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The Sept. 4 Chaffee County Commissioners meeting resulted in approval of a contract signed with the Oak Leaf Community Solar Garden. It also resulted in approvals of the following Resolutions: No. 2018-48, ballot language for a vote to allow the county to provide telecommunications services including high-speed internet; No. 2018-47, the Hard Rock subdivision final plat; and an amendment to No. 2017-62 to allow the Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board to adjust its collections period.

Michael McCabe, representing Oak Leaf Energy Partners, answered commissioners’ questions on the wording of the proposed contract/grant consideration, which would make the county a subscriber to the Community Solar Garden under construction outside Salida. The Community Solar Garden, due to be commissioned by the end of this year, will generate 4.1 million kilowatt hours annually. Subscribers to the garden can collect up to 40 percent of the output, with the rest going back to the grid. After some questions regarding technical issues, came a question about the termination clause. McCabe said the county could terminate at any time, but Oak Leaf would ask for assistance to be made whole until another subscriber could be found. Commissioner Keith Baker moved to approve the subscription agreement. Commissioner Greg Felt seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners considered ballot language on the broadband resolution, No. 2018-48. Attorney Davis pointed out suggested changes to the ballot question wording, which now reads: “Regarding whether Chaffee County, Colorado may provide advanced services (high-speed internet), telecommunications services, and cable television services, either directly or indirectly with public and/or private sector partners”.

Baker moved to approve 2018-48; Felt seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

The county then moved on to a public hearing on a minor subdivision exemption for the Crossroads Ranch at 13200 CR 175, located just below the Turret cut-off. The 34.61-acre lot is to be divided into two parcels of 14.59 and 20.02 acres, respectively, with a dedicated road easement. The owner, Arthur Stone, was asking for a waiver of the augmentation certification as three wells have been drilled on the property and none have yielded water. The owner has an agreement with Poncha Springs to supply water for delivery. Regarding the plat note for this condition, Commissioner Dave Potts noted, “We need a consistent remark going forward because we will have more of these (dry lots) in the future.” Felt suggested the wording, “no proven water supply,” rather than water must be hauled in.

The public hearing closed with no further remarks. Felt made a motion to draft a resolution approving the Crossroads Ranch minor subdivision exemption with noted amendments; Keith Baker seconded. The motion passed unanimously, with the resolution to be drafted in two weeks. The Hard Rock subdivision final plat was also recommended for approval, pending the existing well’s re-permitting within 30 days. Baker moved for approval as amended on 2018-47. Felt seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Rick Hum, chairman of the Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board, asked the Commissioners to consider an amendment to its funding provision so that all excise tax collected in 2018 could be made available for the next round of granting, set to begin later this year; and that the timing of the shift in its fiscal year to the Oct. 1-Sept. 30 cycle be delayed until 2019 in order to shift $30,000 in revenue to this year.

Potts asked, “What will be your calendar in putting out (Marijuana Excise Tax) grant request opportunities in this cycle?” Hum replied that applications would be going out at the end of September, with public meetings for nonprofits to follow. Grant applications will be due the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and recommendations to the county commissioners would be going forth in early January.

After consultation with county attorney Jenny Davis as to whether the resolution could be phrased as an amendment to the funding resolution, Felt made the motion to postpone 2017-62 by extending collection of 2018 revenues until Dec. 31, amending 2017-62 as such. Baker seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

In other business, County Clerk Lori Mitchell reported that county staff were going to a Sept. 6 cybersecurity awareness workshop, featuring war games on the election process. Sixty-three counties out of 64 will be represented, with observers from different countries and states. David Callahan of the state Department for Veterans’ Affairs gave a presentation on its new Western Region OneSource, opening in Grand Junction.