Patrick D. Calicura: More implications than whether to drill in area
This letter is in regard to the recent “hullabaloo” concerning the Vermillion Basin and its drainage. The upper portion of this area was explored and drilled in the mid-1930s and later on including present date.
The actual question is about the wilderness designation that BLM has suggested. This has far greater implications than just to drill or not to drill. It deals with an area that is very fragile.
I understand that we as a society are addicted to fossil fuels, but I also understand that there must be a balance of man and nature, not a free-for-all.
I commend Gov. Ritter and his group for conducting their own tour of the area and the BLM for their view of the area as one that deserves protection.
From the response of the commissioners, it is evident that they had a different tour and agenda in mind for the governor and his group.
My wife and I got a particular chuckle out of the “birds in the tall grass along the road” statement. Perhaps Department of Wildlife or local experts might shed some actual facts on this subject.
The other subject to be addressed in this letter is the mill levy question about the new hospital and the commissioners’ statement to put it on the ballot until it passes.
Our property taxes have increased 400 percent in the past 10 years. I suspect we are not alone on the new and improved property values.
Moffat County has enjoyed real prosperity in the past few years concerning new construction, i.e. residences and businesses, yet again the taxpayer is expected to pick up the tab on another “field-of-dreams.”
Perhaps it is time for the taxpayers to circulate a petition to freeze property taxes and force the ability of the municipal governments to borrow bond money. This has been done in other states.
I read an interview last spring in the paper concerning the windfall of tax money Moffat County and the county schools received for the recent oil and gas leases, yet the mill question arises for a new school.
As to the new hospital, the ballot question should have come prior to the work starting. Either you can afford it or you can’t.
In closing, my wife and I have ridden horses on more public and private grounds in Moffat County than most folks know exist. The public portion needs to remain at present or completely unspoiled.
In so doing, we will leave a glimpse of what the country actually looked like instead of a picture of a man’s greed for wealth.
Our elected officials and employees are charged with the task of protecting taxpayers and land and actually work for us.
It is time for the public to speak up at the ballot box and anytime our concerns are ignored.
Patrick D. Calicura
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