Upper Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board meeting recap

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From The Mountain Mail (Joe Stone):

During their business meeting before the [field trip to see new district gauges at Cottonwood Lake and Cottonwood Creek and a tour of Moltz Reservoir on Trout Creek], directors adopted a resolution opposing November ballot Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.

Discussing the ballot initiatives, district manager Terry Scanga noted water projects are expensive and are generally financed using 30-year loans. Passage of the initiatives, Scanga said, would limit financial agreements to a maximum of 10 years, requiring increased revenue – primarily maintenance and storage fees – to pay off loans within 10 years. For augmentation certificate holders, Scanga said, fees would double from $150 to $300 per unit. For holders of multiple certificates such as Poncha Springs which has about 100, the increase would have significant impact, he said.

District consultant Ken Baker and director Greg Felt suggested the district has obligation notify certificate holders about fiscal consequences of the initiatives, but district legal counsel Julianne Woldridge said such notice isn’t allowed under current law.

District treasurer Jim McCormick, also a Salida City Councilman, said Salida will face a budget shortfall of $250,000 if the initiatives pass…

In other business, directors:

• Learned of a feasibility study for installation of a hydro-electric generating system on DeWeese Reservoir.

• Learned from the treasurer’s report the district general fund has $178,868.15.

• A legislative update from Ken Baker showed calls on the Colorado River are approaching the point they could affect transmountain water diversions into the Arkansas River.

• Heard a report about the Colorado Water Congress summer conference

• Discussed dates and times of upcoming water-related events, including “Managing the Politics of Water,” the Sept. 30 annual conference of Colorado Water Officials Association at Salida SteamPlant.

Other events included the Oct. 1 State Engineer’s Forum at Salida SteamPlant, a Sept. 24 watershed meeting in the district Water Enterprise Building and a Sept. 22 meeting of the governor’s “right-to-float” task force in the Water Enterprise Building.

More Arkansas River Basin coverage here.

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