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Commissioners Approve Resolution Opposing Amendment 68

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners joined a growing chorus of voices across Colorado declaring their opposition to Amendment 68 which appears on the November 4th general election ballot.   The Commissioners voted at their October 14th regular meeting to approve a resolution opposing Amendment 68 to the Colorado Constitution.    The amendment would allow casino gambling to be established at racetracks in Arapahoe, Mesa, and Pueblo Counties.

District 3 Commissioner Ed Norden said at a recent meeting in Denver of Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI) member commissioners voted to also endorse a CCI resolution opposing the amendment.   Norden said the 1990 amendment allowing casino gambling in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek still required a vote by local residents in each of those towns.   Norden said both the Fremont County and CCI resolutions call out the fact that Amendment 68 does not allow for a local vote in the three racetrack counties.

The resolution goes on to point out that Amendment 68 would likely have an immediate and long term negative economic impact on Fremont County’s neighbors in Teller County along with potential negative impacts to Fremont County due to the loss of Teller County casino traffic.   The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution and urged Fremont County voters to consider the negative impacts Amendment 68 when casting their vote.

Cañon City Water Superintendent Bob Hartzman gave a detailed report to the Board of Commissioners on the conservation and re-vegetation efforts that have taken place over the past year in the city’s Royal Gorge Park.   The June, 2013, wildfire devastated some 3,800 acres in and around the park which also serve as a watershed for Cañon City’s water treatment plant.  Hartzman said 172 drainage check structures were built in 10 sub-drainages to control ash and debris leading into the Arkansas River.  Hartzman reported that over 28,000 pounds of native grass and wildflower seed was deposited across 886 acres by helitcopter at a cost of $132,000.   He said 1,369 acres of burnt and charred pinon-juniper trees were hydro-axed and reduced to wood chips prior to the seeding.

Hartzman said the biggest volunteer effort focused on the planting of 5,096 seedling trees.  He said 362 volunteers worked over the course of seven different seedling planting events to plant and water the seedlings across 140 acres.   He said the seedling tree project cost $653,000 which included a $485,000 Colorado Water Conservation Board grant, $203,000 from the USDA Emergency Fund, $109,000 from the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, and $11,000 in local funds.

In other business at the October 14th meeting the Board of Commissioners:

  • Scheduled a special meeting for 1:30 p.m. November 3rd to consider a bid award for renovation of the 4th floor of the county’s Judicial Building for the new regional dispatch center;
  • Approved a hotel and restaurant liquor license for Broadway Bar & Grill in Penrose;
  • Approved a special events liquor permit for the Fremont Community Foundation’s “Aftermath” Halloween event on October 24th at the Cañon City Recreation District;
  • Approved a hotel and restaurant liquor license transfer from Royal Gorge Company to Service System Associates (SSA).   SSA will handle all of the food and beverage vending at the newly rebuilt Royal Gorge Bridge and Park;
  • Re-appointed Florence City Councilman Larry Baker to the Fremont County Planning Commission;
  • Re-scheduled the board’s regular November 11th meeting to Monday, November 10th at 9:30 a.m. because of the Veterans Day observance.