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Gunnison Energy closes some facilities

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The Board of County Commissioners on Monday heard a report that Gunnison Energy LLC is working on decommissioning some of its production facilities in Surface Creek and elsewhere.

Bruce Bertram, local government designee, told commissioners that the work was "the first step" in an area-wide structures abandonment process.

A 12-inch low pressure flow line that once transported gas from wells in the Surface Creek area to a compressor station near Highway 65 has been unplugged and abandoned, it was reported. Gunnison Energy has had as many as six wells in the area, one on public lands and the others on private lands.

There was a 500-gallon oil spill involving maintenance fluids in secondary storage that occurred during decommissioning of the compressor station. It was contained and cleaned up per regulations, Bertram reported.

Gunnison Energy is also abandoning production facilities at Oak Creek, Stevens Gulch and in the Muddy Creek drainage. The company has expressed plans for future operations in the Muddy Creek drainage and further east.

In other business during its Monday, June 26 meeting the Board of County Commissioners dealt with the following matters.

• Commissioners followed the recommendation of the Delta County Tourism Cabinet and awarded the bid for tourism coordinator to Kelli Hepler. She has held the position for a number of years but re-applied for it under a competitive bidding process this year.

The $25,000 per year position will be reviewed annually by the tourism cabinet, commissioners were told by staff.

• Commissioners reappointed Steve Wolcott to the Upper North Fork Area Planning Commission.

• Commissioners tabled the signing of a statement declaring itself a "SolSmart" community.

"What does that mean?" asked Commission chair Doug Atchley.

Commissioner Don Suppes replied that "basically it is an advertising point" for the county. "It won't require a lot of staff time."

• Commissioners approved location of a federally funded communications repeater at the North Fork Montessori at Crawford School. Homeland Security bought the equipment and is paying for installation, staff reported.

• Human services department staff reported that the state is changing vendors for handling the EBT (electronic benefits transfer) transactions including food stamps and other public benefits. The changeover is planned for July 21 and some snags are possible, it was reported.

• The jail census report for June 19 shows 46 in detention and seven in work release; for June 26, 51 in detention and nine in work release.

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