County hears blight and dumping concerns from local citizen |

County hears blight and dumping concerns from local citizen

Among the issues that sparked Spencer's concern about trash, blight and code enforcement was this building near his property in the Three Lakes region that contains an open well, which Spencer called a hazard for children.
Courtesy photo / Stan Spencer |

A citizen’s concerns about illegal dumping, blight and the health and environmental hazards those issues can create got some attention from county government this week when local resident Stan Spencer addressed county commissioners about what he considers a significant local problem.

In late October, Sky-Hi News reported on concerns Spencer, a resident of the Three Lakes region, was then expressing to the paper and other local citizens about trash being left on the side of Grand County’s highways as well as abandoned hazardous items. At that time, Spencer was already in communication with officials from the county’s Community Development Department, seeking potential solutions. On Tuesday, Spencer went before the commissioners to briefly address the topic, in hopes of getting the county behind his push to renew focus on the topic.

Spencer said he felt the commissioners were broadly receptive to his concerns but noted there was no clear agreement on how to proceed. Spencer spoke with Commissioner Kristen Manguso about addressing the problem and, according to Spencer Manguso, told him she does not believe the county needs additional regulations to address the issue and instead feels the county needs to better enforce existing dumping, blight and zoning regulations.

The county as tentatively scheduled a blight and zoning workshop for late January or early February where they hope to dig further into the issue in more detail. Spencer also said the county has asked him to reach out to the Town Managers of the municipalities in Grand County to see if any would like to participate in the workshop.

Shortly after Spencer’s appearance before the commissioners Tuesday, he was reminded of his perceived need to address the issue.

While driving back from the meeting to his home near Grand Lake, Spencer found four mattresses abandoned on the side of Highway 34 near Shadow Mountain Lake. The mattresses had not been there earlier that morning as Spencer drove to the county building in Hot Sulphur Springs.

“It is ironic that on the same day we were discussing with the Grand County Board of County Commissioners this issue of trash and blight that people were illegally dumping two sets of mattresses and box springs on Highway 34,” Spencer said. “I find it disheartening to see this happen when there are residents that volunteer their time on the weekends to pick up trash along the highway for the Adopt-A-Highway program.”

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