Name change proposed for Moffat

MOFFAT — At the end of the 19th century, two Colorado towns changed their names to make sure they received their mail. Today, cannabis operators near Moffat want to change the town name because mistaken weather readings from Moffat County in the northwest corner of the state might ruin a crop here in Southern Colorado.

In 1887, residents of what is known as Telluride today changed their town name from Columbia because too much of their mail ended up in Columbia, Calif., by mistake. A decade later, mine camp residents of Eldorado, west of Boulder, changed their town name to Eldora in hopes of having all of their mail delivered correctly.

During a town board meeting on June 7, Area 420 founder Mike Biggio proposed changing “Moffat” to “Kush.” The idea is as much about branding as it is misguided weather readings. Kush connotes cannabis.

Dawn Mayo, a long-time Moffat resident and educator who is opposed to the name change, addressed the Saguache County Commissioners on June 21. She shared concerns about mail delivery and other aspects of the change. On June 24 and June 25, she orchestrated opposition meetings in Moffat and KV Estates. More than 60 people attended the gatherings and signed a counter-petition.

According to Colorado law, statutory towns can change their name if at least 50 percent of the total voters from the last mayoral election sign a petition supporting the new name. With 40 voters in the last election in Moffat, only 20 must sign the petition for the process to proceed. Signed petitions submitted to the office of the Secretary of State undergo a minimum 30-day search period to ensure that no other Colorado town bears the same name.

After the name-change petition has been submitted, the town board must also set a time when the petition shall be considered by residents. The board must publish notice of the petition presentation once each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper that has a general circulation in the vicinity of the town.

Area 420 accounts for most of the 70 cannabis cultivation licenses issued near Moffat, up from a pair of licenses in 2016.

The agenda posted for the next Moffat Town Board meeting on June 28 at 7 p.m. did not include a discussion about the name change for the town.