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Cucharas district accepts draft budget for public review

CUCHARA — At the October 10 meeting of the Cucharas Sanitation and Water District, the board of directors accepted the 2015 preliminary budget to be placed on public inspection. The total 2015 operating expenditures are expected to be $715,038 with anticipated 2015 revenues of $820,555. The board passed Resolution 2014-07 which certified its delinquent accounts. The accounts being certified as delinquent are those that are at least $150 and at least six months overdue. Administrative coordinator Jennette Coe assured the board that all the affected property owners have been notified by certified letter. Board chair Art Pierce said, “This is basically a yearly thing.” In his monthly report to the board, general manager Bob Northup spoke on the Cuchara water tank and the water plant. According to Northup, as winter approaches, the staff is “getting everything wrapped up for the summer.” District staff will soon be disinfecting the Cuchara water plant, which has been shut off. Northup said there has been no hydrant testing yet this year, and the staff is

waiting for everyone to leave, meaning seasonal residents. Director Jim Berg commented, “If we catch the right day, it really speeds things up.” Reportedly, the site work for the water tank replacement has been completed, and a crew from Engineering America, authorized storage tank dealer, was in for just a little over a week. Northup said that Purgatoire Construction “dug rock outside the tank and got it broken up.” They will be placing 300 feet of 8-inch pipe in the ground. “Everything else,” said Northup, “is inside the water plant.” Northup added, “In a week or so they should have all the outside work done.” Pierce said, “Weather’s starting to get iffy.” Cal Sandbeck spoke on the behalf of the pond owner committee and said, “We were given a list of pond owners, and it’s not accurate.” Sandbeck said that the pond owner committee has not yet been formalized. Art Pierce discussed the potential South Baker Creek Reservoir and told the board that Jeris Danielson of Danielson & Associates water resource consulting, reportedly has done some research. He now has rough numbers suitable for preliminary grant inquiries to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. This would ensure a place is saved for such grant requests “if this project comes to fruition.” Pierce said Danielson feels the rough numbers are adequate. Pierce said the committee hopes to “make a formal offer to the land owner [of the potential reservoir site] within the month and expects to receive an answer a few days thereafter.” The board opened three bids for the downtown sewer project. Mark Valdez from Trinidad bid $28,760; Purgatoire Valley Construction of Trinidad bid $19,500; and Chad Lessar Excavation from La Veta bid $19,525. The total cost of the sewer project that Northup estimated was $28,000; $6,000 of which would be for materials. The board accepted the bid from Chad Lessar. Pierce said, “I like the idea of keeping it local.”