• Commissioners awarded a $2.4 million (final estimate still in negotiation) commercial builder’s contract to Stryker and Company, Inc., of Montrose to oversee the design and construction of a new Human Resources building. The new building is part of a courthouse-campus expansion and renovation that will include new offices for the county attorney’s department; renovation inside the current courthouse foyer; and a state-mandated expansion of the county’s courtrooms.
• Commissioners agreed that two 3D seismic testing projects submitted by Gunnison Energy move forward as minor developments and be processed by the county planning department. Planning director Elyse Casselberry explained to Commissioners that Gunnison Energy’s projects qualified as “temporary-use” under the county’s specific development rules. “This is not a meeting to approve and deny oil and gas development. We’re just looking to see if the testing can proceed administratively,” said Casselberry.
Casselberry told Commissioners that the department had received many letters from concerned citizens about issues including landslides and other property damage, groundwater contamination and unexploded charges inside shot holes. One of the biggest concerns voiced by residents was about the future and what the testing might bring in the way of oil and gas development.
Interim Director for Citizens for a Healthy Community, Natasha Léger, reminded Commissioners that Gunnison Energy still needed an approval from the Forest Service to proceed on public land. Casselberry responded they could include the Forest Service’s approval as a condition in the county’s application, but added, the project could proceed on private land, when and if, planning approves the application.