County seeks details on recycling yard near Oak Creek

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— The Routt County Board of Commissioners wants more detailed information about highway and environmental issues before members will consider approving a metal recycling yard on Colorado Highway 131 just south of Oak Creek.

Kelly and Dixie Lipsie have been operating their business without the required special-use permit since August.

“I apologized for not knowing I had to have a permit,” Kelly Lipsie told the commissioners Tuesday.

They voted unanimously to table his petition until he can work with County Planner Connie Staponski and Director of Environmental Health Mike Zopf on details of the application. The commissioners said the paperwork should have been complete before the business began operating on the west side of Colorado Highway 131, north of its intersection with Routt County Road 14.

Lipsie told the commissioners that a contract to haul scrap metal from Twentymile Coal Co. to recycling operations in Denver represents a large part of his business. He also has hauled derelict cars and farm implements away from private property in the area.

“Kelly, I commend you for the business you’re trying to build,” Commission Chairwoman Nan­cy Stahoviak said. “Having said that, there’s an elephant in the room. And that’s figuring out how to issue a permit for a business that’s already operating. Do we tell Kelly to stop doing what he’s doing right now? Or do we tell Kelly he can keep doing what he’s doing (while he meets requirements for the permit)? To me, that’s a huge issue.”

The three commissioners agreed they were not inclined to shut the Lipsies down.

“You’re providing a very needed service to Routt County. We need to find a balance” between encouraging the public service offered by the metal recycling business and protecting public interests, Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush said.

Before the commissioners hear the Lipsies’ permit request again, they will insist that the couple obtain necessary state permits including a highway entrance permit from the Colorado Depart­ment of Transportation, a solid waste recycling permit, and county permits regarding their site and managing storm water runoff.

The commissioners also want to see more detailed information about the construction of earthen berms intended to screen the view of their storage yard from motorists passing on Colo. 131.

One of their more complicated tasks is to obtain an expert report on the flow of ground and surface water through their site and how to guard against contamination.

Zopf told the Lipsies the threshold of meeting those requirements would decrease if they abandoned their current practice of draining the antifreeze and other liquids from old cars on site, before recycling the radiators and other auto parts.

Kelly Lipsie said he would willingly stop those activities.

“I want to make sure you understand the magnitude of what you’re biting off,” Commis­sioner Doug Monger said. “I don’t want to say we’re going to approve this thing and set you up for failure.”

The Lipsies’ request was tabled to a date to be determined later to allow them time to work out the details with county staff.

Comments

greenwash 4 years, 9 months ago

There are several recyclers in town.....Kellys not the only one.

He needs to play by the rules.

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nmypinon 4 years, 9 months ago

Hmmm. Nobody said that Kelly was the "only one". You would think that since he his having meetings,talking with contractors & trying to get up to "code" that that would mean he is trying to play by the rules. It's not like he's trying to hide anything!

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KellyLipsie 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, im not sure where to start. when did this world become so shallow? when you have nothing better to do than monitor everything i do ? Dont know what i did to this greenwash, a,k,a, not brave enough to use own name ? Im playing by the rules, just a little slower than everyone else. For those of you not in support of my bussiness, please, mind your own! I do not get involved in yours.

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homegrown 4 years, 9 months ago

Honestly Kelly, everyday I drive by your mess of a property and see junk instead of beauty, it is my business. I think what you are attempting to do to clean up and recycle is great but honestly I can't believe they don't say cease operations until you get your permits or even give you an attempted time line. You are not very far from the yampa and if you really were just getting rid of antifreeze and other liquids on site with no permits, I can't believe you aren't shut down by the EPA until further tests are done. It seems by your response that you are not playing by the rules at all and the commissioners should be ashamed for not representing all the citizens of the county as well as the inhabitants of our river. Please get your permits soon and good luck.

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JustSomeJoe 4 years, 9 months ago

Sorry Kelly, but your business is our business, especially those who live downstream of you. Groundwater contamination is a big deal, and you did not play by the rules. You have to get the permits first. I'm shocked they didn't put a stop order on you. Maybe asking forgiviness rather than permission will work out for you.

