Old West Trucking plans going south?
By LE ROY STANDISH
Jim West, owner of Old West Trucking, told the Mesa County Commission it would cost him $1.5 million to be annexed by the town of De Beque.
“I think that is exploitation, highway robbery,” Commissioner Janet Rowland said. “I can’t allow that to happen.”
Rowland made the comment last week during a meeting about granting Old West Trucking a three-year conditional-use permit.
The commission stopped short of granting the approval, pending review by the county and Old West of the permit’s conditions of approval. The commission is scheduled to resume deliberations on Old West Trucking’s permit at 9 a.m.
Old West Trucking, an oil field services company, has been operating illegally for the past year since the company’s original conditional-use permit from the county expired, said Jo Carole Haxel, a county planner.
Old West Trucking, at the south end of 45 Road where it abuts Interstate 70, is within a mile of De Beque, within the town’s three-mile planning radius.
De Beque Mayor Dale Rickstrew said he is upset with the county for even considering a permit for Old West Trucking, especially since the town recently completed an update of its comprehensive plan.
The plan had been a constant demand from the county. County officials said the plan was necessary to show how the town would provide essential services to properties it annexes.
Rickstrew said the town sent the county a letter asking it not to grant Old West Trucking a conditional-use permit because the company refused to make several improvements.
He also said there is no way annexation would cost West $1.5 million.
“We are not asking anything of him that we haven’t asked of anybody else that has annexed into the town,” Rickstrew said. “Jim West would certainly have to show us where it is going to cost him a million and a half dollars to annex into the city. There just isn’t any way.”
Rickstrew said the town and Old West Trucking considered annexation twice before and couldn’t agree on conditions.
“We spent an incredible amount of time and money advertising to try and get him in the city. Then, when we were almost there, he would withdraw the application for annexation,” he said.
West said he still wants to be annexed by the town, but right now it is not economically feasible, he said.
“That has always been my goal, to annex into the town of De Beque,” West said.
Before the economy went south, West said his plan was to co-locate several companies on his property south of De Beque, on the north side of Interstate 70.
When the economy tanked, those companies pulled back. With no one to share the cost of road improvements, water lines and dedications of land for town trails and parks, he said he opted to obtain a permit from the county.
West said the only advantage for him right now to being annexed by the town would be “the big I, industrial zoning.”
Under the county. the property is zoned agricultural forestry transition.