SAN MIGUEL COUNTY BRIEFS
Not Enough Data to Support Moratorium on Smart Meters
by Gus Jarvis
Feb 02, 2012 | 805 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TELLURIDE – The Board of San Miguel County Commissioners held an open discussion at its regular meeting Jan. 25 to hear concerns about San Miguel Power Association’s installation of automated meters, and in the end decided there’s not enough research on the effects of the meters to support or reject SMPA’s initiative.

SMPA began installation last October of the Two-Way Automatic Communication System (TWACS) meters in power-purchasing members’ homes and businesses. Without the use of radio waves, the meters measure a location’s electricity consumption and transmit that information to SMPA headquarters once a day over existing powerlines.

Since SMPA began installing the new meters, there has been public outcry over the effects of the digital meters, particularly to those who are electromagnetically sensitive. San Miguel County Commissioner Art Goodtimes has spent a good deal of time listening to concerns of area residents while researching the technology. After Wednesday’s discussion in Telluride, Goodtimes said he still has concerns but feels research is still limited.

“I am concerned about those citizens who are affected by them,” Goodtimes said, “but there is no data that shows they (TWACS) are safe and there is no data that shows they are unsafe. I can’t ding SMPA and call for a moratorium on them. I don’t think they have done anything wrong and I think they are operating in good faith.”

For those who simply don’t want TWACS in their home or their business, SMPA has decided to offer an opt-out where SMPA will manually read the old analogue meters for a fee of $25 per month.

BOCC Addresses National Issues With Letters to Elected Officials

The Board of San Miguel County Commissioners voiced their collective opinion on several major issues facing Colorado and the nation when they approved a slew of letters at their meeting on Jan. 25.

First, the board approved a letter to U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) urging support of a constitutional amendment to grant Congress the authority to regulate America’s campaign finance system.

Second, the commissioners approved a letter to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) thanking him for introducing a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to correct the controversial Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling concerning the campaign finance system.

“We are proud he is doing this and it’s time we dealt with it,” Commissioner Art Goodtimes said. “It’s a big issue.”

Also approved at the meeting was a draft letter to President Barack Obama requesting that he rescind the detainee section of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

In that section, the act allows for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial.

“We are seeing an erosion of our freedoms,” Goodtimes said. “Yes, this administration may not use it but the next administration may just decide they are going to use it. There needs to be an outrage all over the country on this.”

Finally, the commissioners approved a letter of opposition to the proposed 560-mile pipeline designed to deliver water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and Green River in Wyoming to the Front Range in Colorado.

“Some of these issues are on the minds of our constituents,” Commissioner Elaine Fischer said. “We have seen what’s been going on and this is our way to make our voice heard in some of these issues.”
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