Letter: McKenzie, Help protect Grand County, vote for Andy Miller
October 14, 2016
Help protect Grand County, vote for Andy Miller
The two candidates for county commissioner, Andy Miller and Rich Cimino, are representing the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. It is refreshing – a contrast to the races at the national level – that the choice between these two gentlemen is really non-partisan, and one that should be decided by who is best suited to represent the citizens of Grand County. Grand County provides a great quality of life for its residents. All of us, citizens and our government officials, need to use our creativity to maintain and enhance the environment, and the lifestyles and values that we find important. The issues and problems that we face are complex, and they require appropriate skill sets for an effective county commissioner. Andy Miller, a 40-year resident of Grand County, has the local experience, the talents, and the work ethic to enhance all sectors of Grand County: its economy, its ranches, it water resources, and all the things that its citizens find necessary and desirable for a high quality of life. Andy is passionate about protecting the water resources of Grand County. The state of Colorado has issued its Colorado’s Water Plan which details the expected doubling of the state’s population by 2050. The water plan forecasts a gap of 500,000 ac. ft. of water by 2030 unless a portfolio of actions are implemented such as increased conservation, storage, additional transmountain diversions, reuse, and changes in land. Unfortunately, 70 to 80 percent of Colorado’s water is found on the western slope while 80 to 90 percent of Colorado’s population resides east of the Continental Divide. Grand County has a long history of its water being subject to transmountain diversions to the Front Range. This precious resource has made possible for the Denver Metro area to develop a resilient economy and become a desirable urban center. But these transfers have left less water available for our local economy including agriculture, and have resulted in a degradation of stream and lake health in Grand County. Andy will work hard to make sure that Grand County is getting what it bargained for with existing water transfer agreements, and will explore ways to compensate the harm caused by these interbasin diversions such as the high cost of treating water for our municipal use due to the reduced flows in our rivers. Please help protect Grand County water resources with your vote for Andy Miller.