OURAY – The Ouray Board of County Commissioners met in executive session this week to discuss a settlement proposal from the owner of Elk Mountain Resort, the Tavitac Corporation, regarding upcoming appeal before the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals on its 2007-2008 assessed value.
County Attorney Mary Deganhart said little information regarding the settlement proposal could be released to The Watch except that negotiators were directed to reply to the settlement proposal.
The appeal goes to the CBAA in Denver on July 30 – coming after the commissioners unanimously denied Tavitac’s October 2009 petition to reduce the assessed property value from $14,858,410 to $7,327,000 for tax years 2007 and 2008. The 275-acre high-end backcountry resort, located on Horsefly Mesa, has a total of 47 buildings that include dining facilities, lodging facilities and the Valhalla Shooting Club, which offered a variety of shooting sport and training scenarios. The resort opened for business during the summer of 2003 but then closed in May of 2009, and is reportedly up for sale.
If Tavitac Corporation is successful in its appeal, the Ridgway School District may stand to lose approximately $125,000 in tax revenues that have already been paid to the district.
SunEdison Continues Search for Solar Farm Site in Ouray County
Officials at SunEdison, which has an agreement to sell solar power to the San Miguel Power Association, according to County Planner Mark Castrodale, found a site in Ouray County for their two-megawatt solar photovoltaic project, only to see it fall through. The company is now looking for another site in the county to house the renewable energy project. Castrodale told the Board of County Commissioners on Monday that SunEdison officials have found another possible site just north of Ridgway but had asked for Castrodale’s specific advice about the proposed site.
Without naming the site, Castrodale reported that it has in the past filed for Special Use Permits; he emphasized, however, that company officials expressed willingness to fully screen the solar project, to reduce its visual impact, should it be approved.
“He said it would be completely screened,” Castrodale said. “They are looking at some other sites as well and I will tell them, ‘The sooner you get us tangible information, the better.’”
“I would like to see an application go forward,” Commissioner Heidi Albritton said. “They mentioned berms and they seem to understand visual impact regulations. I think it is huge for the county to try to keep it here.”
At their April meeting SMPA’s Board of Directors approved a contract with SunEdison to purchase power from a proposed two-megawatt solar photovoltaic project. SunEdison is a U.S-based solar power producer that finances, constructs, and operates solar plants across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The board approval identifies Norwood, as a preferred site for the solar facility; however, alternative sites near Paradox and Ridgway are still being analyzed.
Beaver Dams Damage County Road 17
Ouray County Road and Bridge Superintendent Chris Miller told the Ouray Board of County Commissioners that the combination of high volume of water from snowmelt and beaver dams are damaging County Road 17, just north of the Ouray City limit, causing him to close the damaged portion of the road on Monday.
After discussion, the commissioners gave Miller the go-ahead to seek tree removal service from a contractor at the cost of $2,000 to remove trees from the area, which are impeding efforts to temporality repair the damages, which spans approximately 150 yards and had on Monday at 10-foot driving lane. Miller said road material has been sinking straight down from the effects of the nearby water flow.
“We can get it opened back up if we can get rid of the trees,” Miller said. “Once we do that we can to re-compact it. We have been dealing with this for about a week. A beaver dam is what caused the whole thing.”
Miller and his crews are working to temporality fix the problem, and have materials for a permanent fix ready and will hopefully be completed by the Fourth of July weekend.