Garrison Genschorck

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- FOR PARK COUNTY COMMISSIONER -

© 2020 by Garrison Genschorck.  Proudly created with Wix.com

Water is a huge issue in all of the western states. If Colorado could keep all of the water that flowed down the Platte, Arkansas, and Colorado Rivers, we would. Denver and the suburbs would be the driving force in all of it. Those of us with residential property and “Household use only wells” know this very well. We can’t wash our cars, have a garden, or even water horses. Up until 2009 we couldn’t even collect rain water off our roof. It’s Denver water. Now we are able to collect up to 110 gallons of water that may then be used to water gardens, livestock, or lawns.

My college major was Environmental Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. One area of study that interested me was water rights and state water allocations. The way I see it, the biggest problem with water allocation is that the water in the rivers that originate in Colorado is divided between the states through which they flow. That was decided well over 100 years ago. The percentage of river water that each state had claim to was often times based on population, and population has changed greatly in the past 100 years. This original allocation was also done during a period of wet years, so each state was promised more than what is currently available. Fast forward to today, and all of the states live with less, and no one is happy about it.

As mentioned above, Chemistry was one of my areas of study – specifically the use of chemistry to improve water quality. In fact, for my senior thesis, I studied the heavy metals, specifically mercury, that were leaching into the Alamosa River. The metals originated from the Summitville Mine, which was a Super Fund site. My thesis was on the use of bacteria to consume the toxic mercury and convert it into nontoxic mercury, also known as bioremediation.

Park County’s water quality and quantity are some of the highest in Colorado and the nation. We are home to the headwaters of the South Fork of the South Platte River, and the southern part of Park County water flows into the Arkansas River.

There are three different entities with which I need to engage with in the future. The first is the Land and Water trust fund. This Fund was set up in 1998 to fight a water grab by Aurora for Park County’s water. The second is the South Platte Basin Roundtable. This is a group of county and other government agencies who have joined forces to protect the South Platte River. The last entity would be the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. The entire south end of park County is in the Arkansas Basin and I want a say in regards to policy.

I am adamant about protecting Park County’s water and plan to work intelligently and diligently to do so.

I support improvement to our broadband and cellular services throughout the county. The county spent 1.2 million on extending services in Park County. There are three phases to bring fiber optics/broadband to an area. Phase one is the first mile. It is already in and goes from Denver, up Hwy 285 to Como, then over Boreas pass. Phase two is called the middle mile, this is the portion that Park County helped pay for. Park County partnered with DOLA, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and CTN, Consumer Telecommunications Network. The middle mile anchors institutions such as fire stations, police stations, county buildings, road and bridge buildings, libraries, and other essential services. Park County was able to spend 30 cents on the dollar for this phase of construction. The final phase of construction is called the last mile. The County is not involved with nor does the county help fund the last mile. This last mile has already been completed in Fairplay and this is the grant proposal for Burland Ranchettes to bring broadband to individual residents. This is the portion that Will-O-Wisp is attempting to get a grant for and what Friendship Ranch just received a $200,000 grant to complete.

The county is continuing its efforts to receive a $200,000 grant for infrastructure to Lake George. The county has already completed cell phone tower extensions to Ranch of the Rockies. T-mobile is also putting a tower on the Bailey side of Kenosha Pass.

These extensions of our services are because Park County prioritized the infrastructure necessary to do so.

I support these efforts and will continue to do so. As county commissioner, my job will be to get all federal, state, and public entities together to continue this work. My job will be to find the funding necessary to achieve this at minimal expense to the tax payers. This is an important issue that deserves my attention and I am committed to doing it.