Write the City to Support Better Oil and Gas Communications and Budget Transparency Before October 9 Meeting

Are you concerned that the City needs to improve its communications about oil and gas development to keep residents informed and safe?  Are you wondering how much money the City will lose next year because of oil and gas development?  Consider writing the City at council@broomfieldcitycouncil.org or manager@broomfield.org  or by attending the October 9 6 p.m. Council meeting to ask Council your questions.

At the beginning of Council Business, item 11a Public Hearing – Citizens’ Suggestions Regarding the City and County’s Proposed 2019  Budget is your chance to ask how much money the City will lose next year because of oil and gas development.  In Council Member Castriotta’s October 4 Study Session comments on the 2019 City Budget, she referred to $1.8 million in 2019 oil and gas related development costs to the City, numbers provided to Council by Finance Director Pat Soderberg.  This will include $1.5 million in oil and gas inspection division costs in Public Health and Environment (7.7% of the HHS budget), about $100,000 for the contractual services of oil and gas attorney Phil Barber in the Attorney’s Office, and about $150,000 for consultant technical support in the City Manager’s office.  Recall that the City gave up royalty payments from Extraction Oil and Gas development as part of the October 24 Operator Agreement, since the City said it was necessary in exchange for Extraction to reduce the number of wells.  Additional oil and gas related costs mentioned during the October 4 Study Session included emergency management planning by North Metro, review of oil and gas permits by the Open Space and Trails department, IT costs for the citizen complaint tracking system, and the proposed communication plan for oil and gas development.

At the end of the meeting, Item 13a on the Manager’s Report is the result of a request by several Council Members for a “more robust communication plans for large scale drilling projects in Broomfield.”  As Council Member Castriotta stated at the October 4 Study Session in support of the communication plan, “We’re going into the dark here where we have never been before and so far it hasn’t been smooth.  Information has gone out only on demand, incomplete…Our residents are scared and we need to do as much as we can to ease their fears.”  Please see the proposed plan here with a Plan Activity Timeline that includes warnings about upcoming oil and gas development activity pushed through various media.  Let Council and the City Manager know what you think is important to include in this communication plan.