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RATON — Raton Water Works is preparing for some expensive and lengthy projects at Lake Maloya with work on the dam and water intake facilities at Lake Maloya at the north end of Sugarite Canyon State Park. Dan Campbell, Raton Water Works General Manager, noted the 100 year old earthen dam has grown from having only a few acre feet of capacity, to a dam now storing over 3,000 acre feet of water for the city of Raton. While the dam has weathered many a storm with little problem, the new regulations for emergency overflow will require the water department to engineer and expand the emergency spillway, and or design a shield to protect the dam in the event of water spilling over the dam above the current small concrete spillway. When the issue first came up in the 1970s, it was calculated the emergency spillway was about 50% adequate, but with the new regulations and weather predictions, they are estimating the emergency spillway to only be at 9% of the needed size to handle a catastrophic weather event. The emergency spillway extends from the current boat ramp to the east and around the east side of the dam. The issue with the water intake is one of age. The piping was installed first in 1917 and has been extended as the dam grew in size. It was found that one of the pipes was leaking into the dam, and

as a result, it was isolated and valved off while another pipe has been completely closed off with grout. The challenge now is to inspect the other two pipes and determine their condition. The inspection will require the use of divers and a special camera to be placed inside the pipes. This will be a very expensive part of the project, costing upwards of $300,000 to perform. After the inspection, the water department will decide how to proceed. If there is damage, one option is to use a sleeve inside the existing pipe. If the damage is worse, the piping may be abandoned and a new system put in place. One of the concerns is seepage along the pipe or leaking from the pipe causing internal erosion to the dam. According to Campbell and City Manager Scott Berry, some of the issues had long been on the back burner. However, new regulations and more stringent enforcement, means the state engineers office has now made the dam’s issues a higher priority, and funding from federal and state levels will now be pursued to help with these projects. The city will need to have money available for matching funds, something the water department has been planning for by setting some money aside. Total cost of the projects is yet to be determined, but Campbell has mentioned it will be in the millions of dollars. As Campbell noted, these will be expensive and long range projects, that will require specialized contractors to perform. He also said these will be projects that have to be performed with water in the lake. Draining the lake is not an option.

Bertha Trujillo

  Bertha Trujillo, 97, from Gardner, Colo., entered her eternal home on Feb. 12, 2024. She was born in Gardner, Colo., on Sept. 30, 1926,

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