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Cucharas District will help clean Gardner sewer system

by Carol Dunn
CUCHARA — At the regular meeting of the Cucharas Sanitation and Water District on March 9, General Manager Bob Northup told the board of directors that Huerfano County has requested the district’s assistance in Gardner.
“The Gardner sewer system is a mess,” Northup told the board. He suggested the district could provide its sewer jet and one person to pressure wash the sewer lines. According to Northup, the jet operates at 1700 psi and 35 gallons per minute. The district employee would be assisted by two county employees.
The board agreed to provide the assistance for a limited time frame at the end of March or beginning of April, depending upon the weather. Apparently a Gardner water storage tank has deteriorated to the point where it is not usable, and the board discussed donating a 100,000 gallon tank for which they have no use to the county to use in Gardner. Director Cal Sandbeck suggested also getting bids on having the tank hauled away and scrapped.
The upcoming election was cancelled because only two applications were received for the two board vacancies. The incoming directors will be Art Pierce and Jimmy Van Lue. They will be sworn in at the May 11 meeting after the current board convenes the meeting.
The board discussed future development of White Creek Reservoir, a topic which is gaining local interest. Northup said, “The county is very much in favor” of the project, and “the Forest Service is supportive.” He said if the reservoir is built, there would be an opportunity for the Forest Service to develop a campground and recreational facilities. Director Bob White added that the Cuchara area could use an RV park.
The district will also be meeting with the Huerfano County Water Conservancy District to gauge its interest in developing the reservoir.
The board briefly discussed the features of a metropolitan district and the potential for perhaps forming one in the future. Van Nort said, “We talked about that back in the 90s and early 2000s.”
Northup reported that a substantial water leak was dug up and repaired in the past month. “The repair cut our water use almost in half,” he said.
Chair Gerald Van Nort said the district will be renewing its pond augmentation plan in July. “We have to renew every year,” Northup added.
Northup reported that the county will be dumping a load of sand at the site of the wastewater treatment plant. Barrels will be filled and stationed along the streets in the village of Cuchara so they can be sanded when they are icy.
During Director White’s treasurer’s report, comparative yearly totals since 2007 were reported for the district’s various expenses. The board requested a similar report for the next meeting comparing year-to-year totals for salaries and benefits.