Chaffee County commissioners received an update Monday from Cindy Williams and other members of the Chaffee Common Ground Committee, who discussed engaging with subject matter expert teams, setting program goals, developing program guidelines and a rating rubric and identifying grant programs.

The commissioners also heard about the Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program from program director Tracy Phillips.

Phillips said the program is a new way of funding clean energy improvements to commercial, industrial and residential properties.

Because it is a state program, the county will need to pass a resolution to join in and allow residents to participate.

Gerry Knapp and Paul Flack, along with representatives from Pueblo West, talked to the commissioners about the revegetation of Hill Ranch and the agreement between Chaffee County and Pueblo West, which purchased the water rights of the property in 2006.

Knapp said that while their test revegetation plots looked “pretty darn good,” he wouldn’t do a full evaluation until two years have passed, and he wouldn’t fully sign off on anything until he could see three years of growth.

He also said the amount of moisture the county received earlier in the year has helped.

Knapp and Flack also spoke about doing away with the option for Hill Ranch residents to “opt out” of the program, saying they have spoken to many of the residents, and everyone they have spoken to is in favor of the program.

“I hope to see that there’s no opt-out agreement,” Knapp said. “If a landowner does want to opt out, we could just work it out between them and Pueblo West.”

A meeting to present Knapp and Flack’s findings is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at Chaffee County Fairgrounds.

Commissioners heard reports from department heads, except for Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom, who was unable to make the meeting due to travel complications.

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