NewsDenver7 | Investigates


Park County commissioners approve businessman's controversial waste transfer station in 2-1 vote

Residents have accused the county of preferential treatment
Park County waste transfer station vote
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Posted at 10:36 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-24 00:36:51-05

PARK COUNTY, Colo. — The Park County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to approve a white tent-like structure off of Highway 285, the focal point of a major community conflict.

The tent's owner wanted it to become a waste transfer station for trash trucks, but residents have raised concerns it would impact their property value.

"The community's reaction is both concerning and impressive," Park County Commissioner Dave Wissel said in a meeting.

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Denver7 | Investigates

Park County leaders accused of giving preferential treatment to businessman

Tony Kovaleski
10:19 PM, Jan 17, 2024

Denver7 Investigates was the first to report on the battle between residents and prominent businessman Adam Shirley, who owns the property where the structure is being built. For seven months, residents have accused county leaders of giving Shirley preferential treatment.

"They don't care, and they are not intimidated by the public outcry because the fix is in," said Joe Weidner, a member of a water district board in Park County. "It's infuriating... It's absolutely infuriating."

Former Park County Senior Planner John Deagan said Shirley must have been "given reason to believe he could operate with impunity." That statement is seemingly backed by a recording obtained by Denver7 Investigates in which Shirley admits he built a structure without a permit and county leadership knew about it.

“I don’t have a permit… And the commissioners know exactly what I’m doing,” Shirley said on the recording. “I’m not going against the county. The county knows exactly what I’m doing.”

Denver7 Investigates brought this to Park County leadership, who denied that Shirley received preferential treatment but noted this process has had problems.

“Mr. Shirley is not helping himself,” Park County Manager Tom Eisenman said.

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Denver7 | Investigates

Controversy continues to brew over Park County waste transfer station

Tony Kovaleski
12:07 PM, Feb 17, 2024

County commissioners voted 2-1 during a meeting Tuesday to approve Shirley's waste transfer station. Park County Commissioner Richard Elsner was one of the two approval votes.

"My perspective is the process worked," Elsner said.

Denver7 Investigates asked Elsner to respond to the accusations from residents.

"I heard some of them [accusations] and of course, none of them are true... 'I knew this or I was in his pocket' or anything like that. That's part of being a commissioner," Elsner said.

After the vote, Shirley told Denver7 Investigates he's happy with the way things turned out. He did not want to comment further until the county formally adopted the vote in March.

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