Letter to the Editor: No news in the paper

Dear Editor:
For the most part of the past two years, the Rio Blanco Herald Times has been a huge disappointment.

After reading the weekly publication, we residents of Rio Blanco County have to believe that we live in a really great place. There is absolutely no controversy— the County Commissioners, the Meeker Town Council, the Rangely Town Council, Planning, Zoning, Law Enforcement, the BLM, The U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, are rarely mentioned in the paper, so there must not be any action being taken at their regularly scheduled meetings.
Very few press releases, so we residents have to assume nothing is happening in the county that has any effect on us as residents and business owners.
Then we have “Specials to the Herald Times” authored by Reed Kelley, Jennifer Hill, Mark Hillman, Heather Zadra, Chris Faulkner, J.D. Watson and all at once we find there is news out there concerning us residents.
It has to do with our school boards and associated actions, Stockgrowers, wild horses, bear problems needing addressed, fracking—is it a problem or are injection wells the problem? There is news and there are things going on in our county, but it has to be reported by individuals who take the time to attend and report. We get important information from Wiley Berthelson and Bryce Purkey providing insight into the “Wild Horse Grand Bureaucratic Mess.”
There is complete coverage of sporting events by Bobby and Hallie admirably done.
We have seen information articles written by Commissioner Jon Hill and Commissioner Jeff Eskelson. Commissioner Shawn Bolton advised us that WPX had laid down their “last two rigs in Rio Blanco County.” This no doubt was a financial decision made by WPX.
Did Shawn forget to mention that the county charges an “impact fee” of $18,000 and a “housing permit fee” of $1,000 per well, making $19,000 county fees per well with an average of 20 wells per pad equaling $380,000 in one location without a move?
If cooperation in fee reduction by the county would keep the energy companies working in this county seems to me it should happen.
Otherwise it doesn’t appear that anything is happening in our county, according to our local newspaper.
Tim Mantle
Rio Blanco County