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Week in Review

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The firm hired to audit gas companies with local operations is disputing an anonymous letter that questions its ability to conduct the audit.The anonymous letter criticized Martindale Consultants, the company Garfield County commissioners last month contracted with for up to $250,000 to audit county gas production for the reporting years of 2002 through 2007. Each reporting year is for production during the year before.The audit will first examine Williams Production RMT, EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) and Petroleum Development Corp., said Garfield County Assessor John Gorman.”We are hoping to complete the audit of these three companies this year,” Gorman said.The anonymous letter writer said that only certified public accountants can perform audits and that Martindale is not a certified public accounting firm. The letter was sent to local media members, government officials and companies.

CARBONDALE – Town Trustee Scott Chaplin has resigned his council seat after six years, effective immediately.In doing so, he issued a strong word of warning in a letter to the editor about the risk of Carbondale becoming another haven for the wealthy due to the lack of affordable housing.”After balancing a wide variety of considerations, it has become clear to me that the best course of action for me at this point in my life is to refocus my energies in some new directions,” Chaplin said in an e-mail Wednesday addressed to town council members and town staff, with a copy sent to The Valley Journal newspaper in Carbondale. “These changes are necessitating that I step down from the Carbondale Board of Trustees. It has been an honor and privilege to work with you all over the past six years.”Town Manager Tom Baker said the town council has the option of either appointing a new member to the board, or throwing the additional seat into the mix for the already scheduled April 1 town council elections. With the convenience of the election just a few months away, he said, it is likely that trustees will opt to include a fourth seat in that election.”The most important issue facing the Carbondale Trustees in 2008 is affordable housing,” Chaplin wrote.

SILT – Former town administrator Rick Aluise has tossed his hat into the ring for the position of mayor of Silt, should current Mayor Dave Moore be recalled in the April municipal election.Aluise took out a petition application in mid-December, according to Silt town clerk Sheila McIntyre. He will need to submit 25 signatures from registered town voters and turn in the petition by Feb. 15.Along with Aluise, McIntyre said one other person has so far taken out a petition. McIntyre did not reveal the name of the other person, saying that it is not public record until the signed petition has been returned.Aluise worked for the town of Silt for six years and his wife, Janet, as the community development director for seven years. The couple resigned their positions in May 2007, but remained on a contract basis until their replacements could be found. Both their positions were filled on Sept. 4, 2007, with Betsy Suerth becoming town administrator and Gale Carmoney taking the community development director job.



GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Anyone can find them themselves in a tight jam. Unemployment, a devastating fire, an unexpected trip to the hospital – the potential for a life-altering moment can come at any time. And the costs can be enormous.But for anyone needing an extra buck to get over an unforeseen life bump, a Roaring Fork Valley nonprofit is there to help.DonorDirect, which operates what it calls its “Tide Me Over” Lending Fund, provides interest-free loans of up to $1,500 to help families and individuals overcome the chaos in their lives.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Workers have begun diverting the cold winter waters of the Colorado River, preparing to build a whitewater park in West Glenwood, which they expect will be done by March 15.”Right now they’re building the diversion structure, which will isolate half the river so they can build the actual wave features,” said Jason Carey, principal engineer of Glenwood Springs-based RiverRestoration.org, the company that designed the park.Carey said diverting the flow for construction is the hardest part of building the park. But the process is aided by the area’s geothermal activity.”You have to do construction during the winter because that’s when flows are low enough to be able to control the river,” Carey said. In November, the Glenwood Springs City Council awarded an $888,838 contract to American Civil Constructors of Littleton for construction of the feature, after about seven years of effort by local whitewater park enthusiasts. It’s been hailed as a possible economic boon and tourism generator for the city, as well as an attraction that could bring Glenwood national fame. A second phase proposed for the future would include amenities along the river’s banks at the site near the West Glenwood bridge.



GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Silt Town Trustee Bobby Hays pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge of stalking a woman.He faces a class five felony stalking charge in 9th Judicial District Court. The charge carries a presumptive maximum sentence of three years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. However, there’s no requirement for mandatory time in prison or jail. Silt officials have said there’s no reason Hays would be removed from his role as a trustee unless he’s actually convicted of a crime.Hays, 49, said previously that the stalking accusations are “bogus.”His attorney, Greg Greer, opted not to comment at this time.According to an affidavit for the Aug. 9, 2006 arrest, a woman told authorities Hays followed her home from a softball game and was blocking her driveway with his truck. A Garfield County Deputy arrived at her Glenwood Springs residence and contacted Hays in a blue Ford Ranger down the street, the affidavit says.


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