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2021 Federal Mineral Lease Funds accepted

Posted on 01/18/2021
2021 Federal Mineral Lease Funds accepted

Last week, the Weld County Board of Commissioners accepted funds from the Federal Mineral Lease Act District, which will assist with road improvements identified in the county’s Haul Route Program (HARP) and be used to continue the county’s water testing program.

In 2021, Weld County will receive $1 million to go toward the cost of completing nine road projects throughout the county, identified as HARP projects. The HARP was established to mitigate the impact of the oil and gas industry’s heavy vehicle use on county roads, and HARP projects are designed to deliver improvements to those roads. The anticipated improvements largely include full depth reclamation, paving or treatment on gravel roads.

Federal Mineral Lease Funds represent a portion of the revenue received from mineral leases on federal lands. Weld County’s Federal Mineral Lease Act District was established in 2011.

“The traveling public expects our roads to be safe, efficient and meet their overall needs,” Weld County Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno said. “While the county budgets each year for road improvements, funding from the Federal Mineral Lease Act District is a great additional resource we can use to maintain our transportation system.”

The 2021 Federal Mineral Lease Funds will also be used to continue supporting the county’s water testing program. This year, the county received $52,473 to assist with and maintain the program and equipment. The well-water testing program was initiated by the county in 2012 and offers free Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) testing to county residents on well water. To date, a total of 1,339 well-water samples have been tested for free, saving those residents over $200,000. Municipal water is already tested for VOCs by the individual municipal water suppliers. Last year, the board purchased two new pieces of testing equipment, which will allow for more efficient testing of well-water samples.

“This is the first year that the total given from the district has exceeded $50,000,” said Mike Freeman, Weld County Commissioner and Chair of the Federal Mineral Leasing Act District. “This is a very important program to residents, so we wanted to be sure to cover the full cost of the program.”

Residents can have their well water sampled at no charge. To do so, please call the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment at (970) 304-6415. Residents can test twice yearly. For a fee, well water can also be tested for metals, ions, bacteria and pH balance.

For more information on the county’s water testing program, visit https://www.weldgov.com/departments/health_and_environment/environmental_health/laboratory. More information on the HARP can be found in the Weld County 2045 Transportation Plan at https://www.weldgov.com/departments/public_works/transportation_planning.