NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12TH

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE SHADOW MOUNTAIN VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

The Moffat County Commissioners yesterday voted to create the Shadow Mountain Village Improvement District.  The move paves the way for ballot questions that will ask subdivision residents for money to replace water and sewer lines throughout the neighborhood.  The City of Craig will contract out for that work, while the county will work on street and curb improvements in a collaborative effort to improve the area.  When originally created, the subdivision was meant to be a temporary housing situation for oil and gas workers who had flooded into the area, and county officials say the piping used was substandard and is now failing.  The water pressure is so bad in some areas, the fire hydrants are virtually worthless.  Some water lines are also breaking.  The work will include replacing pipes owned by the residents.  Residents will therefore be responsible for a portion of the cost.  The entire project is still dependent on a vote of the subdivision’s renters and homeowners that are registered to vote in Colorado.  The entire cost of the project is expected to reach around $6.3 million.  The city’s portion is $1 million, the county’s is about $2.4 million, about $1.65 million will come from grants, and the rest, about $1.26 million will be paid over time by the residents.  It comes out to just over $4,700 dollars per lot.  That money will be charged to each lot through the residents’ water bills over several years.

 

COMMITTEE FORMED TO LENGTHEN TERM LIMITS IN MOFFAT COUNTY

A committee has been formed in Moffat County to come up with a ballot question that would allow elected county officials to run for a third term.  The issue would actually show up as several questions on November’s ballot, as the committee would list each elected position separately.  Each question would ask whether that specific office should be allowed a third term.  Those include the County Clerk, the County Commissioners, and the County Sheriff, among others.  The questions can be put on the ballot without any extra cost to taxpayers, as an election is already scheduled for improvements in the Shadow Mountain Subdivision.  Committee member Nancy Hettinger said at yesterday’s Moffat County Commissioners meeting that Moffat County is one of a few in the state that still has term limits for all of its elected officials.  The County Attorney is preparing the ballot question.

“WHITTLE THE WOOD” CARVERS START THEIR PROJECTS

Participants have started carving their creations for this weekend’s Whittle the Wood Rendezvous in Craig.  The creations will be judged by a panel, as well as visitors to the event.  Carving will take place over the rest of the week at Loudy Simpson Park.  Again this year, there will be live music both Friday and Saturday night.  Friday night will feature White Water Ramble at 6.  Saturday, there will be a Quick Carve competition at 1, and the live music starts at 3 with the Michael D Band.  Wood carver awards will be handed out at 5, and the main act, “Cracker”, will perform at 5:30.  There will also be a car show downtown from 10 to 3.

 

BLM POSTPONES PRESCRIBED BURN ON FISCHER DRAW

The Bureau of Land Management has postponed the Fischer Draw prescribed fire until further notice due to emerging fire activity in Colorado and high winds predicted over the next two days. The project location is 12 miles northwest of the Walden on BLM land.  As outlined in the Fischer Draw prescribed fire plan, no ignition will be initiated if weather conditions are not within the identified parameters. This includes wind speed in addition to temperature and available resources such as engine and hand crews.  Notification will be issued when the Fischer Draw prescribed fire can be safely implemented.  Each prescribed burn has a detailed fire plan developed in advance along with appropriate smoke permits issued by the State of Colorado. Ignition will only take place if weather and ground conditions are within specifically determined parameters that allow for safe and efficient operations.

 

VETERANS WORKING FIRES IN NORTHWEST COLORADO

A 20-person crew of recently returned veterans will be working in northwestern Colorado this summer to help protect communities from the risk of wildfire.  Wildland fire training for the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Veterans Fire Corps based in Steamboat was completed this past Friday.  Bureau of Land Management fire staff from the Craig station conducted the training.  The intent of the program is to support as many returning veterans as possible to make the transition to civilian life by utilizing their leadership experience to meet land management objectives.  The Fire Corps crew will work on hazardous fuel reduction projects over the next 15 weeks in Grand, Jackson, Rio Blanco and Eagle Counties. The projects will remove hazardous vegetative fuels which reduces the risk of large wildfires threatening communities.  The RMYC Veteran Fire Corps will be available to respond to wildland incidents if needed by BLM project partners.

 

GROUP OF 8 PLAN INTRODUCED TO SENATE

The United States Senate yesterday voted to begin consideration of the immigration bill introduced by the ‘Group of 8.’ The bill includes a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, attempts to secure the border and makes reforms to the visa system to ensure businesses have access to an immigrant workforce.  The Group of 8 introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 in April following several months of discussions and negotiations with a group of stakeholders. The bill underwent several hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee preceding a three-week markup, where committee members considered hundreds of amendments. The proposal was voted out of committee 13-5.

 

SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST PROTESTERS

The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to hear an appeal of a Colorado ruling that bars abortion protesters from displaying graphic images of aborted fetuses in places where they might upset children.  The order stems from a 2005 protest in which Kenneth Scott and others protested near an outdoor Palm Sunday service at Denver’s Saint John’s Cathedral.  Protesters who disagreed with the Episcopal church’s stance in favor of abortion rights shouted while displaying large images of aborted fetuses.  The church sued Scott and a court order was issued that banned him from displaying the images.  The order bans Scott and other protesters from displaying the images only near the Denver church.