WALSENBURG— Under a recommendation by the Planning Commission the Board of County Commissioners voted 2-0 on Wednesday to put in place a 180 day moratorium stopping any new wind farm development in the county. The move would allow the Planning Commission to finish developing a new land use code that would place any new development in the wind overlay district.
The new code was in part brought about by the development of the controversial Silver Mountain wind farm west of I-25. That development is in the scenic corridor area of the county. The county has a preferred area east of I-25 for wind development. Commissioner Roger Cain was absent from Wednesday’s meeting and didn’t vote. Silver Mountain and Pole Canyon are ‘grandfathered-in’ and not affected by the moratorium.
In other action items the commissioners voted to close the county clerk’s office on Nov. 2, 2010, for elections that will be held that day. And in another vote the commissioners voted 2-0 to approve the contract for the 2011 $250,000 Community Development Block Grant. The CDBG is used by both Huerfano and Las Animas counties to rehabilitate housing the has fallen into disrepair but is still occupied by the owners.
The CDBG contract is between the Department of Local Affairs and Huerfano County. The county is sponsoring the grant.
County Commissioners also voted 2-0 to fund 10 percent, or $250 of the necessary $2,500 funding needed to finish work in the locker room area of the sports complex.
The county is ahead of revenue collection at this time. The books are showing revenues to be at 78 percent with expenditures at 64 percent. Preliminary projections show the county will have at least $850,000 in the beginning fund balance in the general fund going into 2011.
The county is also struggling with charges for the county’s waste transfer station. One of the ideas brought up is a possible reduction of 25 percent in fees in order to raise business at the station. The County Commissioners voted 2-0 for a three month trial for the new fees in order to study the consideration before making the new fee structure permanent. The commissioners hope that the new fees will generate enough business so that there might a reduction in the subsidies paid by the county to keep the station open.
In an effort to up the safety on County Road 616 the commission voted 2-0 to authorize the county’s lawyer to draw up papers declaring eminent domain on 4.4 acres of land for the construction of a cut back. The county has been wanting to purchase the land over the past five years but has met with no response from the owners, Lucking Trust and Robert Pfaffenhauser.