Madison tapped to administer impact fees

RBC — In his role with Rio Blanco County, Jeff Madison wears a lot of hats.
And he just added another one.
The newest hat Madison will wear is that of impact fee administrator. He already holds the titles of natural resources specialist and director of planning and development.
This most-recent job title comes on the heels of commissioners approving the establishment of impact fees on residential, commercial and industrial new development in the county. Make no mistake, though, the primary target of the impact fees — and the focus of Madison’s attention — will be the energy industry.
Already, the bulk of his time is spent dealing with issues related to expanding oil and gas development in the county.
“Oh, yeah, without a doubt,” Madison said. “It’s already taking a considerable amount of my time. Especially at first, this impact fee administration will take a lot of my time, maybe half, just to get rolling.”
Madison evolved into the position more or less by default, because he is the one who works most closely with the energy industry.
“I became the point person for the county for the impact fees, because I did the public meetings and the behind-the-scenes stuff,” he said. “It was kind of a natural progression.”
Others involved in sharing the load include Michelle Carrothers of the planning department (she handles the residential side) and Deb Morlan, who is involved with collecting fees.
“We’re still deciding how to divide up the day-to-day,” Madison said. “We’re working out the system.”
Madison wasn’t present at last week’s session when commissioners OK’d his designation as impact fee administrator. He was attending a meeting in Denver of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
“How will this add to his (Madison’s) duties as far as time?” Commissioner Joe Collins asked at last week’s meeting.
“This will effectively bury Jeff,” Kent Borchard, county attorney, said.
“So, if we appoint Jeff, what we’re doing essentially is filling in the cracks until we figure out how to unbury him,” Collins said.
“That’s correct,” Borchard said.
In order to keep pace with the growing workload, the county could end up hiring a full-time person to fill the new position required by implementation of the impact fees.
“If the industry goes the way we expect it to go, this position will become a full-time job, within the next year or so,” Borchard said.
It’s a daunting task, but for now anyway, Madison will juggle all three hats.
“I’ve told the commissioners … we’re trying to keep the projects that are time-critical, that need to get going, going,” he said.