Tezak Tunnel Drive Quarry Expansion Approved
An application sought by T.H.E. Aggregate Source to expand a gravel quarry along Tunnel Drive west of Cañon City won approval by the Fremont County Board of Commissioners following a public hearing on March 12th. Tezak Heavy Equipment sought a modification to their existing conditional use permit so they can add 83 acres to their existing operation on 216 acres. 79 acres of the expanded area is on federal Bureau of Land Management acreage and already was reviewed and approved by the BLM.
Lee Ann Oliver said she was concerned about the project’s visual impact, especially to tourists passing through town. A letter to the Commissioners from Donna Young expressed the same concerns that a lot of dust and the mountain scar would be detrimental to the many tourists who visit the area. Jim Meacham, chairman of local geology club, shared his concerns about the long-term reclamation process. Russ Hager, an employee supervisor at Holcim, Inc., spoke in favor of the project emphasizing that T.H.E. has always performed responsibly and continue to provide important jobs for the region.
Ken Klco, who represented T.H.E. at the hearing, said that from a visual standpoint, there won’t be a great level of change, even from those rafting on the river. District 3 Commissioner Ed Norden asked Klco about the existing scars on the mountain that most motorists see when they drive Highway 50. Klco said in fact there are two other active quarry permits in that area to the north. He said the rock fall scar that most people recognize is outside T.H.E. permit boundary and actually dates back to the 1930’s. Klco added that the visual impact from Highway 50 will actually improve over the next 20 years because the high wall will go away, and you will see the gravel disturbed behind it from a long range view,” he said.
BLM Geologist Stephanie Carter said that in analyzing the expansion only about five percent of the disturbed quarry area would have a visual impact along Highway 50 based an analysis of a number of viewing points. She said many of those viewing points already can see the existing quarry.
Liquor License Denied for Marv’s Place
The Board of Commissioners also voted unanimously to deny the renewal of a tavern liquor license for Thomas and Sandra Lincoln who operate Marv’s Place bar at 103 Broadway in Penrose. Sheriff Jim Beicker said after years of dealing with various incidents at the bar he had decided to recommend that the Board deny the liquor license renewal.
Beicker said his biggest problem is the Lincolns’ refusal to cooperate or call officers when law enforcement is needed. Beicker said when deputies arrive to investigate they also get very little cooperation from bar patrons. Beicker said there have been several incidents when deputies were jeered at and threatened by bar patrons. Beicker told the Commissioners, “I told Mr. Lincoln many years ago that I would not tolerate an establishment like that where deputies felt threatened and unwelcome in a bar, we should be their friends.”
Tom Lincoln said that since last year’s license renewal, there have been no citations issued and that he and his wife run a nice, clean neighborhood bar. The Lincolns submitted some 82 signatures of patrons at Marv’s Place.
The Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the liquor license citing in particular the fact that the Lincolns could not provide proof of a lease beyond the March 31st expiration date of their current liquor license. The Commissioners noted that state law requires proof of ownership or a lease with the application. There is no long-term lease agreement between the Lincolns and the building owner because, Lincoln said, the building owner didn’t want to commit to one. He said he placed the bar for sale about two months ago.
In denying the liquor license Commissioner Ed Norden also noted that it appears as if efforts are made to avoid calling law enforcement when an incident occurs. He said in fact it appears from police reports that victims of assaults or disturbances were the ones who finally called deputies. Board Chair Debbie Bell said the most troubling to her is the number of citations or incident reports that never were written because eyewitnesses refused to come forward.
Marijuana Temporary Moritorium
The Board of Commissioners also voted at their March 12th meeting to approve a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana stores in the unincorporated areas of Fremont County. The Commissioners said they decided to put all recreational marijuana retail stores, manufacturing facilities, and cultivation facilities off limits in the county until the State of Colorado arrives at a definitive set of regulations. The marijuana moratorium will be in place until October 1st which is the deadline for the state to have regulations in place. The moratorium could be lifted earlier if the county adopts its own rules before then.
In other business at the March 12th meeting the Commissioners:
- Re-appointed Paul Telck, Doug Burford, Ralph Kunselman, Curt Sorenson and Fred Smith and newly appointed Tony Telck and Darrell Deling to the Fremont County Weed Advisory Board;
- Appointed Michael Pullen to the Fremont County Planning Commission to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Dean Sandoval;
- Appointed members to a newly formed Fremont County 4-H Livestock Sales Committee for the county fair. Three year terms went to Ralph Kunselman, Tami Ratkovich, and Mark Masar; two year terms to Bob Masse, Samantha Faoro, and Greg Van Riper; and one year terms to Jared Huston, Gina Grisenti and Kathy Kunselman;
- Approved a one-year Lease Agreement for Civil Air Patrol office space in a modular building placed at the Fremont County Airport;
- Approved a resolution denying an exemption from Fremont County Sales Tax for Low Emitting Vehicles.