Yuma County following many issues in 2022

Yuma County is tackling several issues in 2022, including oil and gas rules, compact compliance, ag advocacy, and the county roads.
The county commissioners and county administrator are working closely with local natural gas producer OWN Resources to participate actively in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rulemaking process. In 2019, the legislature passed Senate Bill 19-181, significantly changing the role of the COGCC from fostering the oil and gas industry, to regulating it. Since then, the COGCC has gone through a series of rulemaking processes that have had significantly detrimental impact on oil and gas production activities, and on the local economic impact of those activities, the county has reported. Currently, the county and OWN are working together to advocate for more realistic financial assurance rules.
Yuma County continues to play an active role in the Republican River Water Conservation District’s efforts to address compact compliance. Water continues to be one of the most important and impactful resources in Yuma County. Late in 2021, the county was successful in engaging the Department of Agriculture in a more active conversation about the impacts of the compact compliance issues. The Commissioners anticipate contributing a great deal of support to the RRWCD as it continues to advocate for state-level partnership and engagement in creating resolution.
Yuma County is actively participating in the regional opioid council, through which a local assessment of behavioral health, specifically substance abuse treatment needs, will be completed. Behavioral health services and opportunities in the northeast region is a significant priority for the commissioners and staff.
Of particular priority for the county is agriculture advocacy work. Recent legislation and ballot measures continue to add pressure to an already challenging industry. County leaders noted that many of the proposals coming out of the Front Range are, at best, ill-informed and would devastate and cripple the production ag industry.
Being the No. 2 agriculture producer in the state, Yuma County takes it’s ag advocacy responsibility seriously and expects to continue pushing for engagement with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to educate and advocate on the realities and importance of production agriculture.
Yuma County welcomed a new economic development director late in 2021. Shelby Clark is currently working on bringing herself up-to-speed on current and future economic issues in Yuma County, and county leaders said they look for her to bring a lot of energy and engagement to the office in 2022.
Yuma County Road and Bridge is continuing its focus on adjusting operations to accommodate for the lack of moisture. The dryness poses significant issues with the ability to maintain roads, and it doesn’t appear there will be improvement on that end. The Road and Bridge team continues to focus on strategy in applying water, rotating locations, and coordinating project timelines to take advantage of conditions as best they can. The Eckley Road fog coat is expected to occur this spring, pending availability of oil. Various road rebuilds are planned throughout the county in 2022 as well, weather and material permitting.