Rulison woman gives EAB an earful over road conditions |

Rulison woman gives EAB an earful over road conditions

John Colson
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” A Rulison woman complained this week that oil and gas companies are not fulfilling their obligation to maintain roads used by the companies’ heavy trucks, and that an advisory board made up of citizens and industry representatives is not fulfilling its role of relaying such complaints to the Garfield Board of County Commissioners.

Marion Wells told the county’s Energy Advisory Board on Thursday, at the county Health and Human Services building in Rifle, that three county roads in particular ” numbered 215, 301 and 306, all in the Parachute/Battlement Mesa/Morrisania Mesa area ” are in bad shape due to heavy truck traffic.

“They are not maintained,” Wells said flatly, she did not, however, detail exactly which companies she felt were responsible for upkeep of those roads.

The county’s representative on the EAB, oil and gas liaison Judy Jordan, said she had been told that the three roads in question are not on the road and bridge priority list for maintenance work this year.

At one point toward the end of the meeting, EAB chairwoman Betsy Suerth, town administrator of Silt, suggested that matters of road maintenance should be left to the experts.

That is how she deals with road issues in Silt, she said, adding that it might be better to leave this case to the county road and bridge department, rather than involve EAB members who don’t have the necessary expertise to evaluate a road’s condition.

Wells responded by declaring that relaying such complaints is expressly one of EAB’s functions, as an advisory board dealing with impacts of the oil and gas industry on county residents.

Wells said she had brought the subject up with the BOCC at a recent meeting and was told by BOCC chairman John Martin that the EAB had not forwarded any such complaints.

Citizens have been complaining about the issue or roads maintenance for some time, Wells continued, but “it has been ignored. You have citizens who have been impacted for years. And it’s time to give these citizens some relief.”

When Jordan suggested that the board should think about taking some action on Wells’ complaints, Suerth said the roads issue could be included with the next EAB quarterly report to the BOCC.

County road and bridge officials were not available for comment on Friday afternoon.

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