Moffat County commissioner Sept. 30 meeting recap | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County commissioner Sept. 30 meeting recap

Janelle O'Dea

Tuesday morning’s Moffat County commissioner meeting began after Moffat County Courthouse staff took care of an unusual and rather unwelcome visitor — a rat. The pesky visitor gave new meaning to the term “pack rat,” after staff discovered the rat’s pile of candy hidden away.

After the pursuit and capture of the candy-loving rat, commissioners assumed business as usual.

Commissioner John Kinkaid was absent from the Sept. 30 meeting.

During general discussion, Commissioners Tom Mathers and Chuck Grobe discussed:

Grobe made clear the county's awareness of flooding roads.

"We're on top of it; we're trying to take care of them as we hear about them," Grobe said.

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"We think we've got a lot of moisture, but we're still down for the year," Mathers said.

Commissioners also discussed the possibility of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designating the yellow-billed cuckoo's habitat as critical.

The comment period for the yellow-billed cuckoo is open until Oct. 14.

Action items:

Commissioners approved, 2-0, two library assistant positions, a social services staff assistant and a master control operator position.

They also approved an oil and gas lease with Southwestern Energy. The lease amounts to $110,000, and Natural Resources Director Jeff Comstock said more than $60,000 will go to Moffat County schools.

"The school district is always the biggest benefactor of our leases," Comstock said.

Commissioners also approved an application for a $10,000 grant that will fund an environmental assessment study on part of the Shadow Mountain construction area.

In order to use loans provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, the environmental assessment is required. The loan money comes through the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority but originates from the EPA.

"This is completely unnecessary, when you talk about a waste of taxpayer money," said Roy Tipton, director of Moffat County development services. "It's already been dug up once and if there's anything there, it's already been disturbed. But this is federal money and federal rules."