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Cucharas District worked with CDOT on erosion problems

by Carol Dunn

CUCHARA- Bob Northup, General Manager of Cucharas Sanitation and Water District, told the Board at its July 10 meeting that the staff has addressed erosion problems that were taking place at the Peaks Plant.  Since the State highway was involved, CDOT assisted with placing three to six-foot diameter rocks where highway runoff was causing the problems.  Northup publicly thanked the CDOT personnel for their help.

    Northup told the group that CDOT is planning to chip-seal the highway from the pass down toward Cuchara until they run out of material. 

    The Board set a deadline of the end of summer for remaining Pine Haven residents to get hooked up to the new water and sewer system.  The staff is evaluating using pumps on a few residences to move the sewage slightly uphill from the residences to the system, and this was a topic for further discussion later in executive session.  All Pine Haven water meters have been installed, and according to Northup, there are just a miscellaneous few throughout the District that still need to be installed.  Northup also said there are four more homes that may need pressure reducers.  Chairman Leon Skaggs described an unfortunate incident where one resident, without a pressure reducer, turned on his water, left the residence, and when he returned, the entire lower floor was flooded because excessive pressure broke a pipe.

    The Board passed a motion to instruct its water attorneys to begin looking into putting more District water storage on land managed by the US Forest Service.  In regards to the in-stream flows water case which was filed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Northup told the Board, “It will not affect our water rights.”

    The year-to-date annual operating expenses were reviewed and compared to the previous five years.  Not surprisingly, insurance is running a bit higher than the half-way point of historical totals.  Director James Howard warned that utilities and telephone bills could set a new high in the future depending on taxation rates.

    “It still doesn’t work,” Northup told the Board regarding the cell phone service.  He said the company hopes to have service by July 17.  Director Bob White said, “We’ve never had cell phone service up here.  But now that we almost maybe have it, everybody is asking when.” 

    The Board encouraged Cuchara Valley residents to help themselves to the free wood mulch piled east of the fire station.