Printed letters, Nov. 14, 2010

Allard is misinformed about money from Roan

In a Nov. 5 article, “Allard: Roan plan could have helped,” former U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard seems to have been seriously misinformed about the economics of drilling the Roan Plateau. Drilling the Roan will destroy one of Colorado’s last best places, but it won’t do anything to solve Colorado’s current budget problems.

First, the one-time bonus payments referred to wouldn’t have done much to solve Colorado’s current budget woes. Colorado’s $56 million share of those payments represents only a small percentage of the state’s billion dollar-plus budget deficits expected for 2010–11 and 2011–12.

Moreover, the state received and spent that one-time bonus payment in 2008 — fully two years ago.

Nor would royalties paid from gas production put a dent in the state’s deficit. Bill Barrett Corp., the energy company that holds the leases atop the Roan, has indicated that (even absent pending litigation challenging those leases) it plans to ramp up production over time. As a result, Barrett would not generate substantial royalties from the Roan for several more years.

In reality, the Roan represents only a tiny fraction of the potential income from federal leases in Colorado. The top of the Roan amounts to less than 1 percent of the 5 million acres of federal lands leased for drilling in Colorado — 70 percent of which is not in production. There are literally millions of acres of public lands available for drilling without disturbing an area as important as the Roan.

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program has ranked the Roan Plateau as one of the four most biologically rich areas in the state — and the other three are already part of the national park system. We don’t need to turn one of Colorado’s prize gems of public land into an industrial zone for energy supplies, or to generate revenue.


Staff Attorney



Questions about moving symphony to Avalon

During the intermission of the Nov. 2 concert, Grand Junction Symphony Board President Karen Hildebrandt announced that the board needed our support at the Nov. 15 Grand Junction City Council meeting. The symphony board is asking the council for money to support moving the symphony to the Avalon.

I have several questions, and no one seems to be publicly asking or answering them:

✓ Where will an orchestra that size fit on the stage at the Avalon?

✓ Where, in the Avalon, will the attendees — three times the number that the Avalon can seat — sit?

✓ Where will members of the orchestra store their equipment, instrument cases, music stands, coats, chairs and all instruments owned by the symphony, grand piano, percussion instruments, recording equipment, etc.?

✓ Most importantly, where will all those subscribers park downtown? Anyone coming out of the recent concert could have noticed the Grand Junction High School parking lot was full and the Congregational Church Parking lot was full. Fifth Street was lined with cars on both sides, as were Kennedy, Elm Court, Mesa Court and Sherwood Drive.

I hope someone on the symphony board, the City Council or the Downtown Association will honestly address these questions. I think this is vital to the continuing enjoyment of the Grand Junction Symphony.


We shouldn’t have to pay more for public officials

To quote Will Rogers: “All I know is what I read in the newspaper.” This has been relevant over the past couple of weeks concerning the hiring of a new Mesa County administrator.

Here we are in a budget crunch and salary freeze, and we are making an apparent offer to a prospective county administrator for a salary of an increase of some $14,000 more than we were paying the previous administrator?

The prospect was unemployed and would have probably accepted an offer of $14,000 less than the previous administrator just to get out of Florida.

I sometimes question if we sell Grand Junction to prospective applicants of public jobs. Folks move here just because they like it. I did. We don’t have to meet salaries in other parts of the country. Sell Grand Junction and what we have first.


Grand Junction


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