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Pot grow prohibition proposed

 Huerfano County wants to put on the brakes

WALSENBURG — Huerfano County Commissioner Max Vezzani, who last month proposed stricter conditions on condition use permits for marijuana production facilities, on Tuesday proposed placing a moratorium on any new conditional use permits for this industry for 18 months. “This is a new industry, and it’s pretty divisive in the community,” Vezzani said, explaining his proposal. “I’d like to see how much revenue this brings in, what kind of problems might crop up, and see what law enforcement says before doing more. A year to 18 months would give us time to get information and see how this works for Huerfano County before we accept any additional permits.” Currently there are nine conditional use permits issued for marijuana grows in unincorporated Huerfano County, where the moratorium would take place. Walsenburg, and potentially La Veta, would control any grows in their cities. There is a temporary moratorium on issuing CUPS already in place, put there to allow the commissioners time to place stricter conditions on owners

and operators. The commissioners extended this until July 7, to allow them more time to discuss and consider Vezzani’s proposal. “I think water is gonna be a big issue for these grows,” Vezzani said. “I don’t think some of them will be able to complete the grows that have city water.” In other business, the commissioners noted a broken water pipe inside the courthouse over the weekend caused from $50,000 to $70,000 in damage to computers, copiers and filing cabinets. The matter has been turned over to the county insurer. The commissioners also approved slight changes in the intergovernmental agreement with the town of La Veta regarding road paving, and approved the county emergency operations management plan. Airport manager Gary Hanisch was recognized for his outstanding work at the county airport, funneling thousands of dollars worth of grant funding into the airport. Finally, County Administrator John Galusha updated the commissioners on the courthouse grant process, noting it was in pre-review now, and expected to get to their hands in two weeks. After that the county can begin making plans for renovating the courthouse building and finding another home for the courts themselves.