County OKs oil-services firm’s permit
Despite protest from the mayor of De Beque, Old West Oil Field Services is now a staple of his community.
On Tuesday the Mesa County Commission listened to Mayor Dale Rickstrew’s reasoning, but in the end it approved a conditional-use permit for Old West.
The town had been trying to annex Old West, located just outside town limits to the west of De Beque at 2139 45 Road, and have it develop its business under town regulations.
The company originally obtained a conditional-use permit from the county, but due to lawsuits and other squabbles between the town and the county, Old West’s permit expired. It has been operating out of compliance ever since. Owner Jim West said he decided to obtain a new permit to operate for three years from the county and use the time to work out an acceptable annexation agreement with De Beque.
“You’re a day late and a dollar short,” Commissioner Craig Meis told Rickstrew, referring to the meeting a week earlier on Aug. 17. “We (already) took public testimony.”
During that Aug. 17 meeting, in which the commission delayed making a decision for one week until county staff had revised conditions of approval, Commissioner Janet Rowland called the town of De Beque’s annexation requirements for Old West Trucking “highway robbery.” She based that statement on West’s assertion last week that annexation into the town would cost him $1.5 million in improvements, and for that he would receive no services from the town.
That comment stuck in Rickstrew’s craw on Tuesday when he addressed the commission.
“We are not trying to do highway robbery on anything,” Rickstrew said.
Rickstrew, who sat next to Bruce Smith, De Beque’s town manager, during the meeting, said the town is not asking for $1.5 million in improvements for Old West to be annexed into De Beque, and he asked the commission to deny the conditional-use permit.
In his closing remarks, Meis said the county’s approval of a three-year, conditional-use permit will allow time for the town and Old West to settle issues regarding water, sewerage, landscaping and access to the property.
After the meeting Rickstrew said he was pleased with the commission’s decision and understood why it made the decision.
“It does give us time to work things out,” he said.