Week in Review
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The clock is slowly winding down to Colorado’s Aug. 12 primaries and the November presidential election, and county clerks, including Garfield County’s Jean Alberico, still don’t know whether their voting machines will be certified in time for them to prepare for the voting.
“We really, absolutely have to know by March 1, especially if we are going to have to buy new equipment,” Alberico said.
The state’s election system was thrown into chaos last month when Secretary of State Mike Coffman announced that he was decertifying three electronic voting machines across the state based on accuracy and security problems.
Garfield County is in a particular bind because Coffman decertified Hart InterCivic’s eScan, which the county uses to read paper ballots in county elections.
BATTLEMENT MESA ” Area residents near the Project Rulison blast site are girding for an upcoming hearing about 16 permits that have been issued to drill within 3 miles of the nuclear detonation site.
And the lawyer representing the three couples who are objecting to the permits is hoping that the new makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will look favorably on the couples’ arguments to block the permits. A bill passed by the state legislature last year revamped the COGCC, bumping the number of commissioners ” who will rule on the matter ” from five to nine.
“This commission is a new commission and we anticipate getting a fair shake,” Luke Danielson, the attorney representing the couples.
A hearing on the matter, however, has not yet been scheduled.
Earlier this month, the Western Colorado Congress, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance and three area couples filed a legal objection with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission last week in an attempt to stop drilling activity within a three-mile area of the Project Rulison nuclear site.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” It’s expected to take six months to come up with the best alternatives for a new bridge over the Roaring Fork River in south Glenwood Springs.
All options are on the table, and the best plan could even include a “no action” alternative.
After the options are identified, an environmental assessment process of top alternatives is expected to begin, said Tom Newland, a subconsultant hired by the Carter Burgess Inc. consulting firm, which has a contract with the city of Glenwood Springs. The environmental assessment should take about 18 months.
“When we get to the end of this process and we have a decision document, which defines what the preferred alternative is, only then can the agencies, Glenwood Springs and Garfield County, actually be able to move forward on doing any design or implementation,” said Craig Carter, of Carter Burgess.
Representatives of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have begun meetings on the project. Tuesday night was the first night a group of stakeholders met. They’re people who may be impacted by the south bridge project.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Forest Service may limit the number of total commercial rafting and kayaking trips that can boat through the Shoshone rapids area on the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon.
The announcement came as no surprise to some area outfitters.
“The 73,300 number is a number we’ve been working under for the last five to 10 years anyway,” said Kevin Schneider, owner of Rock Gardens Rafting. “We didn’t want to replicate the Arkansas River with a stream of boats going down it.”
A 30-day public comment period on the environmental assessment (EA) began Tuesday. The preferred alternative in the EA proposes a limit of 73,350 user days per year, according to a legal advertisement in the Post Independent on Wednesday.
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