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Water line repairs could cause water shut down this weekend in town

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — Walsenburg residents may want to plan ahead for a possible shut off or pressure loss in the city’s water delivery system Saturday, September 7 through Sunday, September 8.
City administrator David Johnston reported to city council members during their regular session Tuesday night, valve replacements are needed in the Black Diamond segment of both the AC and Cast Iron lines. The AC line feeds water to the north end storage tank while the Cast Iron line delivers water to the south end of the community.
In an email to council members late last week Johnston wrote, “Repair parts had been located and the repairs were intended to have been completed by now. Unfortunately, some suppliers computerized inventory systems did not correlate with the shelf-stock, so we had to scramble to find critical parts in other places.” Johnston reported the last of the parts arrived from Sacramento, CA late last week. “The schedule will be to finish the necessary trenching, starting on Tuesday, assemble the repair components on the ditch bank and then install the new portions as quickly as possible. Although city crews do not foresee a problem, it is their intent to make these repairs on days in which school is not in session, because students need to be sent home if there is no water available to the buildings,” he said. Both of these lines carry water from the city’s water treatment plant to the north and south side of the city.
If the system is shut down, and remains so for a lengthy period of time on Saturday, it could cause a major problem for the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation’s Legend’s Gala black tie affair set for the Huerfano County Community Center.
In other business Tuesday, the city council voted to amend on second reading, Ordinance 1032 , the mill levy increase for the November election. The amendment will ask voters for a four mill increase (city property tax rate increase from 11.7558 to 15.7558 mills, to raise $90,032 for the general fund).
City council also voted to split a proposed Resolution 2013R-10, which addressed water haul rates and construction water haul prices into two separate resolutions; 2013R-10-water haul, and 2013R-11-construction water rate. The water haul resolution, which would have priced water at $20 per 1,000 gallons was defeated on a 5-4 vote with council members Erin Jerant, Charles Montoya, Nick Vigil, Cathy Pineda and Mayor Pro tem Craig Lessar voting no. Council members Silvana Lind, Mayor Larry Patrick, James Moore and Rick Jennings voted in favor.
Resolution 2013R-11 sets the construction water haul rate at $20 per 1,000 gallons and passed unanimously.
While no one has proposed any such business, the city council passed on an 8-1 vote, Ordinance 1033; a zoning amendment that would allow brew pubs as a conditional use in Community Commercial Districts (C-2) on second reading with council member Montoya casting the lone no vote.
While there has been some discussion and a presentation two weeks ago concerning the potential for a downtown nano-brewery, council members this week voted down Ordinance 1036 on first reading. The ordinance would have allowed small breweries (manufacturing limited to 37,200 gallons per year) to operate as a conditional use in C-2 commercial districts. The ordinance failed on a 6-3 vote with Montoya, Vigil, Pineda, Jerant, Lessar and Patrick in opposition. Council had heard a brief overview of a proposed brewery project from Michael Howard, President of Dodgeton Creek Brewing Co., at the August 20, 2013 meeting.
City council passed Ordinance 1034 unanimously on second reading Tuesday night. The ordinance allows residential units located on the second (and above) floors of businesses as conditional use in C-2 districts.