County Kicks in for CNG Station Incentive

Garfield County commissioners agreed Monday to put $90,000 toward the city of Glenwood Springs' efforts to attract a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station somewhere in town.

City council had agreed earlier to allocate $10,000 toward the $100,000 incentive offer seeking a gas station operator willing to install a CNG unit to serve customers with natural gas vehicles. The city will now send out a formal request for proposals.

A public/private partnership has been touted by Garfield Clean Energy, an intergovernmental organization to which both Garfield County and the city of Glenwood Springs belong.

A CNG fueling station is already in place in Rifle and another is in the works for Parachute.

“This is an attempt to have one on this end of the county,” Glenwood Springs City Manager Jeff Hecksel said at the regular county commissioners meeting on Monday.

The effort is in line with Garfield County's goals, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said.

“This will benefit our county, and makes use of a natural resource that's available here,” Jankovsky said. “I see this as Garfield County asking the city to do something that we can't do ourselves, because we're not a home rule [government].”

After the proposals are received, the city and county will choose an operator to open a CNG fueling facility in Glenwood Springs.

In other matters at Monday's BOCC meeting, the board:

• Heard from representatives of the Thompson Divide Coalition, asking the commissioners to restate their support for the group's efforts to halt future oil and gas leasing on federal lands in the area west of Carbondale, and to negotiate the purchase of mineral leases from willing sellers.

The county commissioners, as recently as 2010, were on record with a resolution in support of the TDC's efforts, but have not formally reconsidered it since that time.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, who joined the board in January 2011, said he supports multiple use of public lands, including mineral leasing.

“I very much believe in multiple use, and have a history of working with the forest service,” Jankovsky said of his longtime involvement as a shareholder and general manager at the Sunlight Mountain Resort ski area. “Without multiple use, we would not be able to operate.”

Commissioners John Martin and Mike Samson said they stand behind the earlier TDC resolution.

• Approved a $32,500 match for the town of Carbondale to pay for new heating system units at the Third Street Center, which houses several nonprofit organizations, foundations and artist studios. The town, which owns the building, is putting in an equal amount. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Carbondale Town Manager Jay Harrington said.

• Moved forward with plans for the county to seek an additional 400 acre-feet of water from Ruedi Reservoir, as part of an offer by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to sell the last round of water from the facility located on the Fryingpan River east of Basalt. Several Western Slope government entities and energy companies have requested various amounts of un-allocated water from Ruedi. The plan is subject to a formal environmental review process, for which the county will contribute $30,000.

• Granted a one-year extension for an existing concrete batch plant at the Powers Gravel Pit on Highway 82 near Carbondale to meet conditions of approval.

This article was first published by Post Independent.

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