Charitable Giving

Colorado Conservation districts appreciate “donation”

Staff Reports

Operations Manager Shawn Whitmore (left) accepted an award of thanks from the White River Conservation district at their recent annual banquet.

A clerical error in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, caused Williams and other companies to pay unnecessary property taxes that benefitted the White River and Douglas Creek conservation districts. Instead of asking for the money back, Williams agreed to waive the reimbursements because of the impact it would have on the conservation districts.

According to the Grand Junction Sentinel, last year, the Rio Blanco County Assessor discovered that the two conservation districts had been mistakenly receiving personal property tax revenues for decades when they were only eligible for tax revenues from real property under state law.

Williams agreed to pass on collecting some $60,000 in reimbursements.

Callie Hendrickson, executive director of the districts, told the Grand Junction Sentinel that she greatly appreciated what is essentially a contribution to the conservation districts to continue their work promoting the wise use of natural resources. She agreed the districts don’t want anyone paying taxes they don’t have to pay.

With this clerical error and a slowdown in overall energy development in the Piceance Basin, the districts will face revenue shortages going forward.

“The White River and Douglas Creek conservation districts face very real financial challenges moving forward. Williams believes that it is our responsibility to assist the districts in navigating these challenges due to the important role that they play in making our community better,” said Shawn Whitmore, manager of Operations in the Piceance.

The decision not to pursue the reimbursement reflects our corporate values and commitment to local residents and communities.

“Producing natural gas in the Piceance Basin requires a delicate balance of people and organizations working together for the greater good of our economy and community,” Shawn says. “Not seeking reimbursement is our role in maintaining this important balance.”