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greenwash 4 years, 9 months ago

Kelly I never lambasted your biz....I think its a great idea, in a bad location.Get your permits in order and it doesnt really matter what we think. Good luck.

I am also surprised BOCC didnt shut you down.

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brian ferguson 4 years, 9 months ago

I was bummed to see the new junk show on the other side of o.c, I mean come on already,both sides of town now, I love living in south routt ,but YIKES!!! Anyone have a cheap acre somewhere down here for sale...I promise not to trash it:)

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sledneck 4 years, 9 months ago

Is there anything you people would NOT like to regulate, permit, license, control or "protect"?? You want to control who builds what west of steamboat. You want to put rock guards on cliffs. You want to regulate dogs and horses. You want to put up more signs at Walton Creek and reduce the speed limit west of town. You want to regulate a persons property because they MIGHT be doing something contrary to the law... MIGHT?

As if the permits will somehow save us and make it all o.k.

MY God! We are reaching the Orwellian point in this country where "That which is not forbidden is cumpulsory" and you guys still can't get enough. Alice in Wonderland ain't got nothin on the cluster f---s running the show and you people want to turn over your fellow citizens to them every trip of the train!

You can't control your neighbors as you secretly wish so you employ the state. Living, through the state, the vicarious life of the dictator you wish to be.

It's gonna come back to bite you all in the ass soon... I promise.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

In my opinion our County Commissioners showed commendable restraint by not issuing an immediate stop order.

What we have here is a business which could be issued permits for this activity at that location. It has not been going on long, and there is no imminent risk to the general welfare. The operators gave every indication of a willingness to comply as soon as possible and began the process toward permitting immediately. If there is a problem regarding pollution it will be discovered and corrected promptly.

We have so many regulations to live by, a hundreds just at the local level, that it's not surprising that one can fail to be aware of them all. Ignorance is bliss.

I'll bet nearly everyone out there has a law or two they ignore. Most of us agree there are too many and they are too invasive. Problem for the Lipsies is they are in the public eye with the epitome of an eyesore.

Good luck with your permits, I hope the regulations don't put you out of business.

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kathy foos 4 years, 9 months ago

Once they comply with the regulations,fencing,enviromental issues ,you can stop your complaining and look the other way if you like.What abvout M.& M,its within veiw,as long as they comply ,you can all just get over it.Dont lump all problems in the area on the Lipsies.You all drive those cars,obviously they need to be recycled , they will find it easier than they think to make them all happy at the county,and they can then freely operate the business and there wont be a back log of old vehicles,its not a junk yard,only there to recycle,that means they are getting rid of them.The family that you all are trashing now is and has always has been a valuable asset to Routt county,more community servie than any of you could dream about.When something bad happens they are the first to be there for you,in a big way as they are a big helpful family.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 9 months ago

snowbow - What property values are being pulverized by the Lipsies? What sale did not take place because of the horse property and junkyard in the Canyon. Duke bets Sandy Wisecup was in that canyon long before the others. They bought after the fact.

Do you think property values have decreased and no sales have taken place because the economy and real estate market are totally in the toilet?

I wonder how many folks complain about Ike's near Craig? Does that decrease values of the haymeadow across the road? No!

Nearly every city has a junk yard not far from the city limits. Kelly is not in the city limits. His mistake was that he didn't get the proper permits. That's it. He's working to correct that issue.

Leave the guy alone. He's making a living and performing a necessary service.

The best comment was in the other article when Gateway and Oak Creek were used in the same sentence. That is just too funny if you have ever taken a cruise to Oak Creek. You can't even buy a tank of gas and it appears that there are many vacant buildings on main street.

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KellyLipsie 4 years, 9 months ago

DUKE_BETS, i love you. you are so so right and why cant more people be like you? And snowbow, if history repeats itself, stay out of my way!

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Duke_bets 4 years, 9 months ago

snowbow - I've done my homework and you obviously have a direct issue with the family. I'm not sure why Ms. Wisecup's horses keep being brought into the conversation.? She is trying to make a living too.

