Complaints of noise and odor from a new compressor site on the south side of the county have been reported to Phillips County commissioners, they said at their Feb. 27 meeting.
At the same time, commissioners have received a recommendation from the Phillips County Board of Adjustments for approval of a conditional use permit for Omimex Petroleum’s Smokey Hill Compressor.
Commissioner Joe Kinnie said the process was backward, since the compressor site was already built before the company applied for the conditional use permit.
“It gives us the upper hand,” said Kinnie, because if the commissioners find excessive noise and odor at the site, they won’t approve the application, and legal issues could follow.
After discussion, commissioners postponed their decision so they could have an opportunity to visit the site. They are scheduled to observe the Smokey Hill Compressor site Tuesday, March 10, so they can make an informed decision.
Feasibility study continues for industrial park
The feasibility of an industrial park at CHS Grainland’s train loading facility northeast of Holyoke is being considered in an ongoing study.
Commissioners, along with representatives from the City of Holyoke and Phillips County Economic Development Corporation, met to review the study prepared by University of Colorado graduate student Kevin McCarthy through the Colorado Center for Community Development Program.
Commissioners also heard from Louis Harmon during a phone conference. He prepared an engineer’s estimate on utilities for the industrial park.
Representatives from CHS Grainland were unable to attend.
The industrial park is still in the preliminary stages, said Kinnie. The committee will meet again during the commissioners’ regular meeting March 10.
County’s assessed value is adjusted
Phillips County Assessor Doug Kamery reported that property was omitted from Phillips County’s 2014 assessed value. An addition of the Tallgrass Pipeline project adds $785,840 of additional assessed value to the county for 2014, collected in tax revenue for 2015.
The previously reported assessed value was $77,496,957. With the addition, it totals $78,282,797.
In February, the board held a public hearing on the county’s proposed supplemental budget for 2014, and commissioners adopted the supplemental budget as proposed.
Six budget areas had unanticipated expenses that needed to be covered. Commissioners approved the 2014 appropriation for the general fund to be increased by $26,989 to $2,975,536.
They also approved that the 2014 appropriation for the county fair fund be increased $11,850 to $63,000 for expenditures of the fair. The county fair fund also received $5,993 more in income than originally anticipated.
In addition, commissioners reported the 2014 annual highway users’ mileage report shows Phillips County maintains a total of 1,022 miles of road. The county receives funding from the state for this maintenance.
Right-to-farm regulations considered
Last month, commissioners attended a planning commission meeting where right-to-farm regulations were discussed and recommended by the commission.
Commissioners explained the proposed right-to-farm regulations mean adjacent property owners and the general public can’t complain or file suits against the noise, dust, etc. caused by standard farming operations.
A public hearing will be set to discuss the matter further.
Projection rental fees set
Phillips County has set a $150 rental fee per use for one projector/screen pair at the Event Center.
The county recently purchased two front/rear projectors and two 9-by-12-foot dual vision screens.
An additional $50 rental fee will be added for curtains around the screen.
The fees will be reviewed after the equipment has been in use for several months.
Additionally, commissioners approved two large purchases.
Servers at Phillips County Courthouse will be replaced with three servers, totaling $28,257. County Administrator Randy Schafer said the county has been experiencing problems with their servers in the last few weeks and are close to losing data. They want to get the new servers in place as soon as possible.
Due to poor sound quality at the Phillips County Fairgrounds grandstands, a new sound system has been approved. It will be purchased from Scholl Oil & Transportation for $22,795.
Covering both the arena and grandstands, the cost of the new system includes installation, microphones, speakers, amplifiers, mixers, etc.
In the month of February, commissioners:
—met with Josh Sonnenberg, the local representative for newly elected U.S. Rep. Ken Buck.
—approved the $8,850 purchase of a disc for District 1 for construction purposes.
—approved the purchase of a microfiche reader printer for $7,565 for Phillips County Clerk and Recorder Beth Zilla.
—hosted a public forum Feb. 19 for input on a proposed Great Outdoors Colorado grant for picnic shelters and a splash pad at Homesteaders Park.
—appointed David Bickford as the Phillips County representative on the Northeast Colorado Broadband Committee. Last month, commissioners reported Vince Kropp was the appointee, but since he is employed at PC Telcom, that was seen as a conflict of interest.
—appointed Bruce Mahnke to the county communications board.
—approved an agreement with the Red Cross that Phillips County Event Center can be used in a disaster situation.
—approved the 2015 Wildfire Annual Operating Plan, which was submitted by the county’s emergency manager, Bob Heldenbrand. Commissioners also approved an annual contract for Heldenbrand to serve as the county emergency manager in 2015.
—approved the hiring of Jordon Fleharty of Haxtun as a full-time dispatcher at the communications center. He replaces Tammey Evans.
Holyoke Enterprise March 5, 2015