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‘A pretty expensive hole in the ground’

La Veta pays a flurry of bills relating to wastewater plant construction

by Mark Craddock
LA VETA — The La Veta Town Board voted Tuesday night to approve several pay requests totaling more than $536,219 and a change order worth $239,928, all relating to construction of its new wastewater treatment plant.
“That’s a pretty expensive hole in the ground,” Trustee Mickey Schmidt said.

The first invoice from consulting engineers GMS, Inc., was for engineering design work on the project dating back to Dec. 29, 2018, totaling $215,492. The invoice was approved 6-1, with Trustee Connie Grimm voting against it. The funds will be drawn from the state’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Program.

The town voted unanimously to pay a second invoice of $80,999.24 to GMS for continuing engineering and design services, construction coordination, and administration. The funds will also come from the WPCRF revolving loan.
The town voted unanimously to pay a third bill of $239,928.41 to RMS for construction work on the wastewater facility during November and December of 2020.

Trustees also unanimously approved $408,319.75 in change orders for the project, totaling $408,319.75.
Mayor Doug Brgoch said the engineers and contractor bundled several changes together — in this case nine changes largely dealing with the construction of a metal building to cover the plant’s process building.
“Based on discussions,” Brgoch said, “they are trying to get a number of these items ironed out so they are not hitting us with change orders every week.”

In keeping with the theme of water flowing downhill and money flowing uphill, the town board set water and sewer tap and connection fees for La Veta Village, which is seeking additional taps for its project to construct a senior community living center in town.

La Veta Village submitted a request for an additional 1 1/2-inch tap for a domestic water from the south side of the building.

Based on calculations that the line would produce eight times what a residential tap would normally produce, Brgoch suggested multiplying the town $5,000 tap fee by eight. And given the need to increase the size of the meter and surrounding structure, he proposed a connection fee of $3,000 – which is $1,000 more than a typical residential connection.

The board unanimously approved a tap and connection fee of $43,000 for the water line.
La Veta Village also applied for three additional sewer taps to accommodate the facility – two 4-inch connections and a 6-inch line with double clean-out.

Brgoch said the town’s experts have concerns about the long-term safety and stability of connecting a 6-inch sewer line to the town’s 8-inch sewer main, especially without construction of a manhole at the connection site. He suggested approval of the two 4-inch sewer taps and, if necessary, La Veta Village can return for further discussions of a third sewer line.
The town typically calculates sewer taps at half the rate of water taps. The board unanimously approved a sewer tap fee of $20,000 and a connection fee of $2,000.

In other business
The town unanimously approved a commercial redevelopment plan by Kelly Sill for the La Veta Country Store at 200 N. Main, allowing the business to utilize a mobile food-preparation vehicle outside the facility at the northwest corner of the building.

The board unanimously approved the conceptual drawing of a shed to be built at the Francisco Fort Museum to shelter its steam engine exhibit and payment of $1,500 to Just Architectural and Engineering to render stamped engineering plans which can be submitted to History Colorado for approval.

The board unanimously approved a request by Robert and Terry Amalfitano to re-plat a portion their property at 106 E. Field Street, to facilitate remodeling and construction of an addition to the house.

The board unanimously approved a motion to pay HW Houston $35,387.50 for rehabilitation work to the east wing of the Francisco Fort Museum.

The town unanimously approved an art gallery permit renewal for Spanish Peaks Arts Council for events at its gallery in the upcoming year. The permit covers events on March 13, April 24, May 29, June 25, July 23, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.

The town unanimously approved a beer and wine license renewal for Free the Monkey, Inc., doing business as the La Veta Mercantile, 300 S. Main Street. As per state recommendation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the license renewal fee was waived.