Briefs: Gunnison County by Katherine Nettles

Property tax abatement petition partially approved

Acting as the board of equalization, county commissioners held a hearing concerning property tax abatement and refund of taxes on August 1 for a property classified as vacant, and approved the petition asking it be classified as agricultural land for tax year 2022 based on changes made to the property and several forms of supporting documentation. The landowner, Van Delay Industries, LTD, presented the argument that its 12.8 acres, located along Highway 135 about two miles south of the town of Crested Butte, should be classified as agricultural land because the property is used by a large cattle producer as a part of a cattle migration corridor. 

A similar petition from the same property owner was denied in 2020. The Gunnison County assessor’s office confirmed that while no agricultural activity was observed until 2022, in that year livestock fences that had formerly been in disrepair had been repaired and livestock was observed grazing there. Commissioners approved the petition for tax year 2022, but not for tax year 2021. 

Whitewater Park concerns

Andy Sovick, representing the group Gunnison Waves, asked commissioners during public comment to place a discussion about the Gunnison Whitewater Park on an agenda in the near future. Sovick, on behalf of Gunnison Waves, advocated for maintenance and improvement to the whitewater park. “We have existing an incredible community asset: the whitewater park area, two launch ramps, three play waves, extensive beach, walking trails, a bathroom and changing area, fishing access and connection to the city trail system,” said Sovick. “The area provides a healthy outdoor play space for people of all ages, ethnicities and economic classes. I cannot think of another community asset that is this inclusive.” 

He said several problems at the park that need to be solved include excessive parking, human waste management, litter, risk of drowning and a dangerous entrance from the highway, while acknowledging that there are other improvements to the park already underway. It was not discussed by commissioners as a future agenda item, but they thanked him for his comments.

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