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VanLue resigns

CUCHARA — At the December 12 meeting of the Cucharas Sanitation and Water District, the board announced Director Jim VanLue had sent in his resignation via e-mail, and the board unanimously accepted his resignation. The board unanimously adopted the 2015 budget and passed the resolutions that accompany the budget: Resolution 2014-08, Summarizing Expenditures and Revenues; Resolution 2014-09, Appropriating Sums of Money, and Resolution 2014-10, which set the district’s mill levies. General Manager Bob Northup reported the county has been working on road compaction on Main Street in Cuchara. However, the soil does not test right on compaction tests, being of different types of soil and rocks throughout. “We just have to wait for settling,” he said. Northup also informed the board the county commissioners will look at the road’s report and let him know what they want to do by December 17. New rules require a compaction test done by a geotechnician. Northup reported on Booster Station #2, which has been active for the last two weeks. “It seems to be working flawlessly so far,” he said, adding that the station should be good for a year. Four of the bleeders for Spanish Peaks subdivision have been turned on for the winter. Northup also reported that the annual application of biosolids has taken place, and required samples were sent in. Regarding the Cuchara water tank, a project on which work began in 2010, Northup said, “It’s 100% complete.” As soon as the

state approves the work, the district can release payment on any remaining bills. The contractor, Purgatoire Construction, built a fence and put signs around the new tank. Northup said that he wrote Purgatoire a final check for their work but will hold it until next spring when he’s sure everything works. The tank has been filled, drained, and disinfected. As the tank’s pressure goes up, Northup said he will keep an eye on the older pipes around Cuchara in case any break. Reportedly, the fire department in La Veta is encouraging CSWD to continue fire hydrant testing. Board member Henry Harnly reported on the proposed South Baker Creek Reservoir. He said he had met with Bruce Cantrell, owner of the property where the reservoir might be located, and Cantrell had a proposal for the board. “The board certainly needs to make some corrections to it,” said Harnly. The board decided to table the proposal and bring it up in the new year. Board member Jim Berg attended an Arkansas Basin Roundtable meeting with Huerfano County Water Conservancy District chairman Sandy White and reported he feels CSWD should stay engaged with the roundtable. According to Berg, the State of Colorado created a framework for a state water plan, and all the watershed basins became part of that in 2014 by submitting a proposed list of water projects. Berg said those lists will roll up to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and by end of 2015, the water plan needs to be firm. Berg confirmed that the proposed South Baker Creek reservoir happens to be in that mix, and it’s one of three projects in this area. “Anything that has the word ‘storage’ in it is going to get huge attention,” Harnly said. He also told the board that whatever they do to acquire this land isn’t important, but the board needs to keep the project alive. “2015 will be a key year for things to happen,” he added. By the end of 2015, the state will supposedly start funding projects. “This thing is real in the world of the basin and water plans. If we want to keep it real, we need to make it work,” Harnly said. In every county, the Water Conservancy District gets a vote on the basin roundtable, but the CSWD Board is not a municipality, so it has not been included. “We’ve got some good people speaking for us,” Harnly said. “It’s moving fast.” Harnly suggested possibly also pursuing underground water storage, and explained, “It’s always a viable option.” Regarding help from the roundtable for the potential South Baker Creek project, board chairman Art Pierce said, “We’ve got a lot of help with the water basin. We need to be creative to find a way to acquire the property we need.”

Bertha Trujillo

  Bertha Trujillo, 97, from Gardner, Colo., entered her eternal home on Feb. 12, 2024. She was born in Gardner, Colo., on Sept. 30, 1926,

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