Milligan takes helm of planning office

Replaces Susan Carver

LeeAnn Milligan is the new Montezuma County planning director. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

LeeAnn Milligan is the new Montezuma County planning director.

Planning assistant LeeAnn Milligan has been promoted to director of the Montezuma County planning department.

Milligan, 38, takes over from Susan Carver, who resigned in May.

Public business at the office will continue as usual, Milligan said. Wait times for the public may be a bit longer as the county goes through the application process to hire her an assistant.

“We’re plenty busy, and have a great team with mappers Doug Roth and Loretta Murphy, and public lands coordinator James Dietrich pitching in on planning issues,” Milligan said.

Milligan has worked her way up the ranks of the county. A dedicated 10-year employee, she has worked for the CSU ag extension office, the county weed control department, as manager for the county fairgrounds, and as a planning assistant the last two years.

“Moving around to different departments, I’ve been able to refine my skills,” she said. “I have a good understanding of how this office works and the county government as a whole because I’ve looked at it from different angles.”

Her goals are simple: To fairly administer the county land-use code and serve the public, she said.

“I will do the best job I can to provide the most accurate information to the public, applicant, county planning board and county commission.”

Regarding controversial issues, she said information is power and diffuses tension.

“On that, listening to concerns and education is key,” Milligan said. “A lot of times, once people become informed about our process or a regulation, or our process, they understand. People will disagree as well and deserve to be heard.”

Currently, the office is very busy processing special-use permits and high-impact permits for Kinder Morgan’s Goodman Point expansion plans and geo-physical seismic studies.

“That takes a lot of time, and involves a lot of people, companies, and permits from our office, the state and the federal side,” she said. “I’m ready for the challenge and have the experience to handle the job.”

Routine business, such as readjustment of boundary lines and subdivisions are also a mainstay at the office.

She describes the planning office as a liaison between the applicant, the public and county government.

“A lot of what we do is answer questions from the public about a project or subdivision going in near them,” she said. “Our regulations require us to notify all neighbors of upcoming projects, and also we post public notices of pending decisions, meetings, and hearings.”

jmimiaga@cortezjournal.com