By Rita Clagett
North Fork Valley Reporter
DELTA (December 5)–The Delta County Board of County Commissioners met at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, to hear the Jensen family application for a gravel mine on Grand View Mesa in Crawford, and attendant public comment. A capacity crowd of more than 60 people filled the meeting room at the Delta County Courthouse. Forty-two people signed up to speak. Grumbles greeted the commissioners’ announcement that they would end the meeting at 3:45 because they had a prior 4 p.m. appointment.
Matt Jensen, partner in M&L Mining LLC, presented his family’s application for an open pit gravel mine adjacent to a subdivision and agricultural land in Crawford. The commissioners then opened the floor to public comment in favor of the proposed mine, and nobody spoke. After more than a dozen people spoke in opposition to the proposed industrial use of the 80-acre site, the commissioners announced that they had canceled their prior appointment and would reconvene after a five minute break.
In all, more than 20 people spoke in opposition to the mine, offering a wide range of arguments. Speakers included a retired coal miner and a current gravel mine worker who both live in the subdivision, an emergency room nurse at Delta County Memorial Hospital, a wealthy investor, the general manager of a nearby organic farm, an expert witness in real estate lending, and an engineer who had been hired to evaluate potential noise and dust effects and M&L Mining’s mitigation plan.
The remainder of those who had signed up opted not to speak after hearing all preceding arguments. Matt Jensen and his parents, Larry and Michele, also partners in M&L Mining, gave concluding remarks. The county commissioners closed the public comment period at 4:38, and moved to take the application and public comments under advisement. They announced their intention to deliver a decision regarding the application at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 17.