49 Square Ventures seeks OK for expansion

The compost facility 49 Square Ventures, on Road 39 near Mancos, will go before the county commissioners May 19 to ask for land-use designation that would allow them to continue to operate and potentially expand in the future.

"The county has been great, they want to make sure the facility is approved by the state," said Mike Olsen, the company's engineer.

The company will ask for permission to accept dead animals, manure, food waste and agricultural crop residue, including corn cobs and similar materials, said Olsen. The company currently composts leftover straw, aspen, and coconut fiber from Western Excelsior in Mancos.

"The excelsior product when composted is deficient of nitrogen. What you would like to do is bring on product that is high in nitrogen," Olsen said.

However, the company has no immediate plans to expand its operations and is taking the step so it will be prepared for the future, Olsen said.

If the company wanted to start composting new products, the process would have to need to be reviewed by the state again. But it would not need further county approval.

All composting facilities must have an engineering design and operational plan that is approved by a department inside the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The state approved 49 Square Ventures' engineering design and operational plan in February. It had been operating with an interim plan. The company has previously supplied a major retail compost company and hopes to supply one of the departments of transportation for a nearby state with compost.

The hearing will be held May 19 at 1:30 p.m. in the commissioners hearing room of the Montezuma County Courthouse.