with in South Dakota,” Schlechter said. “Plus, I could drive here, and it’s a beautiful place to come.”

Danner said the plan will be dynamic to the communities they developed it for.

Action items:

Maybell Store: Mary and Joe Schminkey bought the Maybell Store from Lynn Haskins. Commissioners approved a motion 3-0 to transfer the store’s liquor license to its new owners.

Youth Services Department: Commissioners approved a motion 3-0 to elect three new members to the 14th Judicial District Juvenile Services Planning Commission.

Browns Park School: Kathy Bower and Bill Leonard, who are brother and sister and both attended Browns Park School, proposed a plan to replace a rusty outside door at the school with a solid wood door. Commissioners approved a motion 3-0 to provide the Alumni Association with funds to replace the door.

Mathers said the Browns Park Alumni Association hasn’t used all of the $10,000 commissioners gave them to refurbish the school, but periodically returns to the commission to keep them abreast of developments with the project and ask for money out of that fund when necessary for improvements.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or

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