Routt County The Routt County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of a request by Seneca Coal Co. to haul 50,000 tons of coal on County Road 27 from Twentymile for a test burn at the Hayden Station over a two-month period.
Seneca and the Hayden Station recently renegotiated their coal supply contract, allowing the mine to purchase coal from outside sources, according to Michael Altavilla, engineering manager at Seneca Coal Co.
The posted speed limit on C.R. 27 is 40 mph, but several planning commissioners suggested lowering the speed limit for the trucks on the haul route. Instead, the panel recommended a condition of approval requiring Seneca to report any speed limit violations to the planning department.
The distance from the Twentymile Mine loading facility to the Hayden Station is approximately 13.5 miles. Three tractor-trailer trucks will make approximately 35 to 40 round trips each week day. The hauls would be made 24 hours a day, excluding school bus pick-up and drop-off times.
Also Thursday, a request by Frank Camilletti to store and transfer Blowdown timber near his gravel pit in Milner generated a split vote.
The Planning Commission voted 6-2 to recommend approval of a special use permit for the log storage. The two commissioners who voted against the project did so because no one from the Forest Service attended the meeting to answer their questions.
Blowdown timber on Forest Service land is hauled to the Camilletti's property over the summer and then taken to Dotsero or Silt during the winter and spring when accessing the Routt Divide Blowdown area is more difficult.
Planning Commissioner Bill Taylor said he didn't want to allow spruce bark beetles from the Blowdown logs to spread to other trees while being transported across the county.
"We're infesting the whole damn area. If we have a contamination, it should be isolated," Taylor said. "Why drag it everywhere those trucks go?"
Camilletti's proposal means a total of 800, one-way truck trips each year.
As far as beetles flying to trees in Milner, Camilletti said he sprayed 19 trees in a one-mile radius to prevent beetle damage.
The Board of County Commissioners will review both requests from Seneca and Camilletti on June 6.