Commissioners hear possible expansion plans from marijuana business 2018 Gallo Rodeo planning underway for June in Gardner

by Eric Mullens

WALSENBURG — In a brief regular session Tuesday, the Huerfano County Commissioners heard, in the public comment segment of their meeting, the proposed plans to expand into the realm of manufacturing by a current licensed commercial marijuana cultivator in the county.

Nick Perrino of Spanish Peaks Joint Venture / Monte Fiore LLC, showed two short videos and gave the commissioners a product sheet concerning the company’s proposed plans to install a $400,000 closed-loop extraction machine they hope to install at their operation later this year. The MEP (Modular Extraction Platform) would allow the company to extract nearly all of a marijuana plant for processing into oils and other substances used in both medical and recreational marijuana products.

The unit is built by ExtractionTek Solutions, LLC of Englewood, CO and is considered the top of the line in the industry. Perrino said approval and installation of the unit will allow the business to custom grow particular marijuana strains for individual business clients for retail sale.

The commission has imposed a moratorium on any new CUP (Conditional Use Permit) applications for commercial marijuana cultivation in light of new county marijuana regulations set to be reviewed and approved in the next month or so. The moratorium runs through February 21, and the commissioners are expected to conduct a full review of the new draft regulations at the end of this month. The SPJV/Monte Fiore proposal would necessitate some language modification from the wording in the current draft of the new regulations. The short presentation this week was to provide information only, however, Perrino said their proposal would mean an expansion of their current business, and could provide additional employment for Huerfano residents. Perrino said the company fully understands it would have to make a new permit application and is aware the expansion could see an increase in the excise tax (for manufactured product delivered as a wholesale item for retail sale outside of Huerfano County). The county commissioners are expected to address the new marijuana cultivation regulations at their Tuesday, January 30 regular meeting.

In other business: Also during the public comment segment of the meeting, the commissioners heard some of the preliminary plans for the 2018 edition of the Gallo Rodeo at the Gardner fairground arena. Harold Vargas told the board the rodeo is set for Saturday, June 16, 2018 and is expected to feature a $5 admission charge, and a free sausage, egg and pancake breakfast. Vargas told the commissioners he has already talked to the sheriff about the event and is currently working on sponsorships. He said he will line up ambulance personnel for the event and said there will be no charge for vendor tables, however, donations will be appreciated.

• The commissioners directed administration to get additional information on a bid to provide upgrades to the Gardner maintenance building from Sage Electric. • Approved a $1,386 bid for items from Bertolini Valves, Inc.

• Approved a $841.77 bid for cattle guard material from Midwest Fab & Steele. • Approved a $1,784.68 expenditure for carpet squares from TVJ for use at the Train Depot building pertaining to the county’s lease of the facility from the City of Walsenburg.

• The commissioners unanimously approved Resolution 18-07 Proclaiming January 21, 2018 as Jan Novak Day in Huerfano County celebrating and recognizing her military service. Novak was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and West Germany. During her enlistment, Novak was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Expert M-16 Rifle Marksmanship Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. She graduated the Non Commissioned Officer’s Academy during her tour in Germany and was a member of the both the FS Augsburg volleyball and basketball teams that toured throughout Europe.

During an afternoon session, the commissioners met in a workshop to discuss bulk water costs, and water/sewer tap fees for the Gardner GID. Also set for informal discussion were the rental fees for the community center in Gardner.