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Week in Review

SILT – A local man died and another was injured after a one-vehicle rollover north of Silt.David Fautsko, 29, died at the scene of the accident that was reported around 11 p.m. Tuesday night. Colorado State Patrol identified the driver as Dylan Lewis, 30. It was reported that he suffered a broken arm and was expected to be released from the Grand River Medical Center Wednesday.Neither alcohol nor speed were suspected as factors in the accident, according to CSP. CSP was also unsure whether the occupants of the vehicle were wearing seat belts.Lewis was charged with careless driving causing death.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County commissioners approved the Spring Valley Ranch development, a 6,000-acre project with 577 housing units, during a special meeting Friday. Commissioners made the decision after listening to hours of presentations from Spring Valley Ranch developers and consultants, and Garfield County planning director Fred Jarman, along with comment from neighbors and questions directed to developers. There was little, if any, public comment specifically opposed to the project.Commissioner John Martin voted against the project’s planned unit development (PUD), while commissioners Larry McCown and Trési Houpt voted for it. The project also includes 18- and 9-hole golf courses, an equestrian center, tennis courts and open space and trails. The development will be built southeast of Glenwood Springs.”We are changing a lot of people’s lifestyles,” Martin said after the vote. “We are not preserving agriculture and our heritage. What we have done is create a new gated community.”

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The city of Glenwood Springs is looking at offering home loans and raises to better recruit and retain employees.Considering those possibilities shows the city struggles with the labor market problems that can choke employers in the area in part because of the boa-constrictor-like housing market.”Recruiting and retaining employees is a big issue, as it is for literally every employer in the valley,” said City Manager Jeff Hecksel, in an interview prior to the meeting. “We’ve flat out had people deny jobs after they were offered” once applicants became aware of the tight housing market.If approved in the future, a draft Employee Home Ownership Program (EHOP) would provide a secured, subordinate loan to help eligible employees purchase a first home. Employees would have to qualify for primary mortgage financing through a reputable lending institution, and subprime, interest-only, negative amortizing, balloon and short-term adjustable rate mortgages wouldn’t be allowed, according to the draft EHOP.”The idea is to help people get into homes,” Hecksel said. “We would basically provide more or less a down payment assistance program for up to about $40,000.”



RIFLE – An energy company withdrew its application to drill near a subdivision Tuesday, after Garfield County commissioners on Monday decided to seek a state hearing regarding the drilling plan.Laramie Energy II could file a new application to drill at the same location, but company representative Ken Leis said that is unlikely.”We’re seriously looking at some other options. At this point I have no idea where they may be,” Leis said.Laramie representatives met with county commissioners Monday and said they were putting on hold an application to drill near Rifle Village South subdivision, southwest of Rifle. However, commissioners decided to proceed with asking for a hearing before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regarding the permit application.The county had faced a COGCC deadline of today to request the hearing, and the deadline still appeared to apply despite Laramie’s decision to put the application on hold.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Colorado Animal Rescue will receive $125,000 less in funding than it is asking for from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.County officials acknowledge that’s a sizable cut, but say it’s made necessary because the county’s animal shelter needs exceed CARE’s ability to meet them.Sheriff Lou Vallario said the problem is that CARE’s facility isn’t large enough to accept all the animals his office takes in.”I’ve always supported them. They’re not really designed to be a county animal shelter. They’re constantly at capacity because of us,” Vallario said.CARE director Leslie Rockey confirmed that the shelter, located in Spring Valley near Glenwood Springs, is constantly full because of a big animal problem in the county. She said she couldn’t comment on the funding issue because she hasn’t heard any details yet from the county.


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