Commissioners approve settlement with Utah Oil & Gas

RBC | Monday in Rangely the Rio Blanco County Commissioners opened up bids for OHV trail kiosks and aerial insecticide spraying.

The commissioners opened one bid for the Lower White River Pest Control District aerial spraying project from Coulter Aviation for $2.74 per acre. They also opened bids for the ground spraying which included one from Rocky Mountain Weed Management for $107 per hour, one from Noxious Weed Management for $65 per hour and a bid from Elder Weed Spraying for $85 per hour.

The board approved a $63,150 bid to Coulter Aviation for the Piceance Creek Weed and Pest Control District aerial spraying project, a $90,000 bid to Julius Ag for the Piceance Creek Weed and Pest Control District hand spraying project and another $90,000 bid to Osborn Industries LLC for the Piceance Creek Weed and Pest Control District hand spraying project.

The commissioners approved $21,000 for the Fairfield Complex remodel design project, which is being completed by Civic Forum Associates as well as another $850 for window work in the building.

Finally, they approved just over $5,000 to the Accreditation, Audit & Risk Management Security LLC to provide services on behalf of the National Institute for Jail Operations for the Sheriff’s Office.

During public comment the commissioners were approached for a grant for White River Round Up which they immediately approved. The amount of the grant was not stated.

Robert Knight with Cimarron Telecommunications told the commissioners they would likely be asking for a few exceptions, such as providing free access to White River Village. Commissioner Shawn Bolton said that the county is preparing to install the remote towers which will expand the reach of the internet signal.

Former commissioner Ken Parsons spoke about the discussion to create a Federal Mineral Lease District. Parsons said the state statute allowing the creation of the district has passed and they are not allowed to make a new one. The commissioners said they had just become aware of the issue that morning. Bolton said the inability to create the district will not impact the counties’ ability to receive funds from the Anvil Points settlement, however it will decrease PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) funds to the county by approximately $1 million over the next two years. However, Bolton was still content with the PILT plan saying, “We’re basically giving up $1 million to get $8 million.”

During commissioner updates Commissioner Jeff Rector said he had attended the Colorado Counties Incorporated steering committee and was glad to see that CCI was fighting back on some legislation. Commissioner Si Woodruff said that he had worked on the wildlife services predator control project and had attended the Yampa/White River Round Table meeting. Bolton spoke in support of the broadband bill and spoke about the Anvil Points funding being returned to the county saying, “Still not happy about the amount but at least we’re getting something out of it.”

The commissioners approved a settlement agreement with Utah Oil and Gas, formerly SWEVCO-SABW, LLC, settling a Board of Assessment Appeals Case regarding the assessed value of Utah Gas and their tax abatement status. The agreement increases the amount of taxes Utah Oil and Gas will pay to the county.

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