GARCO BOARD DEBATES SETBACK RULES
Glenwood Springs—Just how close is too close when it comes to drilling rigs in neighborhoods? That issue was debated by the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, lawyers and concerned citizens. Members of the Battlement Mesa-based Grand Valley Citizens Alliance are calling for a minimum distance of 1,000 thousand feet from homes, hospitals and schools. Currently, the state setback rules require a 150 foot buffer in rural areas and 350 feet in urban areas. Commissioners compromised yesterday, suggesting oil and gas companies consult landowners before drilling if the property line is between 500 and a thousand feet of a proposed rig.
COL GOV SAYS STATE DRILLING RULES APPLY
Denver—The state has regulatory authority over oil and gas drilling according to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper is trying resolve conflicts between local governments and the state over drilling regulations. The issue stems from the city of Longmont and Boulder County trying to implement their own set of rules to prevent companies from drilling. Governor Hickenlooper says the regulations set forth by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are sufficient. He says adding a separate list of local rules will only confuse the matter as companies look to drill for gas along the Front Range.
GARFIELD COUNTY AIR SHOW GOING TO SEMI-ANNUAL SCHEDULE
Glenwood Springs—The increasingly popular Garfield County Air Show has been grounded for next summer. Commissioner Mike Samson is recommending the annual aviation spectacular be held every other year to trim expenses. Commissioners are putting the 2013 budget together and Samson says with the county doubling it’s investment into next summer’s 75th anniversary of the fair and rodeo, it will free up over 200 thousand dollars.
RURAL PHONE SERVICE SUBSIDIES QUESTIONED
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has decided to phase out subsidies for telephone service in rural areas. Commission member say increased competition among telephone providers no longer justifies the subsidies. The Grand Junction Sentinel reports that utilities argued to keep the regulations, saying the state’s mountains still make phone connections difficult, even with wireless or satellite.
FORT CARSON (AP) – Some Fort Carson soldiers are back home from Afghanistan just in time for Thanksgiving. Some 150 members of the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat team were welcomed home yesterday after serving nine months training Afghan soldiers. The Gazette reports about 50 more Fort Carson soldiers are scheduled to return home today.