News in Brief
Natural gas production in Garfield County is on a roll this year, with drilling set to begin in early spring.
Williams Production, one of the largest operators in the county, is set to drill between 300 and 325 wells this year, said spokesman Steve Soychak. Williams now has 1,037 producing wells in the area.
Williams, which has an office in Parachute, plans to begin construction on a natural gas processing plant there in April.
Antero Resources Corp. holds 15,000 acres between Silt and Rifle and is planning to drill 10 to 12 wells this spring, said spokesman Terrell Dobkins. Antero announced plans to drill in the Panoramic subdivision north of Silt and is also seeking to obtain mineral rights the city of Rifle owns. Dobkins said the company met with area residents last month.
Laramie Energy of Denver is also planning to expand its operations in northwest Colorado, with 10 to 20 wells planned for Garfield County, and 50 to 60 in Mesa County, said Laramie representative Ken Lease.
Texas-based Presco Inc. has focused its activity on Battlement Mesa and has come under fire from local citizen groups for its plan to drill close to Project Rulison, where a small nuclear device was detonated in the 1960s to release natural gas ” unsuccessfully. Kim R.W. Bennetts, vice president for exploration and production, said the company owns 2,600 acres of the former Battlement Creek Ranch where it will drill six to eight wells in 2005.
Summit County government’s first gasoline- and electric-powered hybrid vehicle arrived Thursday from Denver.
The Summit Stage will be the recipient of the Ford Escape hybrid, which wasn’t scheduled to arrive until May. The Escape is the first vehicle to combine an SUV’s capability with hybrid technology.
Commissioner Bill Wallace drives a 2003 Honda Civic hybrid, which he bought in July 2003. He suggested hybrids for the county at the beginning of 2004.
The new hybrid vehicle will save the county on cost, emissions and fuel consumption.
Wallace said the hybrids are a good idea because the car gets great mileage in town.
“The Cherokees [the county has] get 15 to 20 [miles per gallon] right now,” Wallace said. In town, Wallace’s car gets 43 to 45 miles per gallon. On a trip to Denver, it generally gets 40 to 41.
The base price of the Ford Escape front-wheel drive is $26,970; the four-wheel drive is $28,595.
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Current Basalt officials say the town government has violated the Colorado Taxpayers’ Bill of Right by increasing the property tax mill levy over the prior years 10 times since the mid-2000s. Two former mayors contend the mill levy could be adjusted in any given year as long as it didn’t exceed the mill levy in 1994. It’s a $2 million question.