RIO GRANDE COUNTY- In a move of solidarity, the Rio Grande Board of County Commissioners made a decision to sign a movant in regard to the SLRG Railroad bankruptcy issue and are asking for additional support from surrounding counties. By signing the movant agreement, the board is asking the bankruptcy Judge presiding over the case to take into consideration the circumstances of the railroad throughout the Valley and the needs of the communities who rely on it.
Movant is an individual or group of entities that makes a motion before a court and asks the Judge to make a decision in their favor or after taking all needs into consideration before making a decision. “We basically want the best interest of the public and their needs to be heard by the Judge before a decision is made. There are people here and in surrounding communities who rely heavily on the railroad for commerce and even tourism for economic growth and stability,” said Noffsker.
“If a buyer comes in and doesn’t take the community’s needs into consideration it could be detrimental to our economy,” stated Noffsker. The board voted to sign the movant and asked County Attorney Ryan Dunn to continue conversations with surrounding counties that are affected by the bankruptcy to join in the movant.
The SLRG Railroad is in Colorado Bankruptcy Court at this time and will be out for bid in upcoming weeks. The railroad has been a staple in the Valley since the early 1800s and has played an integral part in the survival of both the agricultural community and tourism in the Valley.
The railroad owes back property taxes amounting to just over $2 million to Rio Grande, Alamosa, Costilla, Conejos and Huerfano counties. Not only do the communities involved want to see the survival of the lines, they are also hoping to get reimbursed for the back taxes to help stimulate the economy that suffered when the line was shut down in November 2019.