GarCo board to consider new gravel pit

A proposal for a gravel pit south of Parachute will be the first to be considered by Garfield County under its new rules governing such operations.

RTZ Industrial LLC, formed by Roaring Fork Valley resident Wayne Rudd, proposes to operate the pit on part of the 1,200-acre Five Mile Ranch, which extends into Mesa County and lies between Interstate 70 and the Colorado River.

The company plans to lease 130.6 acres of that property from Specialty Restaurant Corp. and Stockton Restaurant Corp., and the mining area would be limited to about 41 acres.

The operation would be on the west side of County Road 300, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and across from the Una gravel pit on the county road’s east side.

RTZ Industrial expects to operate the mine for 10 years, with 150,000 tons extracted and processed per year.

Garfield County commissioners on Monday referred the proposal to the county planning commission for review.

The county passed its new regulations in response to growth in gravel pit activity in the Silt and Rifle areas. County building and planning director Fred Jarman said the new regulations are more specific and address reclamation and phasing.

The goal is for gravel extraction to occur area by area on a property, with reclamation taking place as work goes along, “so you don’t really scar up a large piece of ground for a long period of time,” Jarman said.

The rules also are intended to create slopes rather than big walls at pits and to make the pits more wildlife-friendly, Jarman said.

RTZ Industrial is proposing to mine in three phases. Because of the area’s high water table, it would have to remove water from pits before extraction. The company plans to build a
retention pond.

Operations would result in 62 vehicle trips per day, RTZ estimates.

The company has applied for a state highway access permit for the Highway 6 intersection, and for a permit from the state Division of Reclamation and Mine Safety.


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