Gravel Pit...Why hasn't this been posted in the MM

The following letter to the editor of The Mountain Mail was submitted on 4/25/17 but has yet to appear. If you, like us, oppose the creation of a gravel pit with all of the inherent noise and hazardous dust associated with its excavating and crushing operations in this beautiful area, please contact us at [email protected] to voice your opposition and sign our petition to stop this pit from becoming a 30+-year reality that will affect the health, property values and lifestyle of the so many other residents and property owners in the greater Salida community.

Dear Editor,
The Guest Opinion by former County Commissioner Frank Holman published in the 4/19/17 edition of the Mountain Mail raises many questions. For those who may not know, Mr. Holman and Paul Moltz (ACA Products of Buena Vista) are seeking approval for a 27-acre gravel pit near the intersections of CR 140 and CR 250. This proposed pit, coincidentally, is to be located on Mr. Holman’s personal property. Mr. Holman used the privilege of being given a Guest Opinion slot to paint himself as someone who is willing to sacrifice his family ranch for the benefit of the county. He wrote “If there were a better option for providing this much needed material, I would not have subjected myself and my family to this painful process a second time.” He wrote “Please understand that I am not doing this for financial gain but to fill a need for the entire county.”
This issue pits the rights and personal gain of one person against the property rights and financial interests of hundreds of other property and business owners in the greater Salida community. Here are just a few of the many questions that must be addressed:
• If this is not about personal financial gain, why have Mr. Holman and Mr. Moltz spent over 7 years trying to gain approval for this pit over the objections of neighboring property owners, Salida businesses and many other citizens (“VOTERS”) who recognize that placing a gravel pit in this residential area will result in property value decline, dangerous dust, unwelcome noise, traffic safety issues and represent a strong deterrent for anyone potentially interested in buying or building in this area?
• How can Mr. Holman and our Commissioners, in good conscience, embrace residential growth, approve sub-divisions and welcome the influx of new residents as good for the county and then put those same developers and residents who have invested large sums of money at risk by seeking approval for a gravel pit that will only benefit one person in the same area?
• How is it that the county and Mr. Holman managed to operate an unpermitted pit on his property for several years? Aren’t elected officials held to the same rules as other citizens?
• When residential development west of Hwy 285 slows because of this pit, what impact will that have on the Salida businesses that depend on that development for their continued growth and prosperity?
• Does anyone think that Mr. Moltz and ACA are spending this much time and money for a 27-acre gravel pit? Their Avery pit in Buena Vista provides a good indicator of their objective. It began as a 40-acre pit that now sprawls over 131 acres.
• At what point do personal friendships, cronyism or favors for political indebtedness begin to corrupt our county government decisions and not serve our, the taxpayers, interests?
Please voice your opposition, protect your property rights and sign our petition to stop this new pit from becoming a reality, email us at [email protected]


Wayne Somers


  • In fairness, the letter to the editor of The Mountain Mail that I posted in the Salida Citizen last week was posted in today's (5/1) edition of the paper.

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