RBC commissioners agree to extend moratorium on impact fees

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RBC | The Rio Blanco County Board of Commissioners, after discussion prior to the regular meeting with local operators, approved Resolution 2017-08 on Feb. 13, which extends a 2015 moratorium on impact fees for another year, beginning February 2017.
In 2008 Rio Blanco County was the first Colorado county to enact impact fees for drilling operations, mainly to offset the cost of infrastructure improvements. The fees are levied against all development, including residential and commercial construction, and based off a formula that determines the amount of truck traffic needed to complete a project.
After the downturn in the energy industry and the economy, commissioners agreed to suspend the impact fees in November 2015 in an effort to attract more business and development.
The board heard from Road and Bridge Director Dave Morlan regarding the importance of the thaw restrictions for heavy loads on certain county roads. The restriction went into effect Feb. 8 and will remain in place until March 1. Affected roads are county roads 5 (Piceance Creek), 24 (Ryan Gulch), 7 (Strawberry Creek) and 21 (Bonanza). The maximum allowed weight per axle during the restriction is 14,000 lbs. actual axle weight (total load weight divided by number of axles not allowed), and the maximum weight per “drop” axle is 10,000 lbs.
Morlan said the thaw restrictions are about a month earlier than usual this year. The timing and length of the restriction is determined by the frost depth, measured by probes installed in 2007 which were paid for by industry.
“As of today the frost is gone,” Morlan said, on most of the probe sites. “The asphalt is at its most vulnerable stage right now.”
The commissioners also approved a contract modification for the Coal Creek School House Rehabilitation project, extending the contract date to Dec. 31, 2017, amending the scope of work and increasing the amount by about $8,500.
Janet Clark, speaking on behalf of the Rural School Committee, thanked the commissioners for their continued support of the project.
In other business, the board:
– Appointed Dave Morlan the county’s road and bridge director, appointed Brian Conrado and Sandra Besseghini to the historical district board, Diane Sizemore to the Rangely Cemetery board, and Mike Morgan to the Rangely Library board
– Received bids for the RBC chip seal and dust control projects
– Approved an agreement with Cantor Associates for the RBC furniture project for new courthouse furniture after the remodel in an amount not to exceed $303,641.05. The project had a budget set for $400,000.