Who are all these neighbors? A church is nearby. A haymeadow is across the highway.

No comments on your misguided approach to property values? No comment on Ike's? No comments on every other town in the US that has a similar operation just outside of city limits?

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

Not everyone thinks it is necessary to express our opinions anonymously. While I do agree there can be important reasons to do so they are few.

Sadly it seems the result is that all too often the tone is less than civil when one does not have to own up to their statements of opinions.

At the recent "Exploring the Sacred" "Overcoming Divisiveness" discussion a very secular opinion was offered by a audience participant that one step in the right direction would be for the Pilot to stop offering this forum to those unwilling to identify themselves.

Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be to allow anonymity only in select instances when the contributor makes specific request from the publisher, for a legitimate reason, on a case by case basis.

I expect that while there may be fewer contributions, the quality of those received would not be diminished.

What are the reasons you guy conceal your identities?

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greenwash 4 years, 9 months ago

Well John, Its a well known fact if you double cross or have issues with certain South Routter's they will burn your house down......Just a little fact.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

That is a legitimate reason for anonymity. If you want to double cross better do it secretly of course, and this forum should not be a party to that.

If you wish to make a point your neighbor has an issue with, and fear retribution, let the editor know that and he will respect your request. I still maintain the nature of the discussion will be more productive.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

Tom Ross, Brent Boyer,

How about some follow up regarding the concerns about the nature of the discussions the Pilot allows and supports in this forum? An article in the Pilot would be a good start, one sure to generate a lot of response here. Some direct solicitation of contributors opinions would also reap a bounteous harvest.

Maybe you like it the way it is, or changing it would be too much work? Whatever your position, it would be good to hear it from you.

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kathy foos 4 years, 9 months ago

John,why are you dropping a topic to chastise people(me) for commenting,will it help to know my name when you probably have never heard it before?Most of us are nobodys and it is nice to stay that way when giving a thought out.Is it hurting any one?People like you are on a power trip I guess,I also wonder what motivates you to want our names.Im not worried about my house getting burned up for my opinion on this,and neither do I want to know your name,free country ,free speech.Also Snow why are you so stressed about something that is no where near Clark?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

1) Truck trips on a highway is better than truck trips on some county road. 2) Hwy 131 in this area has all sorts of views of commercial/industrial use. Yampa has highway maintenance yard, Pburg has railroad tracks north edge of OC has county maintenance yard and canyon has sewer plant, leach ponds and unshielded power substation. I don't recall new OC sewer plant project including screening views to protect OC's northern gateway. 3) Current state of Kelly's operations is not acceptable. He described his operations to the BCC as acquire, sort and remove to deliver to Denver. For whatever reason he has fallen behind on the removal part and any county permit will probably set specific limits on how much he is allowed to store on the property. But this sort of operation can be run to look far more like a county maintenance yard than a junk yard, so if Kelly can clean up his operations then it would be reasonable for the area. 4) The liquids issue is solvable. Kelly is going to have to meet State of Colorado regulations for that and there is nothing unique about draining anti-freeze from vehicles. 5) His relations to other people is irrelevant. The issue at hand is his recycling operations and unless he is using other properties in his recycling operations then it is irrelevant to his attempt to get permits for recycling at his property. 6) None of the South Routt towns have a commercial/industrial zone that would welcome a recycling operation. It would have far more and far closer residential neighbors if located within one of the nearby towns.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

Sorry Sun, no offense intended. I don't really want to know anyone's name either, and probably would not recognize many.

My point is that if people are required to use their real names to post comments here then fewer offensive and irresponsible statements would be submitted, and the quality of commentary would generally improve. I believe it would be a benefit to the readers and one step toward mutual respect and tolerance in our community.

And I'm certainly not chastising you, I thought your comments were respectful, responsible and thoughtful.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

And he is also related to Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup whom is related to Sandy. So apparently whatever you would say about relatives would apply far more to Chuck and Kelly because Kelly is related by marriage, not by blood. Your logic on relatives would imply that Chuck's family ties should have prevented him from being Fire Chief.

