Kinder Morgan should pay for road damage
As many of you know, Kinder Morgan CO2 Company, with its carbon dioxide facilities, is the biggest property taxpayer and one of the largest sources of good-paying jobs in Montezuma County. And, with their expansion into the Cow Canyon area, there have been more good-paying jobs. Many of those jobs have gone to people from other areas, like Texas.
The Kinder Morgan development has brought huge, lumbering, heavy equipment and uncountable numbers of heavy gravel trucks. And it has only just begun. In just one day, those gravel trucks completely destroyed asphaltic concrete on County Road CC, and did major damage to the roadbed. But Kinder Morgan stepped up and pledged $1.5 million to repair and repave the road once their development as completed in 4 to 5 years. The people who use this road (yes, I am one of them) will have to put up with miserable road for years, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Now Kinder Morgan is saying that it already pay enough taxes and is backing out of its agreement. After all, it needs to make a profit for stockholders. Yes, that was the explanation given to county commissioners on April 14.
The county has already had the expense of removing the broken-up asphalt and putting down gravel on Road CC. And I expect there will be ongoing costs as the county tries to stabilize the damaged roadbed. How much will Kinder Morgan pay for this? Apparently as little as possible.
In the past, Kinder Morgan has prided itself on being a responsible member of the community; that seems to have been supplanted by the profit motive, while you and I are left to pay for the road damage.