Moffat County commissioners Aug. 26 meeting recap: Elkhead Reservoir fish could be poisoned | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County commissioners Aug. 26 meeting recap: Elkhead Reservoir fish could be poisoned

Noelle Leavitt Riley

From left, Moffat County Commissioners Chuck Grobe, John Kinkaid and Tom Mathers.

At their regular weekly meeting Tuesday, Moffat County commissioners:

• Approved the consent agenda, 3-0.

• General discussion:

— Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe talked about a potential path along the Yampa River from the golf course to Loudy-Simpson Park with possible access for fishing. He said that he, John Husband and Terry Carwile are looking into the feasibility right now.

— Burt Clements discussed how the Colorado River District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife are looking at poisoning the fish at Elkhead and draining the reservoir in order to protect four endangered fish, including the bonytail, humpback chub, razorback sucker and Colorado pikeminnow.

"We got a concern over at Elkhead Reservoir," Clements told the commissioners. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife, now they're wanting to drain the Elkhead Reservoir and poison it. They can't explain why their native species are disappearing."

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Clements wants to see the involved agencies put up a screen to keep the bass and pike from getting into the Yampa River from the spillway. Clements said the river district will hold a meeting around Sept. 5, and that the public and the press are not invited.

"They're trying to have meetings without the newspaper, radio and television," he said.

Many in the audience thought the meeting should be public.

"I would think if there's any public money involved the public has the right to be there," Lois Wymore said.

— Wymore highlighted that from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 20, the Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation will host a fundraiser at the college.

• Approved final payment to APH Construction for Road and Bridge Department's Great Divide Shop Project, 3-0.

• Approved Shadow Mountain Village Improvement Project change order for approval, 3-0.

• Heard from Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Dana Duran and Melody Villard, who said she was there as a citizen and not the director of the Moffat County Tourism Association, concerning the Luttrell Barn. Duran explained that a group got together and saw some great value in the barn. She proposed that the Boys & Girls Club would take care of the barn if the commissioners would provide the $100,000 the county has reserved to refurbish the facility. Duran said it could be used a teen center for middle school kids and maybe high schoolers.

"I think there's a need to serve middle schoolers more often. I'm just running out of space. I'm willing to take it over the daily operations and management," Duran said.

Grobe explained that the commissioners are willing to give $100,000 to the Luttrell Barn project, highlighting that the county doesn't have the money for the upkeep of the facility.

Duran and Villard said the $100,000 would get it to a useable space. The biggest concern is the roof that needs to be replaced, something that potentially could happen before winter. Additionally, bats live in the barn, and they need to be removed. Grobe said an outside contractor would need to certify the building as safe after the bats are removed.

"With the bat contamination, you have to make sure to get that cleaned up," Moffat County Director of Development Services Roy Tipton said.

The commissioners asked that Duran and the involved parties draft a Memorandum of Understanding so that the county can potentially move forward with the proposal.