CMC, SourceGas differ on need for facilitator |

CMC, SourceGas differ on need for facilitator

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SPRING VALLEY, Colorado – Talks are under way between Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and SourceGas, the area’s natural gas distributor, concerning the company’s controversial plans to install a mid-line compressor station on CMC property.

“We’ve been in touch with SourceGas,” said CMC public information officer Debra Crawford on Tuesday, noting that attorneys for the two entities have talked.

She said CMC has proposed hiring an independent facilitator to help the two sides sort out their differences.

But SourceGas spokeswoman Natalie Shelbourn said on Tuesday that the facilitator idea is not on the table and the utility has asked to meet directly with the CMC board of trustees.

“We’re not pursuing the facilitator concept at this time,” she said.

The CMC trustees announced May 3 that they had insufficient information to decide which of two proposed sites for the compressor station on CMC’s Spring Valley property would be acceptable to the school.

“We were very disappointed in the school’s decision,” Shelbourn said. “We are very concerned about the continuing delay.”

But, she added, “We are confident that we can work with CMC to come up with some kind of solution. We are evaluating what steps can be taken.”

CMC President Stan Jensen last year signed a 20-year lease for a five-acre compressor station site that is not within sight of the campus but is adjacent to the land of a neighboring rancher.

The facility is needed to boost pressure in the pipeline, which serves customers in the Roaring Fork River Valley as well as in the Eagle River valley, SourceGas representatives have said.

In March, the company won a recommendation from the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission for approval to build its facility at that original CMC site.

Later in March, however, neighbors of the school, as well as students and faculty, raised objections to having an industrial use on the school’s 688-acre campus. The land was donated in the 1970s by a group of ranchers eager to have a college in the area.

On March 29, in response to the outcry, the company put its application on hold, just before it was to go before the Garfield Board of County Commissioners for final consideration.

The company proposed a second site, not far from the first, but the CMC trustees have so far declined to approve that alternative.

Shelbourn said the company remains committed to its schedule of having the compressor station on line and operating in time for the 2013 winter heating season.

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