Rep. Bob Rankin visits Craig, appears at commissioners’ meeting | CraigDailyPress.com

Rep. Bob Rankin visits Craig, appears at commissioners’ meeting

Janelle O'Dea

Republican Rep. Bob Rankin shakes Craig native Pat Pearce's hand as she walks into Rankin's town-hall style meeting on Monday night at The Memorial Hospital.

Republican Rep. Bob Rankin was in Craig early this week, speaking to constituents about his first term in the Legislature and other issues that Moffat County currently faces.

Rankin is up for re-election as a House representative in District 57, representing Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. He's coming off of his first four-year term as a lawmaker.

Moffat County Commissioner action items

Commissioners approved:

■ Five new fair board seats, 3-0

■ Rep. Rankin’s proposed resolution about the Roan Plateau settlement, 3-0

■ The monthly treasurer’s report, 3-0

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He kicked off his Craig visit at The Memorial Hospital on Monday night, speaking to a group of roughly 15 people about public land, the oil and gas task force and education funding.

"The most important thing to me for Western Colorado is our relationship to the federal government and the management of public lands," Rankin said.

Additionally, Rankin is excited for the possibility of a Republican-controlled state Senate.

"Life will be totally different if we can actually control money with some balance," he said.

Yet, not everyone in the county agrees with that statement.

"We're not going to have balance until we have equal representation and we sure … don't have that on the West Slope," said Lois Wymore, a Craig resident and Democratic Party member.

On Tuesday morning, Rankin attended the Moffat County commissioner meeting to present a resolution regarding the Roan Plateau and its mineral leases.

A settlement is in the works that would allow the top part of the plateau to be preserved while allowing for drilling of the land underneath. This settlement would require that the companies holding leases be reimbursed for any lost funds.

"Original payment of loan was $114 million," Rankin said. "Because the leases are canceled, the state became liable for $23 million to pay back to the companies involved in the leases."

Rankin wants to be sure that the state does not come back to the counties for the money. The resolution presented at the meeting assures the counties will be "held harmless," or will not be responsible for paying the money back.

"There's a bigger argument that says we the counties in Western Colorado didn't make this deal, this is between the federal government and we shouldn't be punished because the federal government caves into the environmentalists," Rankin said.

Commissioners approved Rankin's resolution, supporting an opportunity for the settlement of the Roan Plateau that will hold the counties harmless.

Rankin expressed his desire Monday night and Tuesday morning to appoint an official in the state government to represent rural and Western Colorado.

Contact Janelle O'Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@craigdailypress.com.

Moffat County Commissioner action items

Commissioners approved:

■ Five new fair board seats, 3-0

■ Rep. Rankin’s proposed resolution about the Roan Plateau settlement, 3-0

■ The monthly treasurer’s report, 3-0