Garfield County commissioners approve County Road 204 contract
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Garfield County commissioners on Monday signed off on a move to approve a $21.4 million contract to rebuild County Road 204 north of DeBeque. The commissioners’ vote comes after Chevron received a $25 million letter of credit from J.P. Morgan Chase last week. That letter of credit would assure the county there is money for the project should the company default.Commissioners were expected to sign off on the contract to rebuild the road earlier this month, but that was delayed when Wachovia, the first bank Chevron approached for the letter of credit, told the company it had frozen all unissued lines of credit and the letter would not come. Wachovia suffered a $5 billion run on deposits last month and is in the process of being acquired by Wells Fargo.That letter of credit was part of an agreement the county and Chevron reached that calls for the company to put up $25 million to help reconstruct CR 204. The county will contribute $3 million toward the rebuilding of the road, with half of that total coming from a Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant.Trsi Houpt, a Democrat, was not present at the Monday meeting because of her duties on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She has voted against the county’s agreement with Chevron because of a clause that says the county would support the company’s move to apply for a severance tax credit from the project. Those credits would reduce the company’s severance tax bill.Other local Democrats worry the county may lose potential severance tax dollars and grant funding because of the county’s support of a tax credit for Chevron.
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