Appointments were made May 21 to the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) working group and the oil and gas working group by county commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes.
The appointments were made upon the recommendations of the planning commission and county staff. The need for these working groups became evident during the year long process of updating the Master Plan.
Commissioners discussed at length with Robbie LeValley, county administrator, and Elyse Casselberry, county community and economic development director, whether the people recommended for appointment will provide balanced and equal representation of the various opinions held across the county on the two issues to be studied.
Commissioner Roeber said the oil and gas working group is lacking mineral owners. LeValley answered that county staff had consulted with treasurer Lisa Tafoya concerning mineral owners in Delta County.
Commissioner Atchley sought assurance that adequate outreach had been made to inform residents of the county of the need for membership on the two working groups.
Casselberry said notice was announced by email, the county's website, social media, discussed at all planning commission meetings, open house meetings, and noted in articles about the Master Plan update appearing in DCI articles. Everyone on the "Notify Me" list for BoCC meeting agendas received a notice. Responses were received from 350 people.
Commissioner Suppes recommended the commissioners review the setup in a year. Casselberry said staff anticipates bringing final recommendations to the planning commission and county commissioners by August.
Appointed to the CAFO working group are Tom Kay, an operator; Patrick Dooling, an environmental partner; Les Mergelman, an operator; Steve Harper, concerned resident, with land use experience; Jacob Gray, concerned resident; and Dave Whittlesey, operator.
Facilitators for the CAFO working group will be Seth Urbanowitz, CSU, and Robbie LeValley. Serving as staff will be Elyse Casselberry and staff from the Delta County Health Department.
Appointed to the oil and gas working group are Alex Johnson, environmental partner; Shane Sobtka, NGO/education partner; Wendell Koontz, industry; Mike Cleary, industry; Natasha Leger, environmental partner; Mark Waltermire, mineral owner and concerned resident; and Eric Sanford, SG Interests, industry and concerned resident.
Elyse Casselberry will be facilitator for the oil and gas working group, and staff will be Tony Vervolet, local county government designee for Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Robbie LeValley and staff from the Delta County Health Department.
The working groups will research and develop recommendations for enforceable standards to be incorporated into the county's land use regulations, and may make recommendations for additional policy guidance to incorporate into the Master Plan.
A third working group to examine water development and sustainability across the county has not been organized yet. More information about this working group can be obtained by contacting Elyse Casselberry, county community and economic development director, at 970-874-2105, or Kelly Yeager, contract planner, at 970-874-2110.