Contact Us

Commissioners support effort to recycle wood from transfer station

Could save the county over $5,400 a year

by Brian Orr
WALSENBURG­– The Huerfano County Commissioners listened to Frank Kirkpatrick of the non-profit Universal Alliance of Communities on Tuesday, as he pitched to them the idea of letting his non-profit use a parcel of county or city land to collect wood and branches, to be split or chipped up and given away as fuel or compost to those who need it.
Kirkpatrick told the commissioners the current waste transfer station routinely runs at about a $40,000 a year loss; $5,400 of which is generally tree limbs and yard waste.  Kirkpatrick would pull that out of the lineup, saving that cost to the county.
Kirkpatrick would use volunteers and people who have to serve a set number of community service hours. He can offer a room and a meal at his Transition House in Walsenburg.
Kirkpatrick has equipment in place to saw, split, grind, chip and compost almost any woody material, including noxious weeds, pine cones and needles, and leaves.
He would like to expand the program to all three communities in Huerfano County as time and efforts allow.
The commissioners were receptive to the idea, and directed county administrator John Galusha to work with Kirkpatrick in locating a usable spot where wood, limbs, and  slash could be stored.
The commissioners then heard from David and Joey Menegatti, who live on 600 County Road 314.  They were there to complain about a county road running through their property that leads to an old cemetery.  There are no other properties at the end of the road, so the only legitimate users of the road (really a two-track lane) are people visiting the graves.
Routinely however, the brothers have found people using the road to enter the Menegatti property for illegal camping, hunting, and thieving.
The brothers are requesting the ability to control access to the road by putting a lock on the existing gate by the Menegatti house.  They  would give the combination to everybody who might possibly need it, including emergency services and the Department of Wildlife.
The commissioners were sympathetic to their problem and agreed that no other landowner would be burdened by the request.
Galusha suggested the county issue a revokable permit allowing them to lock the gate, providing the combination is given out, and not abused.
In other business, the Commissioners honored U.S. Army veteran Donald E. Johnson-Knecht, for his service to our country, and declared February 11 as Donald Johnson-Knecht Day in Huerfano County.
Johnson-Knecht, who achieved the rank of staff sergeant, served at Ft. Lewis, WA, and received the National Defense Service Medal, and served as Band Master at Ft. Lewis.

Huerfano County Commissioners give Donald Johnson-Knecht honoring him for his service to our country. Photo by Brian Orr.