As the June 2019 deadline approaches for Glenwood Springs’ Steve Beckley to submit his development plan for the Holly Quarry, questions remain about the plans and lack of transparency accompanying the approval process through local government.
As the Glenwood Springs Post Independent notes:
The former limestone quarry belongs to Steve and Jeanne Beckley, owners of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The site is being planned for a hotel and new “mine shaft” access up to the amusement park and caves.
The roots of the Holly Quarry development reach back to 2013 , when Beckley successfully appealed for the site to be rezoned to “planned unit development.” In 2016, Beckley went before the Glenwood Springs City Council , asking for a three year filing extension for the quarry’s development permit.
The city council, at the time, was made up of six members, including Leo McKinney and Stephen Bershenyi, who interestingly are both members of the recently formed Glenwood Springs Citizen Alliance (GSCA).
One of the questions that remain regarding this vote is why current GSCA president Leo McKinney recused himself from the vote due to a conflict. A possible theory is that McKinney is financially involved in the Holly Quarry project. The lack of government transparency on this matter is troubling and deserves further exploration.
Another issue worth exploring and deserving more transparency is how Beckley, someone who potentially stands to benefit from the EPA grant awarded to develop these sites, was appointed to the grant’s “steering committee”.
The local web of influence in communities around Colorado, similar to what we see in Glenwood Springs with Steve Beckley and Leo McKinney is something the Colorado Transparency Project will continue to explore on behalf of the citizens of Colorado.