Colorado: Beulah mountain community has no local government |

Colorado: Beulah mountain community has no local government

The Pueblo Chieftain
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS JULY 11-12 ** In this undated photograph taken in Beulah, Colo., Debbie Rose, owner of the Beulah general store, sweeps the steps in front of the store. Rose and the store are the closest things to "government" that exists in the mountain town in western Pueblo County. (AP Photo/Pueblo Chieftain, Chris McLean)
AP | Pueblo Chieftain

BEULAH, Colorado – This little scenic, green mountain community has long had a mystique about it, remaining cool when the rest of Pueblo County is sizzling under a summer sun.

For those thinking about “getting away from it all” to Beulah, here’s another attraction:

There is no local government.

“We’re not even a town,” explained Debbie Rose, owner of the Beulah General Store, and as close to being the area’s unofficial “mayor” as anyone. A former member of the District 70 school board and a near-winner in the 2008 race for a seat on the Pueblo County Board of Commissioners, Rose has the highest political profile in the mountain valley.

And she works the counter at the valley’s general store.

“If there is mail addressed to some kind of official Beulah government, it gets sent to me,” she laughed. “The local government with the most control over Beulah is Pueblo County.”

Not that Beulah residents are complete no-government types. The are two separate water districts – Pine Drive Water District and Beulah Water District – that keep the water flowing to the mountain homes that spread out from the central valley. That’s not a small task either, for anyone who remembers the frightening summer drought of 2002, when Pine Creek stopped running and county and state officials hustled emergency water storage bladders up to the mountain community.

And there is a telephone company – the Pine Drive Telephone Co. – as well as a cable television service, Beulah Cable TV. Both are owned and operated by Dick Sellers, whose family has been keeping Beulah’s telephone lines connected for more than 50 years.

People trying to find their way around the valley often stop at the telephone office for directions. Delivery drivers have been known to leave packages there for Beulah residents.

If there is a public meeting over at the Beulah School about some issue, people call Sellers for the details, if they haven’t already heard them at the general store or from a neighbor.

“One reason they call us is that we’re always here,” Sellers said. “The telephone company is always staffed.”

When the Mason Gulch Wildfire burned up the mountain forests south of Wetmore in July 2005, Beulah residents were evacuated. Sellers said the phone company staff was there to keep residents posted on the growing danger and when they could return.

Now, Sellers keeps the community updated by TV, writing the messages that “crawl” across the screen for customers of Beulah Cable TV.

“In Beulah, it’s the community that takes action,” Rose said. “If people are worried about an issue, somebody organizes a meeting and the word gets spread around.”

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