Commissioners must heed constituents
I attended my first public Board of County Commissioners meeting last week. I was the only public member in attendance to witness Commissioner O’Malley state how important he felt it was to ensure the board receives citizen input to assist it in the difficult decisions ahead.
I was beyond delighted that O’Malley expressed the wisdom of partnering with county citizens to achieve success in governing the county. Our elected officials are not meant to be autocratic, self-serving opportunists but to represent our stated interests. I commend O’Malley for recognizing this and will hold him to his commitment.
The board soon will be conducting a mail survey of all households in the county to assess what citizens want in Clear Creek with regard to county financials, land use — current and future — infrastructure and level of county services. We are facing tough economic times at the local level and will succeed only if our elected officials and the citizens they represent partner in determining viable solutions to our problems. I hope the $25,000 survey will be objectively conceived and provide meaningful input to the board beyond development interests.
Our county is home to a unique rural mountain community. After last year’s contentious response to developers’ proposals for outrageous commercial development of Floyd Hill and the current battle to prevent the Coors family from developing a new ski area at St. Mary’s, it is clearly time that citizens take back their county.
Stanley Mine proposal
may be too good to be true
No doubt about it — more jobs in Clear Creek County would be a good thing. And we all want and need our daily dose of minerals.
More mining jobs in the heart of mining country could be beneficial. Henderson Mine is a prime example of mining done right. In addition to being Clear Creek County’s largest tax base, it is a leader in responsible mining and community involvement. The Clear Creek Watershed Foundation noted with keen interest the information presented in your Jan. 27 article concerning the feasibility and investment potential of Empress Mining & Milling Co.’s proposed revival of operations at the Stanley Mine complex.
The proposal involves dewatering the extensive mine workings, re-processing existing tailings piles, new mining, milling of on-site and off-site materials, metals separation (flotation), smelting of the metals, treatment of highly contaminated mine waste and disposal of residuals. Since the numerous levels of mine workings span the valley south to north under Interstate 70 and Clear Creek, this is a major undertaking.One potential for failure is the structural stability of the entire enterprise. We recall the recent collapse of old workings just west of Idaho Springs that produced a large sink-hole in I-70. Your article properly identified the water quantity and quality issues of a flooded old mine filled with acid mine drainage. Because of the groundwater/surface water connection and the location of this operation, the operator could be faced with treating mine discharge forever, not just during the 20 years of proposed operation.The proposal of milling and floating metals from the ore using only heated water is remarkable! Even with the collective wisdom of the Colorado School of Mines — with its years of expertise and experience — we have yet to find anyone who knows of such a process. Another concern is the smelting process — processing the metals to leave the site as solid bars. What are the heat issues? The energy source? The air quality issues?Next come the issues related to the safe disposal of the residuals. And the hauling issues. And the wastewater/sanitation issues. And the wildlife and fisheries impacts. And the downstream user concerns…A mine/mill/smelt operation located directly on Clear Creek would bring a lot more than jobs. It brings along very real environmental and human health and safety concerns. All of these issues need to be seriously and comprehensively addressed. Most certainly, realistic financial backing must exist. In our view, this proposal sounds too good to be true. Perhaps it would be feasible when gold reaches $10,000 per ounce in today’s market dollars.
Clear Creek Watershed Foundation
Carlson Elementary benefit a success
Thank you to everyone who attended the Carlson Elementary benefit and helped make it a huge success. We raised more than $2,000 for our school!
A big thank-you to Dan Ebert and the Buffalo Bar staff, who were all amazing. Thank you to all of our sponsors: H&R Block, A.F.S. and CCMRD. Boo Daddy rocked, and everyone had a great time dancing the night away.
A special thank-you to all the volunteers who helped coordinate the event. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who donated time, goods and services for the silent auction. It is much appreciated. Thank you!
Schools need our support
Dear grandparents, concerned seniors, and all lovers of children:
All schools are facing budget cuts nationwide. For those of you in the Clear Creek School District, please be advised that our schools are underfunded and are at stake. Our national government appears to have other priorities.
In particular, Georgetown Community School has been told it will receive $70,000 less this upcoming year. Georgetown parents, teachers and the principal have made major strides in improving the education in this small community, and many have already taken pay cuts so they could maintain this quality for our children. It is time for us all to step up and help. This school will lose at least one teacher if funding is not provided, thus threatening the huge academic gains this school has made since its inception. Let us show our support and appreciation to those who have worked so hard, and help fund this dynamic school. Our very children and our country are at stake! Please call Rick Winter at 303-569-3277 and inquire how you can help this school thrive! For those of you who have loved ones in our other district schools, please contact those schools and offer your generosity. Our children and grandchildren deserve an educated future.
retired Clear Creek Teacher, grandparent, and lover of all children and education