News, September 5th

GW CITY COUNCIL MEETING / REC WEED

Glenwood Springs—Recreational marijuana is on the agenda for tonight’s Glenwood Springs City Council. The council has been grappling with the rush to come up with local regulations for Amendment 64 by the state-imposed deadline of October 1st.  The city may consider buying a little more time by imposing a moratorium. During a recent meeting, councilman Ted Edmonds urged the city to meet the deadline. He says prohibition doesn’t work.      Tonight’s meeting begins at 7.

WHITE RIVER FOREST PLANS FOR SMUGGLER MOUNTAIN

Aspen—Time has run out to make a comment on the White River National Forest’s plan to improve the Hunter Creek-Smuggler Mountain area.  Officials say they will make exceptions to the public comment process if individuals submit, in writing, a specific concern within 45 days of being published in the paper.  The forest service is considering a number of projects across over 46-hundred acres in the Aspen / Sopris Ranger District including recreation trails, forest health and wildlife habitat, and Smuggler Mountain (County Road 21) improvements and maintenance and better outdoor education.

PLANS CONSIDERED FOR COLORADO HOMES IN WILDFIRE PRONE AREAS

DENVER — More than half-million Colorado homes in wildfire-prone areas could be assigned a risk rating that would be provided to insurance companies under a plan considered by a state task force. Plans  could also call for a fee on homes in fire zones to help pay for local fire-prevention efforts.  The task force has until Sept. 30 to submit ideas to Governor Hickenlooper for keeping forests healthy and limiting wildfire damage.
State lawmakers would have the final say on whether the proposals are enacted.
Homebuilders on the task force warn that risk ratings could drive down property values and make insurance tough to get. An insurance industry representative says state interference in the underwriting process could cause problems.

DRILLING PLANS NEAR HIGH SCHOOL DISPUTED

GREELEY (AP) – The fight over whether to expand oil and gas drilling near a Greeley high school may not be over.  Sierra Club is asking state regulators to deny Synergy Resources a permit for the site near Northridge High School now that councilors have rejected an appeal by residents. Club member Lauren Swain says  the state’s net setback rules for drilling are still inadequate.  Synergy already has permission for 15 wells and plans to add three more, along with 36 more oil and water tanks. Residents worry that’s too industrial for the area though the company says it wouldn’t be able to drill all 18 wells at once.  Vice president Craig Rasmuson says the company will monitor air quality every month, do water testing and put up a sound barrier.

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