Hearing dates for the Nestle Waters 1041 and special land use applications were re-set by Chaffee County Commissioners during their meeting Tuesday.

Earlier dates were postponed to allow Nestle to answer questions, Don Reimer, county planning engineer said.

Hearing with the planning commission was set for March 3, a site visit will be March 4 and county commissioners will host a hearing March 18. All meetings will be at 1 p.m. Meetings on March 3 and March 18 will be at the Steam Plant. The March 4 meeting will be at the site near Ruby Mountain.

Commissioners approved retaining special council upon recommendation of county attorney Jenny Davis.

She reported she worked too closely with the applicant and recommended Barb Green of Boulder should represent the county.

Previously, Green was retained by the county for a Bureau of Reclamation exchange.

In unrelated business, commissioners approved $15,000 to the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas from the conservation trust fund.

Frosty Roe, trust president, told commissioners the organization budget is $25,000 a year in non-salaried expenses.

The land trust, Roe said, is working on nine projects and recently completed a cooperative effort with the Colorado Division of Wildlife for a $4.8 million conservation easement in Lake County.

Commissioner Frank Holman asked if the land trust would be a self sustaining entity in the future.

Roe answered, "We have several businesses signing onto the Common Cents program including two rafting companies. Within two years we should be self-sufficient."

Commissioner Dennis Giese said the land trust has been a worthwhile project, adding, "I think it is at a turning point."

Commissioner Tim Glenn said he favored giving money to the land trust, but he is not in favor of conservation trust fund money being used for "external employees. When the county gives dollars to external projects, I don't think it's good to go to employees of those projects."

In other business, commissioners:

• Approved the $290,000 community development block grant application for a small business loan program. Glenn recused himself because of his relationship with a local bank.

• Approved the Colorado Discretionary Aviation grant agreement and resolution for $75,000 requiring a $15,000 match from the county and City of Salida to buy a utility maintenance vehicle.

• Released the Kelly Ranch easement promissory note. It was for $20,000 and converted to a grant when the property easement closed.

• Signed the wildfire protection plan for Game Trail Association stipulating inclusion of a governmental immunity disclaimer language.

• Reappointed Lawrence Ross to the Northern Chaffee County Library board for a 5 year term.

• Approved the consent agenda.

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