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Commissioners get budget proposals

by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- Huerfano County Commissioners began receiving budgets for the 2012 fiscal year.  The Health Department budget showed an increase of around $15,000, going from $138,348 for 2011 to $153,348 for 2012.
The other budget was from the District Attorney’s office and showed an unknown beginning fund balance for 2012.
Commissioners have received correspondence from the law firm of Fowler, Schimberg and Flanagan on behalf of their clients, John and Janice Troha. The Trohas’ property, a 528 acre ranch called the Tinaja Canyon Ranch has found itself surrounded by the proposed 22,000 acre wind project.
The first phase of the Busch Wind Farm project is slated to cost Black Hills Energy and EUI Development around $70 million for the development of what will eventually be a 90 megaWatt project.
According to the Trohas’ attorney, concerns arising from the project are: Shadow flicker -electromagnetic interference- could interfere with broadcast communication such as cell phones and other signals. Noise emissions may require setbacks to abate. They are also requesting a complaint resolution process to allow the Board of County Commissioners to impose fines or operational charges.
The path for the transmission line to carry the generated power from the Busch Wind farm to the Black Hills station just south of Pueblo, has also been a concern for some property owners with land in the transmission line corridor.
The alignment of the transmission lines originally ran straight north from the Rattlesnake Butte substation to the Pueblo – Huerfano County line. The modification calls for the lines to run north from the substation for about a mile then angle to a northwest direction for about 3.5 miles.
The changes had been made in order to avoid grazing areas, other high use areas, and to avoid clutter in scenic viewsheds.
A public hearing is scheduled for Tues. Aug. 23 at 1:30 pm in the commission meeting room. Public comment will be taken at that time.
The Commissioners also approved, on a 3-0 vote, the hiring of former Walsenburg police officer, Cory Daniels, as a detention officer at the county jail.