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Proposed regs could hinder minerals work

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The Board of County Commissioners is considering a policy stand on proposed regulations by the Bureau of Land Management. If adopted, the new regulations could establish a rules regimen that would affect gas exploration and development here in negative ways, commissioners believe. The proposed regulations would add considerable financial uncertainty to the business decisions made by exploration and production companies.

Commissioners discussed the proposed rules with Bruce Bertram, local government designee, and reviewed a draft letter to the U.S. Department of Interior on the matter.

In general, the commissioners are questioning a rule that could change (increase) the royalty payments due the government after a gas well has been put into production.

Commissioners will discuss the matter further with staff before deciding on an official position statement.

In other business at their regular meeting on April 4, the commissioners dealt with the following matters:

• Set Saturday, May 21 as free day at the landfill;

• Approved a bid of $34,496 from a Montrose company for replacement of one of two boilers in the courthouse heating system;

• Approved a specific development application for Trailhead Stables at 11695 4050 Road at Paonia, applicant Chelsea Frediani;

• Adopted a resolution for replats of lots in the Lazy W minor subdivision;

• Reviewed a complaint of a neighborhood problem on 25 Road involving barking dogs and discussed county regulations with the sheriff. A kennel license may be applied for.

• Approved Guthrie Carpet of Delta for a $9,614 carpet and installation job in the district attorney's office. The Delta company was able to begin immediately and was awarded the work over the low bidder from Montrose at $8,935 that couldn't start for 30 days. Staff said that both bids were acceptable and came in under the $12,000 budgeted amount;

• Received a jail and work release census count of 65 total;

• Approved a state-funded contract of $282,000 for jail-based behavioral health services;

• And, adopted a resolution ratifying an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Delta and CDOT for a new access control plan along Highway 50 north from the Highway 92 intersection to Starr-Nelson Road, and east from the intersection to Austin.

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