by Carol Dunn
CUCHARA- According to Bob Northup, General Manager of the Cucharas Sanitation and Water District, the Cuchara Mountain Resort has paid past due water fees amounting to over $70,000. The payment is particularly helpful now because the District is beginning its budgeting process for next fiscal year. Directors Bob White and Jim Howard were appointed to serve as the budget committee at the District board meeting held September 12.
Mark Hornberger of GMS Consulting Engineers reported that the work on Pine Haven Phase 2 is slightly behind schedule, about ten worker-days. This has relevance because payouts are now due to the engineer and contractor. “A&R has started working on Saturdays to maintain the schedule,” he said. According to Hornberger, seventy-eight percent of the sewer lines and twenty percent of the water lines are done. Hornberger said the crew has been working on the hardest portions of the job, and Northup elaborated by explaining that included jackhammering their way up Road 401. Director White said he’s heard comments from Pine Haven residents that they appreciate the willingness of the work crew to make the roads accessible as much as they can. “That’s the pain of progress,” White added. Hornberger said GMS took pre-construction photographs and, after the project is finished, will attempt to put everything back to the way it was.
Northup added that over half of the residents on the top end have been hooked up. There was discussion that the local contractors are very busy and may not be able to service all the requests for hook-up this fall. Chairman Leon Skaggs, attending via telephone, said that the board will address that situation if and when it happens.
If Northup’s report is any indication, the chair in his office isn’t getting much use. Lightning strikes have kept the staff busy repairing zapped and burned out equipment. “The electronic system has been flawless for two and a half years,” said Northup, “until this.” The raw water pump at the Peaks plant should be back on line early next week. The sewer lines are done and the water tie-ins begin next week for River Run at Spanish Peaks. The District has obtained a building permit for the pole barn, and the concrete contractor, Jeff Reynolds, is working the job into his schedule. Northup said the barn package should be erected before winter sets in. The District will begin state-mandated testing of raw water sources in October. The testing for e. coli will require samples at the treatment plants every two weeks for one year.
The District is buying a 2009 Ford ¾-ton extended cab pickup truck with heavy duty engine and transmission and expects delivery in late October. The truck was purchased from Bar-W Ford in Tulia, Texas for $23,450.
The District’s agreement with John Bryant and the ski resort for 100 water/sewer taps expired on July 25, 2008 and, according to the Board, will not be renewed. The Board indicated that it would be willing to negotiate with a new owner. The taxes have been paid through October, 2007.