It is simply not fair to judge a person based upon their relatives.

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

To a certain extent being in conflict with government authority is a healthy condition. It is our responsibility to protect our liberty from the inevitable usurpation that any authority will eventually attempt.

Laws are changed when they are challenged, laws are challenged when they are widely disregarded.

I do not know of anyone who does not agree that there are too many laws and they are too invasive. It's just that everyone has a different idea of which ones should be repealed.

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kathy foos 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank you John for for polite words,it is enjoyable to hear people with good manners.Windle geez,you forgot to mention that Sandy has been helping people and teaching her children to do so all of her very special life.If you are in an accident on 131,good chance one of them will be there to pick up your pieces,Sandy can hit a home run every time in a softball game,she can serve on airplane search and rescue and work two jobs for her whole life and still take time for any one who needs a hand or advice.Controversy,lets see Ive had mine too in the past,but as citizens we work to make it better.Its none of your business how many horses that woman has ,they are her life and she loves them all .She would never hurt a flea and help you in a second even if she never met you before,

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Taken4m 4 years, 9 months ago

The owners agree to cease draining fluids onto the property; not even being aware that any sort of special permit or license might be needed. Luckily, they were able to perceive the need for a recycle operation and determine who could collaberate to profit from this business before having to address all the ensuing fluff. Thanks to whoever asked out loud "What is that junkheap happening out there?"

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John Fielding 4 years, 9 months ago

Are the owners actually draining the fluids onto the ground or is this speculation?

If they are they will have quite a bill for cleanup, and that will be the natural justice.

If, however they have been operating in a responsible manner but without the required permit, natural justice will be less severe.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

It was stated by Kelly in the BBC meeting that he was pulling radiators and recycling the anti-freeze. He said that only a little had spilled and that they had removed any contaminated dirt. He also said that he was leaving the other fluids in the vehicles. That he could deliver vehicles to the recycling yard with the radiator and other fluids, but the radiator was worth a couple dollars a pound and that people asked for the used radiator fluid.

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JusWondering 4 years, 9 months ago

Bottom line. If you are going to start a business research the regulatory issues BEFORE beginning operations. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. A good business owner researches before starting an operation. Over the years I have looked at many an opportunity only to see the barriers to entry were too great or too expensive. There are a couple that are even viable... under different political environments. That is the reason you go through a due diligence process and create a pro forma.

The BCC was more than fair by not issuing an immediate cease and desist (other counties in Colorado would have done so and sent Kelly a bill for disposal of the junk currently on the property). No arguing that the service is necessary. No arguing that it can be an eyesore and shoud be screened. When anyone plans a brick and mortar business one of the first considerations is location. Perhaps Kelly could have chosen a wiser location. To be honest, if he weren't in such a public location BCC would have never known his business existed.

Windle, I won't disagree that O.C. is stuck in the 1940s but I don't think you can blame that on just three families. Look at main street and vacancies, look at the started and stopped projects. Look at the businesses that have come and gone (beyond just restaurant/retail). It is a mind set that keeps industry away... not three families.

I applaud the efforts of recent entrepreneurs and what they are trying to accomplish. For example, it was a very gutsy move to destroy the icon of Dinty Moore's and try to bring something very new to O.C. but I applaud the efforts of the owners of The Oak... and the food is even good. Good job guys. I wish you nothing but success.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

Windle, I was at the meeting. That quote you are cited is not exactly what Kelly said.

At the meeting Kelly said that he was pulling radiators because they were worth a couple dollars a pound and he was recycling the radiator fluid. He said that if any ground got contaminated that he removed the dirt. That he could sell the recycled radiator fluid, but he was giving it to people that asked for it. That a car being recycled in Denver can include extra tires and dirt so he was putting the contaminated dirt into the vehicle being delivered to Denver.

He also said that he could leave the radiators in the cars or he could stop accepting cars to be recycled and just recycle metals from the mine.

He never said he was draining fluids onto dirt.

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