CUCHARA — Cuchara’s Pond Owners Committee and the newly formed South Baker Creek Reservoir Committee, with Henry Harnly and Marshall Moore as co-chairs, are working together closely to try to address some of Cuchara’s water issues, chief among them a coveted place to store the lucrative water rights owned by the Cucharas Sanitation & Water District. At the district board’s July 11 meeting, both committees reported that a new reservoir could not only be used for snowmaking at the ski resort, but could also serve as an alternate source of water for firefighting. Bruce Cantrell owns 62 acres of land where the South Baker Creek Reservoir might be built, and both director Jim Berg and chairman Art Pierce have reportedly spoken to Cantrell about the proposed project. Most of the board members agreed that the key to moving the project forward is to offer Cantrell a “good package.” The board seems to have settled on the engineering firm headed by former state (water) engineer Jeris Danielson to evaluate the potential project and make
recommendations to CSWD. According to the board, one key component of the project is that public access to the reservoir is essential. Pre-construction design work has begun on the Cuchara water tank project. Mark Hornberger, with GMS Consulting Engineers, is the resident project manager. General manager Bob Northup reported that he has obtained the necessary land easement from Marcia Shields, daughter of Red McCombs, for a location that is close to the existing tank and distribution and out of sight of the highway and most of the surrounding residents. Exploration of the site did reveal that the underlying sandstone is fractured and will need to be stabilized to support the weight of the tank. The board has gotten an estimate for a Redi-Rock retaining wall in the amount of $50,855. The district received a request from the Cuchara Chapel to tap into the water line serving the Cuchara Recreation Center. The chapel requires water for about four months of the year for trees and landscape plantings. The board approved the use and Northup will supervise construction, which is expected to take place in August. The arrangement will be tested for a year, and if it works out, an agreement will be signed next summer. Although director Berg suggested charging $45 per month, the board granted the water use for the first year for free, and it will be metered. Northup reported that the district’s new discharge permit for the wastewater treatment plant has come through. The state-required effluent temperature recorder will be installed before February, 2015. An inspection of the wastewater treatment plant will be conducted by the state health department on July 31. The biosolids were land applied last month on Jamison Ranch, so that project is complete for the year. According to Northup, the road at Britton Ponds is ready for gravel, and the district is just waiting on the gravel contractor. The district has received one bid to update the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system at the Peaks plant and will be getting one more bid before proceeding with the update. Northup said the water referee has concluded work on the Grandote water case 97CW166, and a decree is anticipated soon. The board is still developing its Colorado Open Records Act policy using samples provided by a couple of organizations, including the Special District Association. Director Jim Ludwick said he would work with administrative assistant Jennette Coe over the next few weeks to work out the details and have something for the board to vote on at the August meeting.