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Commissioners Reject Reconsideration of Marijuana Cultivation

Offering no comment on a reconsideration request, the Fremont County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at their February 10th meeting not to hear a reconsideration of a January 5th decision to turn down a medical marijuana cultivation license in western Fremont County.   Dan Corsentino of D.C. Security Consultants of Pueblo appealed the Commissioners decision to deny a license to The Organic Seed LLC for an outdoor medical marijuana cultivation at 1785 Kit Carson Trail in the Copper Gulch area.

Corsentino’s nine page appeal addressed each of the Commissioners’ findings in the license denial.  The appeal acknowledged shortcomings on several points in the January 5th presentation by property owner Ryan Griego and offered an apology for Griego having misspoken.    Corsentino said that while the initial application was flawed, if reconsideration were granted, co-owner Nick Dremel would be responsible for the Fremont County application and grow site and that they would follow the county’s rules.

At the February 10th meeting the Commissioners declined an opportunity to pose questions to both Corsentino and Dremel who were in attendance.   After the vote Commission Chairman Ed Norden noted that the property owners still have the right to appeal the Board’s decision to the District Court.

On another medical marijuana (MMJ) related issue the Commissioners voted to set a public hearing at their March 10th regular meeting on a Special Review Use (SRU) permit request by Thressor LLC.   Chris Haight needs the Special Review Use permit to manufacture medical infused marijuana (MIP) products in the existing Business Zone District at the Apple Shed in Penrose.   The SRU approval would have to come before consideration of two medical marijuana licenses sought by Haight for both cultivation of marijuana and the MIP.  Because the public comments on the SRU are expected to parallel those regarding the medical marijuana licenses, Chairman Norden announced that the Board will conduct a single public hearing on March 10th at 10 a.m. combining the issues of the SRU and the two MMJ licenses.

The Board of Commissioners heard an annual report about activities at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine (CC & V) from Jane Mannon.   Mannon said that of the 556 employees at CC & V 113 of them reside in Fremont County.    Mannon said that means $7.6 million in the gold mine’s annual payroll goes to Fremont County residents.    She said the annual salary and benefits for the mine’s employees is $79,000.   Mannon said CC & V expects to increase the number of employees to 600 by next year as production begins at the new Valley Leach facility.    Mannon said CC & V produced 210,921 ounces of gold in 2014 and 110,383 ounces of silver.   Mannon said the community contribution CC & V is most proud of is donation of the gold that was turned into gold leaf that was newly installed on the State Capitol Dome in Denver last year.

The Board of Commissioners and Fair Board President Delores Comstock (pictured right) honor Larry Wagner on February 10th for his lifelong contributions to the county & 4-H. Wagner served as a CSU Extension Agent in Fremont and Custer Counties for many years. He also worked with the Fremont County Fair for 40 years and was Assistant Manager at the Colorado State Fair for 20 years.

In other business at the February 10th Board meeting the Commissioners:

  • Approved a resolution honoring the contributions of Larry Wagner to Fremont County and particularly to 4-H programs;
  • Approved the appointment of Joseph Whelan and the re-appointment of Russell Helm for five year terms on the John C. Fremont Library District Board;
  • Approved the appointment of Sandy Johnston to the Penrose Library District Board for a five year term;
  • Approved a request of a $3,000 expenditure from the county’s Conservation Trust Fund (lottery $$) to assist the Cañon City Recreation and Park District in seeking a grant for new pickleball courts at Rouse Park;
  • Approved a $13,900 expenditure with Atkins Engineering Consultants to prepare documents on the Chandler Creek Flood Plain Map revisions and submit them for approval to the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  • Heard a 2014 annual report on Code Enforcement activities from Code Officers Ron Zenisky and Robert Sapp.   The Code Officers reported working 174 violations last year reaching resolution on 114 cases;
  • Approved a Commercial Development Plan for Phillip and Teresa Poindexter to operate a mini-storage facility and space for other retail vendors on their property along Highway 50 in the Texas Creek area.   Their 6 ½ acres of property is across the road from an A-frame building that housed a rock shop several years ago.
  • Heard a request from Virginia Green and Dave Bunker for the county to bear the expense of survey work along a two mile stretch of High Park Road (CR 11) in order to secure a state grant for barb wire fencing.   Green and Bunker are concerned that too many motorists speed on the road to Cripple Creek and end up killing their cattle.   Chad Barr added that the matter has become a public safety issue.   The Commissioners said they would inquire about the cost of a survey to determine if the county wants to offer funding.