by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- A standing room only crowd turned out Tuesday afternoon to show their concern about drilling for methane gas in Huerfano County. A Texas firm, Presco, is asking the Huerfano County Commissioners to issue a conditional use permit to allow drilling in the area of the Navajo Western Water District aquifer. Landowners met at the Huerfano County Courthouse to get more information and voice their concerns.
A public hearing is set for Monday, March 24th at 1:30 to take public testimony at the Community Center in Walsenburg.
Presco says that the geology of the area they want to work, on the north side of Hwy 160, is much different from that of Petroglyph, which encountered problems at the River Ridge site south of Hwy 160.
Planning and Zoning Board members emphasized that they have very little say on this matter because the state has the final word. Members said they want to keep an open dialogue on the issue and try to get the best outcome.
The Huerfano County Commissioners authorized county administrator, John Galusha to negotiate for a seven acre site next to Fiesta Park. If purchased, the site could be used for soccer fields, walking trails and other recreation uses to tie in with the current Fiesta Park activities. Commissioner, Scott King says the land would be a definite asset to the Fiesta Park area.
A grant for building a walking and biking trail from Fiesta Park to Lathrop State Park has been made available to the county. The commissioners gave the ok.
County Administrator, John Galusha, announced that the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has offered a matching grant of $309,125 to establish a waste transfer station on City of Walsenburg land at the old landfill site. The county would operate the facility and put forth $279,125 of the amount with the city kicking in $30,000. LaVeta is not financially participating at this time. The commissioners gave the go ahead to sign the contract with DOLA.