HIGHLIGHTS, July 16, 2019, County Commissioner meeting

• Delta County Mosquito Control District #1 Manager Terry Stalcup presented commissioners with a resolution to address the use of chemicals used to control mosquitos in the vicinity of a hemp farm. Stalcup told commissioners that “industrial hemp is (grown) in all but four states, but that there are currently no pesticides/fungicides certified by the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) that can be used by industrial hemp.” Stalcup explained, “If they fog anywhere there is industrial hemp they cannot let it drift onto the hemp plant.” He added, “Hemp growers don’t want anything close to their crops because it will affect the purity of the CBD oil.”
 
“(I) was shown a pail that was worth a million dollars from three-quarters of an acre if it is pure; and if it is contaminated with insecticides or fungicides (it was worth) $750,000 for the same pail,” said Stalcup. While this is “big money,” Stalcap added, “We have the health issue to deal with.” Chairman Suppes agreed, saying, “… one death from West Nile, how do you put a price tag on that?”
(NOTE: Stalcap’s reference to “a pail” could not be accurately interrupted. Local numbers are rumored to average $75,000 of CBD oil per acre.)
 
The Mosquito Control District’s resolution prohibits spraying within 1,000 of a hemp field while fogging is effective for about 300 feet allowing 600 extra feet in case of incidental drift.
 
• Commissioners discussed the costs to operate the North Fork Transfer Waste Station outside Hotchkiss. Ron Hainning, manager of the Adobe Buttes Landfill, told commissioners that only one company had responded to a bid request to hail trash from the transfer station to the county landfill. At an estimated cost of $3,700 per month, commissioners asked if there were alternatives to contracting the service but, after lengthy discussion, concluded that this was the best tactic and voted to accept the hailing contract.
 
Road and Bridge Foreman Dan Sickles suggested that commissioners consider closing the transfer station and Hainning pointed out that it was a pilot program that has come with a big cost. Hainning added that the facility has “always run in the negative and is technically out of compliance” with state regulations and would cost $100,000 to correct.
 
Commissioner Lane said it is handy for the North Fork residents and Chairman Suppes agreed saying, “obviously, we need the service…but the Board needs to sit down and have a work session” to discuss the cost benefit.

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