A total of 55 new oil and gas wells spread across four drilling sites may be coming to Windsor this year, pending further approval from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
The Windsor Town Board approved Tekton Windsor, LLC’s request for four conditional use grants during Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting.
Details of the four proposed sites include:
» 12 wells near Diamond Valley;
» 12 wells near Water Valley West, near the towns existing water supply tank;
» 13 wells near Water Valley South;
» 18 wells near the Hilltop Estates subdivision.
Each development will be required to meet a lengthy list of requirements similar to existing projects in town. Regulations include the use of electric motors to mitigate noise, low-profile structures to improve appearance, waste disposal filings with the town and the industry-standard ability to contain 110 percent of any potential spill.
Jeremey Rose was the dissenting voice on each of the four votes, citing concerns about proximity to schools, structures and water resources. He said he worried about the influx of drilling requests Monday, adding that he felt the industry was “moving too fast.”
Specifically, he questioned the Diamond Valley facility’s proximity to a day care center located about 1,300 feet away.
Jerry Sommer, president and CEO of Tekton Energy, said the 1,300-foot buffer was more than four times the state’s requirement.
“From our perspective, this is significant distance,” he said. “Essentially we drill around civilization all the time. We keep the wells under control.”
Board member Myles Baker joined Rose in voting no on the Water Valley west proposal, citing concerns about the town’s nearby water supply tank. Sommers repeatedly assured the board that the water storage facility — located about 350 feet away from the drill site — would remain safe.
Because the water lines from the tank are constantly under pressure, town officials said there was virtually no way for contamination in the event of a catastrophic event.
Minutes from a June 5 neighborhood meeting — required for land use applications like these — indicate that concerns about air and water quality remain a top worry among residents near proposed sites.
“Tekton has chosen to follow more stringent Colorado Oil and Gas Association water testing standards beyond those of COGCC,” according to the minutes.
Monday’s meeting packet — available online at www.windsorgov.com — also contained dozens of pages of information about what specifically is planned for the potential sites. The packet included lists of chemicals used in the fracturing process, exact time lines for drilling, pumping and site restoration plans and even emergency containment plans — all of which board members appreciated.
“We’ve come a long way as a board in educating ourselves in how to coexist with this industry,” Mayor John Vazquez said, adding that the amount of transparency and willingness to work together was a positive thing for the town.
“It’s much appreciated.”
More town news
Windsor continues to see signs of growth and productivity, at least according to the latest figures unveiled during Monday’s town board meeting.
The month of July recorded the highest gross sales tax on record, bringing the year-to-date figures up more than 8 percent over 2011 — the highest ever recorded in Windsor. Officials are optimistic the town can reach the $6 million mark by year’s end, assuming festivals and holiday shopping tracks as expected.
It also appears Windsor is continuing its rapid growth and expansion. So far in 2012, the town has issued nearly 300 single-family residential building permits — more than the entire years from 2007-11. For more information on the town’s growth, visit www.windsorgov.com.