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About Weld County

The Pawnee National Grassland encompasses approximately 193,000 acres in northern Weld County. (c) Weld County Government 
Welcome to beautiful Weld County – home to growing cities, charming towns, thriving businesses and thousands of acres of prime agricultural land. As Colorado’s third largest county, Weld County covers 3,996 square miles in the northern part of the state and is larger than the size of Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia combined.

File 81
No 5 
Preamble to Resolution to His Hon A. W. Brazee 
Judge 1st Judicial Dist.
and his reply in 
regard to holding court.
 5/24/75 (1875)
 (c) Weld County Government
The history of Weld County, which was established in 1861 when Colorado was still a territory, is literally rooted in the land. Weld County ranks number one in the state, and number nine in the country, in the value of agricultural products sold -- $1.9 billion annually.

 

So how is this possible in a region that in 1821, Major Stephen H. Long said would never be fit for human habitation and should remain forever the unmolested haunt of the Irrigation ditch at sunset near Kersey. (c) Weld County Governmentnative hunter, bison and jackal? The answer is irrigation. The Section No. 3 Ditch Company, which was incorporated in 1870[1], is said to have been “the first ditch in the United States built specifically to grow food”. [2]

 

Thanks to a dry climate, warm summers, mild winters and a growing season of approximately  138 days, Weld County leads the state in the production of sugar beets, grains, beef cattle. The county is also a leader in the production of dry beans, potatoes, poultry and eggs, milk and other dairy products. In fact, agriculture is so important in the county that the Weld County Code includes a specific Right to Farm Statement. [3]

 

Another important industry in the county is the energy industry. Oil and gas activity has occurred for decades in Weld County, which is located in the Denver-Julesburg Basin and sits above the Wattenberg Field.

 

On October 10, 1930, following months of difficult drilling, oil began to flow from the An oil and gas drilling rig east of Windsor. (c) Weld County GovernmentGreasewood fold, located in the eastern Weld County, at a rate of 184 barrels a day. After drilling further into the sandstone, that amount jumped 300 barrels a day. [4] The discovery in 1970 of the Wattenberg Field, which extends from southern Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle down  along much of the Colorado Front Range, initiated the first true oil boom in Weld County. [5] Oil and gas production within the county continued at a steady pace for several decades. Then, in 2009, a horizontally drilled well (called the Jake well) surprised the oil industry by producing 50,000 barrels of oil in 90 days. [6]

 

Horizontal drilling Weld County is in the process of converting its fleet vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas and Liquified Natural Gas. In 2012, the county had 24 CNG vehicles and 4 LNG trucks. brought new life to the energy industry in Weld County, and today, Weld has more oil and gas wells than any other county in the state; approximately 23,000. The positive economic impact oil and gas has had on the county has been tremendous. Schools, fire districts, libraries as well as county and municipal governments all benefit from this recent oil boom. 

 

Other benefits of the boom: Weld County has no long-term or short-term debt, no county sales tax, a low mill levy compared to neighboring counties, and is able to pay for long-term projects with cash. In fact, starting in 2011, the Weld County Board of Commissioners began setting aside $8 million for county road maintenance, $23 million for improvements to Weld County Road 49, $40 million for future expansion of the Weld County Jail and $4 million for construction of the North Colorado  Regional Crime lab.

 

In addition to agriculture and energy, Weld County is also home to thriving businesses – large and small. County government has a proven track record of working with business and industry; not creating obstacles. Major employers in the area include: JBS USA, Leprino Foods, Aurora Organic Dairy,  Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, Halliburton Energy Services, Vestas Blades, Banner Health, Carestream Colorado and State Farm Insurance.

 

Agritourism is also abundant throughout Weld County. Farmer’s Markets and local produce stands can be found in many Weld County towns throughout the summer while pumpkin patches and intricate corn mazes provide hours of fun during the fall.

 

Weld County is a home rule county meaning it is governed by a home rule charter which brings government closer to the people.

 

Following adoption of a constitutional amendment by Colorado voters in 1970, Weld County began work toward drafting its own set of governing rules. A 21-member commission was elected in 1974 to write the charter and after seven and a half months of study and scores of public hearings, the charter was presented to the voters in September 1975.

 

Passage of the charter made Weld County the first in the state to adopt its own home rule charter. Since then, only one other Colorado County, Pitkin County, has followed course. Weld County's Home Rule Charter went into effect on January 1, 1976, seven months before the 100th anniversary of Colorado's statehood. Changes in the charter are permitted by a majority vote of the residents. [8]

 

To learn more about Weld County, please visit the following links:

 

Weld County: www.weldgov.com

Weld County Charter: www.co.weld.co.us/assets/3d0dA293B43AA99bA91d.pdf

Upstate Colorado: www.upstatecolorado.org

Weld County 150th Anniversary: www.weldcounty150.org

 


[1] http://lib.colostate.edu/archives/findingaids/water/wgod.html

[2] http://www.weldcounty150.org/AgricultureinWeldCounty/index.html

[3] http://www.co.weld.co.us/Departments/PlanningZoning/WeldCountyRighttoFarm.html

[4] http://books.google.com/books/about/Stratigraphic_type_oil_fields.html?id=WZZOAAAAMAAJ

[5] http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20120603/NEWS/120609997

[6] http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2010/04/05/daily51.html

[8] https://www.co.weld.co.us/assets/3d0dA293B43AA99bA91d.pdf