Developer considers geothermal greenhouses in Rico

At the regular Town Board meeting on Jan. 16, the Town Attorney Susan Baker reported that the town is making substantial progress on the VCUP Funding and Settlement Agreement and is in the process of revising it to fully protect the Town. The town team hopes to meet with ARCO in the next month to further discuss the town's proposed revisions and to work towards finalizing the VCUP settlement.

Ms. Baker stated she will be doing a work session with the Rico Planning Commission towards the end of the month on proposed revisions to the Rico Land Use Code to accommodate the VCUP. The primary revisions will involve adoption of two overlay zones: the Environmental Remediation Overlay Zone (EROZ) and the Rico Soils Overlay Zone (RSOZ). These zones are needed to legally establish areas within the Town's municipal boundary which are subject to prior VCUPs with the State CDPHE (EROZ) or the subject of the current VCUP remediation (RSOZ). The Planning Commission will also consider proposed revisions to the Master Plan to adopt the VCUP River Corridor Planning Map which is included in the boards' packet.

During the towns meeting on Jan. 16 the staff updated the Town Board on the vacant lots sampling issues as they relate to the River Corridor lots and the importance of ensuing that this sampling protocol is the same as other vacant lots in Town (protocol for lots outside of the River Corridor is based upon sampling techniques set forth in ICs/ERRs ordinance).

Regarding Geothermal, the staff had a recent meeting with developers interested in geothermal resources in and/or adjacent to the Town of Rico. As a first step, these developers would like the Town to research possible grant opportunities with DOLA and DOE. Available grants could cover initial exploration costs. Such grant would likely require the Town to provide some type of matching funds. The goal of the proposed development is to power the Town with geothermal resources by creating a small facility which generates power. In addition, the developer is interested in commercial greenhouses designed to grow local food. These greenhouses could be warmed by the geothermal resource. Staff suggested that in order to facilitate any proposed development amendment to the Master Plan may by helpful (with the developer bringing any proposed amendments to the Town formally as an applicant), as well as a joint work session with the Town Board of Trustees and the Dolores County Board of County Commissioners. The Town is stressing the importance of working cooperatively with Dolores County in an effort to effectively plan the Town's three mile radius to accommodate future geothermal development and zoning related thereto.

Under Public Works, Maintenance Dennis Swank reports he plowed snow for the town and removed snow on Highway 145 also at the new water plant. Mr. Swank stated he read water meters and there are some high reading and notified the owner of the house. Mr. Swank worked on town equipment that had some gel problems with the fuel. Fraley and Company had some preventive fuel for that reason and was added to the equipment.

The 2013 dog tags are now available at the Rico Town Hall. Please come and register your dog (s). All dogs are required to be registered with the Town of Rico, contact Town Clerk Linda Yellowman at 970-967-2861 or stop by the Town Hall with a copy of your dog's rabies certificate.