by Carol Dunn
CUCHARA– Bob Northup, Cucharas Sanitation and Water District General Manager, reported to the Board on Fri. Nov. 14, that the staff is finishing up projects and getting ready for winter. The storage garage, referred to as the “pole barn,” is finished except for final grading. The River Run development is complete, and the power company is just re-doing some power lines. The biosolids sludge, referred to by Northup as “well aged soil builder,” from the treatment plant was applied on the hayfields of the Jameson Ranch, along Highway 12, between snows the week of Nov. 3. According to Northup, the sludge has been spread every other year.
Mark Hornberger, GMS Consulting Engineers, reported that the final details and cleanup are being finished on the Pine Haven subdivision. The County has completed the inspections on the roads. The hydroseeders plan to begin seeding the week of Nov. 17. Commenting on the crews approximating the original schedule, Hornberger said, “The weather has cooperated very well.” Although the contract had been extended to December, the contractor is closer to the original deadline of Nov. 17. Northup added that only one year-round resident has not been hooked up, and that will be taken care of next spring. “All taps are done for this year,” he said. Director James Howard expressed relief, saying, “This project has been hanging over our heads since 2006.” Director Dan Brewer added that the project was made easier “thanks to GMS and what they have done.”
Under the leadership of Gerald VanNort, new chair of the Board, the District accepted the 2009 budget. According to Bob White, Treasurer, “We worked pretty diligently on it.” Accountant Sandy Hackbarth, a former District employee, assisted with the draft budget. The budget can be formally adopted in December after the District receives the final assessed value from the County Assessor.
The District Board addressed five legal requirements that will require District action. They included retention of records; boilerplate language about illegal aliens which will need to be added to future contracts; a new audit filing requirement; an identity theft prevention policy which the District has been working on; and a requirement that the District verify that its financial institutions are compliant with the updated Public Deposit Protection Act. Hackbarth confirmed that this compliance will be verified with the financial institutions as of Jan. 1, 2009.
During the public forum, Bob Reese spoke with the Board on behalf of the owners of the Dog Bar and Grill in Cuchara. Reese requested that the business be permitted to insert informational flyers into the District’s December bill mailing. Because the discussion was not an agenda item, the Board was unable to take action on the request. Reese stated that the Dog Bar has erected a webcam on the deck of the establishment and it will broadcast daily on www.dogbarcuchara.com to encourage more visitors to the area. The Dog Bar will also be marketing its merchandise on its web site.
Director White brought up the subject of cell phone coverage in the Cuchara area. He suggested the District proceed with getting a cell tower located, perhaps on the water tower, as a public service. Director Brewer noted that he has looked into this subject and studied several possible locations on ski resort property. The top of lift 3 is a prime location, but it is located on US Forest Service land. Northup and Brewer agreed to look into cell phone coverage for future discussion.