News, February 21st

ANOTHER ENERGY COMPANY ASKS BLM FOR SUSPENSION OF LEASES ON THOMPSON DIVIDE

Silt–With the window of opportunity closing fast, another Houston, Texas-based oil and gas company has asked the Bureau of Land Management to suspend it’s leases in the Thompson Divide. Ursa Piceance LLC has joined SG Interests in requesting a lease suspension to avoid losing drilling rights altogether. The 10-year leases expire later this year. Ursa’s leases ecompass about 12 thousand acres in Pitkin and Mesa County. The lease suspensions are intended to avoid the expiration dates and buy the companies more time as all the issues are worked out. A growing number of entities have joined in protest of any drilling in the divide including the well organized Thompson Divide Coalition and Pitkin County. Pitkin County commissioners plan to hold a public meeting on potential energy development in the divide next Wednesday night at 6 at Carbondale Town Hall. BLM Field Manager Steve Bennett and White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams will also take part in the meeting.

HOPE MINE RECLAMATION PROJECT

Glenwood Springs–The old Hope Silver Mine outside of Aspen is undergoing the final stages of clean up and reclamation. The Forest Service is seeking public input on the project for the mine along Castle Creek. Nearly three years ago a site assessment conducted by the Forest Service discovered soil erosion had caused dangerous levels of toxic materials to seep into the water including arsenic, zinc and lead. Since then, the Forest Service has partnered with other groups to stabilize the area to prevent additional seeps and removed old mine structures and debris. Written public comments will be taken by the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District until March 21st.

GLENWOOD POT SHOPS FACE MORATORIUM

Glenwood Springs–Recreational “Pot Shops” may be snuffed out temporarily in Glenwood Springs. Tonight, the city council will consider passing a moratorium on pot shops that will last until October 1st while the state tries to come up with some final regulations. Pot shops are the result of voters passing Amendment 64 last November that legalized the use of marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 and over. Glenwood Springs joins other towns and cities across the state with moratoriums because the legislature has yet to pass final regulations for the drug that is still considered an illegal, controlled substance by the federal government. Lawmakers are expected to adopt regulations based on recommendations submitted by the governor-appointed marijuana state task force. Tonight’s Glenwood Springs City Council meeting begins at 6.

OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENT ON GLENWOOD SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL’S FAULTY HVAC SYSTEM

Glenwood Springs–The extensive and expensive heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at newly rebuilt Glenwood Springs High School has never worked properly. As a result, the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District sued the four contractors blamed for doing the faulty installation which included the general contractor, FCI Constructors. Many classrooms in the 30 million dollar building were either too hot or too cold including the music room and the gymnasium. The school district will receive a half million dollars in an out of court settlement.

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