Battlement incorporation ‘expensive proposition’
Running Battlement Mesa as a municipality would cost up to $2 million a year, an amount that wouldn’t fully be made up even with substantial new taxes on residents, a study has found.
“It would be an expensive proposition,” Ford Frick of BBC Research and Consulting told Garfield County commissioners today.
Frick said there still would be about a $150,000 to $200,000 shortfall even with substantial property and sales tax increases.
“I would say that it’s a very difficult financial argument for the residents of Battlement Mesa to support incorporation,” Frick said.
Battlement Mesa is located just south of Parachute. It was created by Exxon for oil shale workers but since the early-1980s oil shale bust it has been developed by the Battlement Mesa Co. It covers 3,300 acres and has 1,650 households and more than 4,000 residents, Frick said.
Frick said the community suffers from a lack of a significant commercial tax base. It has about 91,000 square feet of commercial space, but about 35,000 square feet are producing taxable sales. The rest are either vacant or don’t produce sales taxes, he said.