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Cucharas District moves ahead with 2013 plans

by Carol Dunn
CUCHARA — Bob Northup, General Manager of the Cucharas Sanitation & Water District told the board of directors at its regular meeting on February 8 that he is planning to meet with the State Dam Inspector, Mark Perry. Northup said one of the topics of conversation may be the potential White River Reservoir. Northup said, “A lot of reservoirs in the county are getting to the point where they need a lot of work – Walsenburg’s, La Veta’s.” He added, “There may be some government money out there for reservoirs.”
Northup said the staff had only one “froze and broke” residence to shut off in the past three weeks. The workers also had to shut off a water line on Lake Road after a resident reported seeing water “shooting up out of the road” on February 7. “A two-inch main split open,” Northup said. He said it was unknown what caused the split, but the cast-iron line is 33 years old. Water was partially restored after an hour and a half, but part of the line remains shut off until a $470 part arrives for the repair.
The valve at the Cuchara plant has been reinstalled. Everything at the plant is shut down for the winter season, so it will need to be tested later this year.
The necessary paperwork has been turned in to the US Forest Service in preparation for the water tank project. Not surprisingly, the permit has not yet been issued. Northup said he has sent the utility easement agreement to landowner Red McCombs but hasn’t heard back yet. By the end of the month, the district’s engineering firm would like to begin geotechnical testing in order to design a foundation for the water tank. Jennette Coe, District Administrative Assistant, confirmed that the requisition for payment to the engineer has been submitted. A public hearing on the project will be held on February 21.
Regarding the Petroglyph 2010 augmentation water case, Northup reported that the water attorney has negotiated a compromise for CSWD that would result in no injury to the district’s water interests. The agreement is pending and involves a change in the location of return flow for ten acre-feet of water on Coler Ditch. “It won’t harm us [CSWD],” Northup said.
The board created a committee to review district rules and regulations, bylaws and personnel procedures. Chairman Art Pierce explained that the district wishes to stay current with changing personnel laws and other legislation that affects its operations. Since board members Henry Harnly and Jim VanLue were not in attendance, the committee members will be appointed at the March meeting, when the entire board is present. “Maybe we should formalize the review every so many years,” Director Jim Howard offered. “We have a complete board changeover every eight years.”
The board then adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters, specifically an employee who is unable to work.

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