by Jack Minor –
The manager of a local RV park says that contrary to the Greeley Tribune’s statement that a man camp at their facility was shut down by county officials, they are still open and moving ahead with their permitting process.
In a June 3 editorial, the Tribune said, “Weld County recently ordered a man camp at the Greeley RV Park to be shut down because of health and safety concerns at the site, which really wasn’t designed to offer semi-permanent housing to such a large group of people.”
Matthew Ness who manages the park said this statement came as news to him.
“We have never been shut down by the county, and as a matter of fact we are just about finished on the permitting process to put in additional leach fields.”
Earlier this year, the septic system overflowed on the south portion of the park causing approximately 50 gallons of sewage to spill on the ground. Although the spill was quickly cleaned up, several agencies swarmed to the area and cited the owners.
The original section of the Greeley RV Park is a KOA site and is subject to the organization’s strict regulations regarding cleanliness and amenities.
The section where the man camps are housed is zoned for 200 spaces of which 36 have currently been developed with pads and hookups. Last year Ness began renting spaces out for oil field workers. However, the park’s USR permit only called for them renting out spaces to temporary residents.
Following the septic issue, commissioners convened a meeting to ensure there were not any immediate health concerns. In order to prevent another spill, the park took the precaution of having the septic system pumped out daily.
Weld County Commissioner chairman Sean Conway explained that the problem was that current county code did not have a provision for man camps.” Weld County’s code, as currently written, does not allow man camps. This doesn’t mean that they couldn’t possibly be allowed in the future, however, they just cannot under our current land use code.”
At a meeting in May, planning staff said that while the workers were staying in RV’s, by staying as long as they were meant the park would need to obtain a revised permit.
At the hearing, Conway made it plain that the commissioners were willing to work with the park owners as they went through the permitting process, but if they chose not to go that route, they would need to shut down the man camp by Oct. 3.
A trip to the area revealed that the number of spaces being utilized has gone down, but Ness said this has nothing to do with the county closing them down.
“One of the companies decided that things were better for them in Texas so they picked up and moved their operation.”
Ness said while they were forging ahead with plans to obtain the new permit, if a significant number of workers decide to move on, they may forgo the process.