News in Brief |

News in Brief

Garfield County will host a public meeting to discuss the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the I-70 corridor on March 21 at 2 p.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room in Glenwood Springs.

A presentation is planned by the I-70 Central Mountain Transportation Corridor Coalition, a partnership of 30 jurisdictions from Clear Creek County to Garfield County working together to analyze CDOT’s PEIS. The purpose of the meeting is to present an objective summary of the PEIS and to solicit comments from constituents.

The PEIS is a large, technical document containing descriptions of alternatives being considered for possible improvements in the I-70 corridor between C-470 and Glenwood Springs. CDOT projections show that by 2025, weekday traffic along the interstate will equal current weekend traffic counts.

Possible improvements include rail, monorail, buses, more lanes and HOV lanes. Garfield County has joined the I-70 Central Mountain Transportation Corridor Coalition to help put together a regionally preferred alternative in response to the options presented in the PEIS. The March 21 meeting is a key step in that process and the public is urged to participate.

An off-duty Aspen police officer walking home at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning led to the arrest of a woman on charges she vandalized an unattended police car.

Rachel Ortega, 26, was observed by officer Rob Fabrocini swearing and vandalizing a police car, according to police. Ortega allegedly kicked in the car’s indicator lens.

When Fabrocini approached Ortega and identified himself as an officer, several of Ortega’s friends threatened him, according to Sgt. Steve Smith.

Fabrocini called police from his cell phone; the police car was unattended because its officers were on foot patrol.

Officer Chip Seamans responded to Fabrocini’s call and arrested Ortega. She was later released and issued a summons for injury to public and private property.

“I guess she thought it was great fun damaging taxpayers’ property,” Smith said.

A vote planned for Monday on a Colorado bill governing surface use compensation for natural gas development was delayed.

State Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, said she postponed the vote scheduled for the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee due to requests from bill proponents. She chairs the committee.

Curry said she remains eager to bring the measure to a vote as soon as possible.

Although many House bills had faced earlier deadlines for committee votes, Curry has been able to delay a vote on her legislation with the permission of House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. She has been looking at how the bill can be amended to win more legislative support.

The bill aims to force energy developers to reach surface use agreements with landowners before drilling begins. The goal is to address concerns over issues such as well pad placement and ensure reasonable reimbursement for surface damages.

The energy industry maintains the measure would unduly delay drilling and drive up natural gas costs.

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