RED FEATHER LAKES PLANNING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
FIRE HOUSE MEETING ROOM
44 FIRE HOUSE LANE , RED FEATHER LAKES
September 6, 2012, 1:30-3:30 PM
The meeting was called to order at 1:30 PM by Chairperson Lon Hughes.
Roll Call: Robert Allman, Ted Carter, Roger Clark , Terri Donnelly, Lon Hughes, Eunice Michalka, Donald Roger, Lucille Schmidt, Roger Svendsen, Shirley Pfankuch
Member Excused Absences, Ross Reid
Larimer County Representation: LARCO Senior Planner Rob Helmick
Guests Present: Shelly Calisher, Gary Wiegil, Doug Burdette, Timi Kae Burdette, Steve Koeckeritz, , Mary Caldwell, Marianne Ehrlich, Duane Ehrlich, Charlie Johnson, Jody Lambert, Bud Thomas, Jerry VonSchmidt, Bill Mason
Adoption of Agenda: The agenda was accepted as proposed
Approval of Minutes: The minutes were approved as written.
1. Slash Solutions Annual Review/Comments: (Background: The PAC recommended approval for Slash Solutions to operate in August 2011. The Larimer Board of Commissioners approved, with a condition that the operation be reviewed on an annual basis. The review initiated at the August 2012 PAC meeting was not conclusive, so the decision was held over to this meeting.)
Shirley, speaking for Slash Solutions, SS, and not as a PAC member, brought the committee up to speed since our last meeting. She first addressed the opacity standard required by the State. The Slash Solutions curtain burner was built prior to 2006 when the standards were revised, hence it meets the law at that time. SS has submitted all required paperwork to the State, but has not received the formal approval. SS did find some minor errors in the former opacity measurements, however those errors resulted in lower opacity readings. Local residents have requested that something be done to improve the appearance of the burn site. SS continues to investigate alternatives. Since the site will not be in existence over the long term, vegetation types of solutions are not viable. Neighbors have also discussed air purifiers to be placed in individual homes. The costs have not been determined, however SS believes this type of solution needs to be addressed via one-on-one discussions with individual home owners. The owners have the burden of researching appropriate equipment. Another topic has been odor reduction. The odor is being caused by gaps in the curtain burner expansion joints, not the ash pit as previously assumed. SS has ordered sheet metal to close those gaps, which should reduce odors significantly. SS has communicated with various local groups regarding their operating procedures and treatment of debris. Those groups include the Front Range Roundtable, RFL and Crystal Beetle Busters and the Crystal HOA. SS has the support of all these organizations. Steve mentioned that SS will meet with the local property owners again. For those leaving the mountain for the winter, communication will be via e-mail or regular mail.
Ted asked for clarification regarding financial assistance to those desiring in-home pollution reduction equipment. Shirley said that it is possible, but that SS was awaiting detailed information about the equipment desired. A member of the audience believes the burden of researching air-purifying equipment should be on the shoulders of SS.
Robert A. asked about burn frequency after most of the nearby residents have departed for the winter. Shirley said that wind was the biggest burning inhibitor. SS will burn as often as possible in order to eliminate the backlog of material prior to the spring.
Ted asked about why SS was accepting material from out-lying areas. Shirley said a very minimal amount of material has been accepted from areas outside Red Feather and Crystal. The number is less than one percent.
Lon next opened the discussion for public comment. Charlie Johnson, who lives about three blocks from SS installation, said the smoke and odor is sometimes very objectionable.
Jody Lambert voiced concern over the possibility of SS paying for air purification equipment. He is waiting for clarification from SS prior to conducting research of possible equipment solutions. He is also concerned about the total duration of the operation. He said the odor continues into the evening, since the fires are not completely extinguished at the end of the day. He also asked for clarification of the Larimer Planning Dept. Rob H. clarified the situation, which has been described in the September PAC minutes.
Mary Caldwell said the State has not formally determined what the applicable opacity standard will be. Therefore, she considers this to be an open issue. She continues to be impacted by the SS operation. She is hopeful that the issues can be resolved.
Dewayne Ehrlich commented on an article written by a Front Range doctor regarding the hazards of soot, which is a significant health issue. He believes SS is responsible for solving the problem, not the local residents.
Steve said the SS board needs to meet and discuss possible solutions. The board has not yet met since the meeting with nearby residents two weeks ago. He said the license for that site does expire in 12/2016. The board should be able to get back to the neighborhood in the next two to three weeks.
Shirley commented regarding Regulation 9 limits. It is understood that not all odor and smoke can be eliminated. She reiterated that SS cannot address air purification funding until they know what is being requested.
Hearing no additional audience comments, Lon asked for a PAC decision. Ted commented he understands the need for this operation. He asked if there is any “outside” financial assistance that is available for this type of situation. Rob H. thought some sort of grant would be necessary.
PAC discussion concluded that this situation is clearly unresolved. Discussion about the location was again addressed. Moving the operation is probably not an option due to cost considerations and the fact that a better location has not been identified.
Roger S. requested a discussion around the possibility of recommending the operation continue, but reviewing the status in six months rather than one year. This would allow some of the currently open issues to be better understood and perhaps resolved. Rob H. said he thought a six-month time frame is a possible option. Ted voiced concern that less than one year will be a challenge for SS, as a private company. He favors a one-year recommendation. Ted suggested the PAC request more frequent checkpoints during the one-year period. Shirley said SS plans to communicate to the PAC often. Steve said he is not uncomfortable with a six-month time frame. Steve is concerned about SS making large financial expenditures when there is an annual review, which could close down their operation. Steve said SS will continue to work on solutions. Several neighbors are not at all certain that air purification systems will be adequate and that the original site permit does not allow for an air curtain burner. Steve clarified that the original “Location and Extent, L&E” permit does address and approve an air curtain burner installation at the current location.
Lon requested the PAC vote at this time. It was clarified that the PAC can refer this issue to the Larimer Planning Dept. The PAC can also keep the issue within the confines of Red Feather. It was clarified that if this issue is referred to the Planning Commission, they could send it back to the PAC, or could take any of several other actions. Some kind of decision is required. Roger S. said he felt it would be better to keep this issue on a local level, but with a six-month time frame.
Roger S. moved that SS be allowed to continue their operation, but that the PAC reviews the status of the operation at the March, 2013 meeting. Rob A. seconded the motion. The vote was four in favor with two opposed. The motion passed. Ted clarified that his no vote was because he favored one-year duration. Don’s position is the same.
2. Teleconference PAC participation: The question is whether we should allow a PAC member that cannot attend, the meeting be allowed to participate via a conference call. Roger C. is the most interested due to his 450-mile commute to the meeting. The County does not have a problem with this type of protocol, but that this has only been used when there is an action item requiring a recommendation to the County. A strong desire was expressed by PAC members for everyone on the committee to attend each meeting. Ted moved that we allow teleconference meetings when a “super majority” is required for an action item. Motion passed unanimously.
3. New Member Recognition: Roger S. welcomed Shirley as a new member of the PAC.
RFLPAC meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM; Next regular meeting: October 4, 2012
Respectfully Submitted by Roger Svendsen