OURAY – The Ouray Board of County Commissioners decided on Monday that rather than weighing in on the pending special use permit application process for the proposed Energy Fuels Inc. uranium mill in the Paradox Valley, it would ask the Montrose Board of County Commissioners to provide information on the project at the next tri-county meeting so that they may stay informed on the issues of the mill and the status of the approval process.
A hearing on the special use permit for the uranium mill will go before the Montrose commissioners on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Nucla High School gymnasium. The subject was brought up at Monday’s Ouray County Commissioner meeting in Ouray by Commissioner Lynn Padgett who asked the board if it had any concerns about the uranium mill and that if they did, would the board write a letter to the Montrose County Commissioners addressing of its concerns.
Both Commissioners Keith Meinert and Heidi Albritton said that they would like to request the Montrose commissioners to provide information at the upcoming September Tri-County meeting.
“I would hesitate to weigh in on something,” Albritton said. “I think we request information about the project at Tri-County and hear it from the horse’s mouth as far as why they would make an approval. To me, it is reasonable for neighboring counties to know what is going to be approved.”
“I think the best thing to try to do is to get Montrose’s cooperation to keep us in the loop of exactly what is being proposed,” Meinert added.
County Approved for Anemometer Test Program
Ouray County Facilities Manager, Wil Clapsadl, was happy to report to the Ouray Board of County Commissioners on Monday that not only had the county been accepted into Colorado State University’s anemometer loan program, but that it had also been moved to immediate installation instead of being put on a year-long waiting list.
The commissioners directed Clapsadl to apply for the anemometer loan program last June. In the program, CSU researchers will build a tower to test wind speeds for a year to help determine if wind power at a particular site is feasible to generate adequate wind power. If ultimately approved by the Town of Ridgway’s building process, Clapsadl said the 20-meter tower would be built on the southeast corner of the county-owned fairgrounds near the 4-H Event Center and would be “hidden behind the barn.”
Basically, all the county has to do is build the concrete pad that would house the tower and then officials from CSU would install the tower and the testing equipment. Researchers will gather data for one year and if wind power at the site is feasible, a power generating turbine could then be placed at the tower to power those county facilities at the site.
Commissioner Lynn Padgett, along with Clapsadl, agreed to present the anemometer program to the Ridgway Town Council at their Aug. 12 meeting. (Results of the meeting were not available due to press deadlines.)
Commissioner Keith Meinert said if the tower is approved at the town level, the program could provide valuable information for all entities in the county.
“If the test does show that wind is promising in the area then that is important information for all of us,” Meinert said. “It will start some interesting discussions about what the public will accept for alterations in our code.”
Commissioner Heidi Albritton said she was simply excited that the county was accepted to the program and moved off the waiting list.
City of Ouray to Take Over Ice park Operations
Ouray County Attorney Mary Deganhart informed the Ouray Board of County Commissioners on Monday that the City of Ouray is moving forward in taking control of the Ouray Ice Park’s operation in time for the 2009/2010 season.
Deganhart told the commissioners that from the county’s standpoint, the only thing it would have to do is sign a recreation access agreement for the use of the county-owned portion of the ice park.
“They seem pretty confident that it would be in short order and will have the pieces and parts put together for this year,” she said.
BOCC Supports Reappointment of John Jennings to Tri-County Water Board
The Ouray Board of County Commissioners approved and authorized Commissioner Heidi Albritton’s signature on a letter to Judge Patrick that asks for the reappointment of John Jennings to the Tri-County Water Conservancy District Board of Directors.
The board states in the letter that it “appreciates Mr. Jennings in representing Ouray County in this capacity.”
After the letter was approved, Commissioner Keith Meinert suggested that those who represent the county on the Tri-County board brief the commissioners on a regular basis on what has been going on.
“I know I made this speech about a year ago,” Meinert said. “Every board or organization that we appoint, I want to see at least an annual briefing from our representatives. It came up before in relation to the Gunnison Basin Roundtable. I would like to see a bit more information coming from our representatives.”