CMC trustees to select a lawyer at special meeting
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The trustees of Colorado Mountain College will hold a “special meeting” Friday to take the school’s next step in preparing for a legal battle that seems headed its way.
The board of trustees were to meet at 10 a.m., via videoconference, to select an outside attorney from among a field of possibilities, according to college spokesperson Debra Crawford.
Explaining that Friday’s meeting will begin with an executive session, Crawford wrote in an email on Thursday, “The issue to be discussed is the hiring of separate counsel for the SourceGas matter.”
SourceGas, a natural-gas distribution company, had hoped to build a booster compressor station on either of two sites at the school’s Spring Valley Campus. The sites are located along a natural gas pipeline that stretches from Rifle to Avon and supplies gas to residential and commercial customers.
The school’s CEO, Stan Jensen, in 2011 signed a lease for the first proposed site, a relatively remote, five-acre location where SourceGas planned to put the compressor station.
But opposition to the deal arose from students, faculty and neighboring landowners in recent weeks. A second potential site was under discussion, but on May 14 the CMC trustees voted kill the lease agreement altogether.
At that same meeting, the trustees voted to hire outside counsel to defend their decision, rather than relying on the school’s in-house legal staff.
A SourceGas official said the company considers the lease to still be in force.
“We’ll be taking action to build the project on the original site,” said Natalie Shelbourn, SourceGas public relations official, adding that CMC “is really giving us no alternative but to take legal action.”
Crawford said that the school has not received any recent communications from SourceGas, or any sign that the company has taken legal action against the school, “as far as I am aware.”
Shelbourn could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
A community college serving approximately 25,000 students, CMC covers a district of nine counties across north-central Colorado: Chaffee, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Lake, Pitkin, Routt and Summit.
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