Grand County gets big jump on winter burning season |

Grand County gets big jump on winter burning season

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

From results out of public workshops last year, the Grand County Department of Natural Resources is “being as aggressive as possible before Christmas” in the number of burn piles allowed in the county.

Department Foreman Jennifer Murray told Grand County commissioners Tuesday that almost one-third the number of piles burned during all of last winter have been burned in just the past two and one-half weeks.

As much as 13 million cubic feet of material was burned last year, with about 4 million cubic feet burned so far this year. It is hoped that by allowing a greater number of commercial and private pile burns earlier in the season, fewer burns will occur later when snow levels are deeper and tourism ramps up in the Fraser Valley, Murray said.

Willits gravel pit permit renewed

Grand County renewed the special use permit for Willits Company Inc. to continue producing gravel for another two years near Granby on County Road 60.

Commissioners made the approval, though it was recorded that Willits violated its special use permit 15 times in the past two years by exceeding the maximum allowable number of truck hauls per-day.

Willits exceeded the allowable number by as many as 16 truckloads in some cases. Willits’ trucks also have been found to travel uncovered, another violation. Planning and zoning staff told commissioners that on each occasion of a truck hauling material uncovered, a phone call to the owner corrected the problem immediately.

Owner Bob Willits asked that the number of truckloads be increased in the permit. For instance in winter, agencies need salt sand for roads and getting the material out in time is a consideration for road safety, he said.

Commissioner James Newberry said in such instances, a phone call to the planning department for emergency hauls should suffice. It’s “a bigger deal that you violated those number of times in a special use permit,” Newberry said.

Changing the permit to reflect more trips per day would take a formal amendment and therefore was not initiated during Tuesday’s public hearing.

“We will keep a closer eye on it,” Willits said.

New home for Search and Rescue

A new garage and shop facility built near the Stillwater Community Chapel on Highway 34 will become an outpost for Grand County Search and Rescue.

A lease amount of $1,000 per month for 30 months, to be paid in a lump sum to the church to pay off work on the new building, will provide Search and Rescue a 1,000 square-foot staging area for equipment. The arrangement was given the thumbs up by Grand County commissioners Tuesday.

According to Search and Rescue, most of its calls take place in the Grand Lake area.

Resolution about future medical center

Grand County approved a resolution giving its blessings to the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District to pursue a permit change to 9.7 acres of land for a future medical center outside of Granby through the Bureau of Land Management. In a 1984 patent, the BLM conveyed 51.44 acres to the county for “rodeo arena grounds and public recreation facilities only.” The possibility of a medical facility on a portion of that land “encompasses everything you have been asked to use a piece of public property for,” said County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran Tuesday, addressing county commissioners.

Snocross races approved

X-Treme Mountain Racing gained a temporary special use permit from Grand County for hosting two Snocross races Jan. 3 and 4 and Jan. 10 and 11 on Bud Linke’s ranch property near Granby this winter. Commissioners also approved the possibility of two more races in January and February if the cities of Craig and Eagle do not receive enough snow.

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