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Gardner water districts mired in neglect

Staff Reports

WALSENBURG- On May 19, the Board of County Commissioners replaced the Gardner Water District Board.  Efforts have begun to determine the degree of neglect and the actual customer base in the water and sewer system. A physical inventory has been made of the number of meters located in the district’s area and County Commissioners made a motion this week to determine how many customers there are.

    The inventory has located about 60 water meters in the district indicating a possible customer base of around 200 to 300.

    As the county works toward rectifying various problems that have been intensifying over the past three years, the commissioners began looking at the costs of repairing physical infrastructure in order to forestall any further action by the State Department of Health. 

    Problems being addressed are identity of any loan holders and catching up on bills that have been neglected since 2004.  The purification system, which is nothing more then lines running into and out of a plastic trash can, needs total replacement even though the current system does purify the town’s water supply.  State regulations demand a permanent system that conforms to standard.

    “At this point the county is looking at spending some money on this and every cent and hour will be tracked and eventually paid back,” Commissioner Scott King said. 

    Contractors that want to work on the projects will need to be liscensed.

    Commissioners also spoke with Jennifer Byrd from the South Central Council of Governments about the 2011 Community Development Block Grants.  Applications for the $250,000 grant are being accepted through CDBG.  The funds will be used to repair and bring up to code houses that have fallen into disrepair.  The due date for the grant applications is July 1, 2010.

    Funds from last year’s grants went to fix 10 houses, five in Huerfano County and five in Las Animas County.

    Fire danger for the county is high with winds and lack of moisture cited as reasons.  The county began discussion of fire ban policy. 

    There will be no commissioners meeting on June 2.