[NEWS] Town of Gypsum, CO and Biomass Officials Remain at Loggerheads
– by Pam Boyd, October 1, 2016, Vail Daily
The town of Gypsum and the owners/operators of the Eagle Valley Clean Energy biomass plant continue to be at loggerheads, with their disagreements covering everything from water rights at the biomass plant property to whether or not substantive attempts to negotiate a property purchase have even occurred.
The issues stem from a July Gypsum Town Council approval of an ordinance to “acquire or condemn” property belonging to Clearwater Ventures LLC, the entity that owns the land where the Eagle Valley Clean Energy biomass plant is located. Town officials have stated it is their intention is to launch a negotiation process that will determine a fair market price for 69 acres located along the Eagle River. Once that price is determined, the town will either proceed with a purchase or walk away from a deal, Gypsum officials said.
Clearwater representatives are equally adamant that the town is proceeding with an eminent domain taking of their property. In late August, Clearwater Ventures filed a lawsuit in Eagle County District Court arguing the town council’s action should be overturned because members did not follow regulations for consideration and approval of a new ordinance. The lawsuit argues that, except for emergency ordinances and ordinances making general codification of existing ordinances, Gypsum requires that ordinances shall be “read in full or in cases where copies of the ordinance are available to the public, said ordinance may be read by title only.” The lawsuit maintains that copies of the ordinance were not available to the public and the text of the ordinance was not read at the meeting.