Commissioners Approve Asphalt Crushing Near Organic Farm
KREX News Room
GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo.- Two local businesses settled their dispute at the Garfield County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday. The commissioners approved a local asphalt company's proposal to crush asphalt and concrete near an organic farm in Silt.
Ken Sack, the owner of Eagle Springs Organic Farm, is worried about what the decision could mean for the farm's natural products.
"All sorts of contaminants and pollutants coming ... and upon testing, it could show that we lose organic certification for all or part of the property," he explained.
That could mean a loss of up to 50 jobs on the lands that raise produce and livestock.
However, the industrial company that would add around 35 jobs says there's no reason these two businesses can't coexist.
"Bedrock Resources wants to see Eagle Springs succeed in their business just like everybody in the valley does," explained David Smith, the asphalt company's attorney.
They've agreed to set their production back at least 30 feet from their property line, reduce their proposed stockpile height to 20 feet from 25 feet and pull back their stockpile size from 17,000 cubic yards to 12,000.
In addition, the actual crushing operation would be outside of the growing season.
"It was conditioned by the commissioners to occur only four weeks a year during the colder months," added Smith.
Dick Morgan, a rancher for 35 years in Garfield County, has handled part of the farm's property in the past and says Bedrock's operations are much less harmful than other pollutants near the farm.
"I-70 was there when they bought the property. There were numerous gas wells on the property already and it's right under the flight path from the regional airport," he said.
"We did extensive soil, air and water quality studies. There was absolutely no problem from them," countered Sack.
In the end, the commissioners know they are taking a risk, but they believe that's what growth is all about.
"If we don't try, we can't succeed. We can learn from this and it's a true challenge for both sides and also for the government. Let's see what happens," said John Martin, Garfield County's commissioner for District 2.