Grand County Commissioners deny gravel-pit expansion of operation |

Grand County Commissioners deny gravel-pit expansion of operation

Tonya BinaSky-Hi NewsGrand County, Colo

GRANBY – Grand County commissioners, May 11, denied a request to expand the hours of operation of the Flintstone Gravel Pit near the Granby Airport.Chuck Reavis of A&S Construction Co. of Canon City, the road construction company that has been contracted to lay 70,000 tons of asphalt on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park starting this summer, sought the ability to load and drive trucks 24 hours a day, at least Monday through Thursday, to and from the Flintstone Gravel Pit. Under a county special use permit granted last March, current operating hours at the pit are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. With the extended hours, Reavis said, the job in Rocky Mountain National Park could be completed in half the time.Hauling asphalt at night would help limit traffic problems from road construction, he said, with tourism traffic held up during one season rather than two.”We want to accomplish it in one season to minimize the impact to everyone.”But several neighbors to the Flintstone Gravel Pit site came out against the request, voicing their concerns about noise, truck traffic, light pollution, dust and the general eyesore of the operation. “I don’t think we should have to suffer for something they didn’t take into account,” said Bill Strandberg, a neighbor to the operation.The Colorado Division of Wildlife weighed in, saying extended hours would further impact elk and pronghorn migration, as well as disturb the mating rituals of greater sage grouse. Town of Granby officials also were against the extension of operation, objecting to the “unreasonable disruption of the comfort, quiet or repose of people in the vicinity and within the town of Granby limits.”Commissioner Nancy Stuart voted against the request on account that the gravel pit – owned by Ted Pratt who was absent from the meeting – has not even operated a full summer yet. “I can’t support lengthening the hours to something we haven’t seen yet,” she said.Commissioner Gary Bumgarner, who acknowledged that he too is in the gravel-pit business in Kremmling but didn’t feel his vote would be a conflict since he was not in direct competition with the project in question, said he had a “real issue that the person who has the permit isn’t here.” His no-vote was based on the definition of an “emergency and special project,” outlined in a provision of the county’s special-use permit code. “‘Emergency is not month-after-month-after-month,” Bumgarner said.Commissioner James Newberry, who also voted against extended hours, said he would rather see an asphalt plant set up in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is gaining the benefit, rather than impact the permitted area in the county.

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