By Jenny Paulson / Publisher / Southern Colorado Independent Magazine
Pueblo City Councilman Bob Schilling is scheduled to speak to the Boone City Council tonight at 7 pm, addressing PuebloPlex and the development of Highway 96 and the Northeast side of I-25. Schilling has been criticized for acting outside of his role as a Councilman, elected by one district in Pueblo. Residents from the town of Boone contacted Southern Colorado Independent saying that most residents do not want to incorporate into the City of Pueblo whatsoever and many don’t appreciate his continued speaking of a City-County combined government.
The Boone Town Council meeting is scheduled for 7 pm February 3rd at Boone Town Hall, 421 E. First St., next to the Fire station directly south of the Town Park. Some area landowners have been informed at the last minute of the meeting and said they would attend. A PuebloPlex representative said they didn’t even know about the meeting set up by Schilling and might to be present. Schilling lied to his fellow Council members in mid January before a public meeting denying the allegations by Southern Colorado Independent that he was in contact with Boone officials, outside of his role as a one district Council member. However Southern Colorado Independent found recordings and minutes from the meetings stating otherwise.
The mayor Robert Ferriter said Schilling is more than welcome to give his proposal at the meeting.
The Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD), PuebloPlex and the PuebloPlex Redevelopment Plan were featured in several 2015 Pueblo Chieftain Editorials, and in various local news station articles / videos within the past year. Click on this website link to see the articles from the Pueblo Chieftain, KRDO News Channel 13 and KOAA Channel 5 on the Redevelopment Plan to prep yourself on what issues have been covered in the mainstream media lately.
In one of the links, Chieftain article Woodka actually makes the statement regarding the master plan for the future use of the Pueblo Chemical Depot which should be ready by the end of February, stating that the project should be pushed through without full blown county hearings: “When that happens, PuebloPlex needs to seek appropriate county zoning for the depot to assure that the activities of companies wishing to locate at the depot can be approved by the PuebloPlex board with-out full-blown county hearings that could add time to projects.”
His story says “PuebloPlex is the state-designated board charged with redevel- opment of the 73-year- old depot that is being closed by the Army. About 16,000 acres have been deemed excess property, while the re- maining 7,000 acres are being used for chemical weapons destruction.
The biggest question mark at this point involves the ongoing environmental remedia-tion work at the depot. PuebloPlex wants to fast- track federal turnover of the central portion of the depot, where there are relatively few environmental cleanup sites. There also are requirements to provide access to projects for the homeless that could linger on after the plan is prepared.”
Because Schilling represents just one district in Pueblo, his continued meetings with town officials in the County and with the County itself – about the PuebloPlex and other County/city issues – without consent of the rest of Council could be considered unethical at the least. Two sessions ago, Schilling lied to fellow Council members saying he wasn’t even in discussion with Boone officials, but we found out that he actually scheduled a formal meeting with them. Boone residents questioned a few weeks ago by Southern Colorado Independent said they weren’t aware that issues were being discussed regarding their town and the County and City. A citizen emailed saying that Council and the Mayor were upset about the issues they too lacked information about and want to know more so that they can properly lobby for their constituents. However the Mayor of Boone said that Schilling is welcome to give a presentation and scheduled him in to get more information.
The town of Boone is considered a statutory town, it’s located about 20 miles northeast of Pueblo. According to the 2000 Census about 339 people live in Boone, with 131 households. Boone was founded as Booneville during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush by Albert Gallatin Boone, grandson of Daniel Boone. Boone was the first postmaster and for a brief time Indian agent to the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Boone isn’t a wealthy town if you look at the median income per household of $26,964, however there are some large land holdings in the area Northeast of I25 to Boone, some of which include significant water rights. It’s rumored that some local government officials have been asking local ranchers about their land rights, and possibly one elected official has been asking to buy water and land rights personally, perhaps considered unethical “insider trading.”
Boone is in major debt due to their new water and sewer systems. Those who contacted Southern Colorado Independent say the majority of residents do not want to annex into the City of Pueblo and are questioning even the possibility of disincorporating their town. Officials have met with County Commissioners to discuss their dilemma lately. Some residents say that Pueblo County is giving pot growing companies money for water but isn’t assisting Boone with their water and sewer issues. Citizens are paying extreme amounts for their water/sewer bills, with a minimum of $100 per month now and say the situation is unfair to those who live in the small community. Southern Colorado Independent, your new alternative online magazine, will cover the meeting, and will be investigating issues between Boone and the City of Pueblo and the County.
Like the FB page for Southern Colorado Independent, Jenny Paulson’s FB page and visit often at www.SouthernColoradoIndependent.com. Jenny Paulson has been a publisher of various niche magazines, including owning a monthly alternative in NW Colorado for ten years, in which she busted the then largest land trade in the history of Colorado which was about senior water rights instead of what the dozen or so officials who got fired said it was about. The story hit nationwide news and the illegal land trade was halted. She has lived in Pueblo ten years and is launching the online magazine Southern Colorado Independent first before going to print sometime in the next year to in part cover local issues but mostly to explore the positive lifestyle and lore of Pueblo and Southern Colorado. Southern Colorado Independent is the region’s new official watch dog.