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Cucharas District manholes finish rehab

by Carol Dunn

CUCHARA- Cucharas Sanitation and Water District General Manager Bob Northup told the Board of Directors at its August 14 meeting that all the District’s manhole inflow and infiltration problems, some as old as 1984, have been addressed.  The crew will continue to do some cosmetic work on some of them, but the main concern of additional flow through the sewage treatment plant has been taken care of.

    Regarding the Colorado Water Conservation Board filing in water court for instream water rights, Northup told the Board that the District’s water attorney advised against seeking additional water storage rights higher in the watershed.  “If we had a plan now, we could submit it,” Northup said.  Since the District does not, he said that there is not enough time to develop a plan and submit it.  “Right now we have enough raw water storage so we really don’t need it,” Northup added. 

    Northup reported that the District was not chosen to receive a Small Systems Training and Technical Assistance Grant it applied for a few months ago.  Since the Pine Haven project is now complete, Northup said he will remove it from the Colorado Wastewater Eligibility Survey and add the Spanish Peaks project for 2010.  The 1,500 feet of pipe will be installed on steep, rocky land, so Northup estimated the project cost at $250,000.  He also reported that the wastewater treatment plant controls that caused the plant’s recent shut down have been repaired but that they are obsolete.  The Board approved $3,500 for Five Star Automation, Inc. to update the 15-year old system, primarily the computers.

    All pressure reducer valves have been installed for Pine Haven residents who requested them.  The District has selected a residential two h.p. grinder pump to pump sewage uphill to the new system for three residences.  “There were some unhappy folks for a little while, but now they understand why this was necessary,” Skaggs said.  Renee Albright, Administrative Assistant, confirmed that there are eleven Pine Haven customers who have not paid tap fees yet and are not hooked up to the new system.  “Hooking up is not optional,” Northup said.  The Board decided to send reminder letters with the September billing warning that hookup needs to be completed by this fall.

    The Board reviewed “Management’s Discussion and Analysis,” a report of the financial analysis, budgetary highlights and debt administration results from the District’s annual fiscal audit.  Director Dan Brewer suggested reports of this nature be posted on the District’s web site as pdf documents in the future.

    The Board had a discussion about the composition of the executive committee, with input from Dave Barclay, who was involved in the development of the original bylaws.  A proposed change to the bylaws was tabled so that everyone could review it and make recommendations.

    The Board agreed to hire Cindy Pierotti as a temporary replacement for Albright while she is on maternity leave, anticipated between the end of October and December.  “I’m planning on staying here until I go into labor,” Albright said with a smile.  Pierotti, who previously worked with the District, will begin training with Albright on the October billing.

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