Letters to the Editor
Mr. Tom Beard, president and developer of the Battlement Mesa Co., has been quoted as saying our 20-year-old community has become a melting pot. While there is recent demographic truth in this observation, it papers over the commitment made to Garfield County that it was to be a “retirement and recreation” community. Given that Mr. Beard, nice gentleman that he is, cannot control emerging market forces, it is noted that he lives in South Canyon, far from the melting pot. The same is true of his superiors in Aspen and points east, and they profit mightily from the expansion and 100 percent rental of the RV park, the apartments, and modular homes at the south end of this beautiful location. The new demographic fact is that Battlement now numbers almost 5,000 residents.
Meanwhile, we are trying to limp along with a homeowners’ association form of local government in an atmosphere including a child’s fatal shooting, a pit bull mauling, a history of five fires caused by unsupervised children and traffic accidents. A homeowners’ association government is an anachronism and ineffective in a melting pot and is not receiving the energy impact revenue derived from oil and gas severance taxes levied against the energy companies. Why? Because we are not incorporated. Parachute received hundreds of thousands of dollars this years, based on an energy worker population less than half those in Battlement.
A “melting pot” deserves a police force, a municipal judge, a city council, a mayor and a set of ordinances. We have an unprecedented opportunity to have them with a minimal tax increase, if at all. I call on the Garfield County Commissioners to initiate a new incorporation study for Battlement Mesa.
Mary Ellen Denomy, Joan Savage’s “gas consultant,” in her lawsuit against Williams Production RMT, claims: “In the early ’90s, most of the time gas was sold at the well. Then the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission changed that and no longer can you sell gas at the well.” This statement is simply incorrect. The fact that gas producers have options to sell gas directly into markets beyond the wellhead does not in any way prevent or prohibit wellhead sales. Nor has applicable Colorado legal precedent abolished the existence of wellhead markets.
It is difficult to understand how the sale of gas ” at the wellhead ” to a willing third party buyer in an arm’s length transaction does not establish the “marketability” of that gas. This will be the crux of the legal issues to be decided on appeal.
senior vice president and general counsel
Colorado Oil and Gas Association
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Five candidates are running for three seats on the Garfield Re-2 school board this year.