Battlement Mesa puts incorporation into consideration |

Battlement Mesa puts incorporation into consideration

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

For the second time in about 15 years, the community of Battlement Mesa is thinking about incorporating.

If it happens, the change would transform it from a collection of homes and a few businesses under county jurisdiction, to a municipality with its own governmental powers.

The issue is to be discussed before the Garfield County commissioners at a regular meeting on July 6 (not on July 5 because of the July Fourth holiday).

Keith Lammey, president of the Battlement Mesa Services Association, said the BMSA board of directors is looking at incorporation as a continuation of an effort the started back in 1993, when the community was only 12 years old.

That effort, which was undertaken with the help of Garfield County and the town of Parachute, led to the conclusion that there was not a sufficient tax base to warrant incorporation, Lammey said, recalling the gist of a report that was issued by the committee working on the 1993 study.

But the committee also recommended that the issue be “revisited every 10 or 15 years or so,” Lammey noted, to see if changes in circumstances might mean incorporation would be a good idea.

Although he is in favor of the study, Lammey conceded that some may not feel the same.

For example, he said, there are large portions of the 3,300-acre Battlement Mesa Planned Unit Development, created in 1981 as housing for workers in the short-lived oil shale boom, that remain undeveloped, but controlled by a development company.

“It might negatively affect them,” he said of incorporation.

So, Lammey continued, “I believe that, if this study moves forward, even if [the study showed incorporation] would work for us as a community, there are a number of other issues we would have to evaluate. I know people have concerns. Even if we can afford it, is it the right thing to do?”

Two firms, Winston Associates and BBC Research and Consulting, have offered to conduct a financial impact and economic feasibility study, at a cost of up to $35,500.

Planner Tamra Allen, in a letter to the Board of County Commissioners, recommended that the two companies be hired without the usual bidding process, because they already are familiar with the county due to previous work on the county’s revisions to its comprehensive plan.

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