Dozens attend Commissioners’ annual reorganization meeting

JOANN KALENAK, DCCR SENIOR BLOGGER — Almost 40 residents attended this morning’s Delta County Commissioner annual reorganization meeting. Most were under the impression Commissioners intended to hear proposed changes to the Land Use Code although this discussion topic was never included on the agenda. Many attended to express their opposition to, in many cases, the existence of the code itself. Some addressed the changes being proposed while others complained about the lack of effort by the county to keep the community informed.

Commissioners did not answer most of the questions asked by residents but Chairman Suppes encouraged the audience to attend the upcoming Planning Commission (PC) meeting on January 11 at 5:30pm. Suppes asked the audience to bring specific issues related to the Land Use Code and not just generic complaints. Residents can attend the January PC meeting at the Delta County Administration building in Delta. A virtual pre-registration link should be available soon.

The first order of regular business saw Commissioners vote in Wendell Koontz to serve as their 2023 chair and Mike Lane as vice-chair. Almost 50 committee assignments and appointments were also made and are being filled by pertinent staff members and select County Commissioners.
Notably missing from the assignment list was the appointment of the county’s representative to the Western and Rural Local Government Coalition (WRLC). Commissioner Koontz recently came under fire for submitting a comment letter to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on behalf of the county and as a representative of WRLC. Local oil and gas activist group, Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC), has alleged that the letter, which constituted public business, was not presented in a public meeting prior to submission as required by Colorado’s Open Meeting Law. The letter regarded a Petition for Rulemaking to Adopt Rules to Evaluate and Address Cumulative Air Impacts and stated that the county was opposed to the petition citing existing state rules and contending that adoption of the proposed rules “would result in a de facto ban on oil and gas development and production in Delta County.”
NOTE: DCCR reached out to county administration for comment on the 2023 WRLC appointment but received no response.

OTHER MEETING HIGHLIGHTS: Commissioners signed two letters of support at the meeting; one for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s proposal to purchase 281 acres adjacent to Sweitzer Lake State Park in a desire to expand the park. The other is in support of grants being pursued by DMEA to improve and complete broadband services in Delta County.