I’ll be at the South Platte Forum Annual Meeting for a couple of days. Follow my live-Tweets @CoyoteGulch.
Click here to check out the agenda.
From The Telluride Daily Planet (Justin Criado):
The 2017 General Fund budget is approximately $200,000 more than the current year’s amended budget, with the biggest difference being indirect project costs.
Areas of focus next year will be water and wastewater projects as the city continues to replace outdated water lines, update treatment plant technology, and develop better ways to store and treat water and wastewater.
Water and wastewater projects are covered through separate enterprise funds, which use taxes and service fees to raise capital.
“People don’t want to talk about pipes. It’s just not sexy,” Town Manager Greg Clifton said of the current pipe-replacement project. “But when water doesn’t come out of the faucet, our phones will ring.
“There’s so much work behind the scenes just to make sure water comes out of the faucet.”
For 2017, projected Water Fund revenues are $2.6 million, while projected expenditures are $3.5 million.
The town currently is replacing a 60-year-old pipe along East Colorado Avenue as part of a comprehensive project to revamp the infrastructure.
Plans to replace more pipes around town and the Bridal Veil Basin are in the works for next year, including repairs to pipes that carry water through the Lewis and Blue lakes areas.
“We’re chipping away on these things,” Clifton said. “(Colorado Avenue) was our worst pipe.”
Efforts to improve the water system have been ongoing for some time now, Clifton explained, including construction of the Pandora Water Treatment Plant in 2014.
The Mill Creek Water Treatment Plant is in need of equipment and holding tank updates, which are projected to be $278,500, according to city officials.
A new computer-monitored control panel will be installed to help regulate the lines, and one of the two holding tanks will be relined.
Telluride Public Works Director Paul Ruud explained that water lines need almost constant maintenance.
“I think we’re doing pretty good in that regard, but we do have some differed maintenance,” Ruud said.
Karen Guglielmone, environmental and engineering division manager for the town, explained during a recent budget workshop session that replacing pipes and fixing leaks in the Bridal Veil Basin and surrounding areas is difficult given the potentially treacherous location.
“It’s a hodgepodge of various pipe types. Much of it still has to be replaced,” Guglielmone said. “It’s very dangerous to get up there during avalanche season.”
The projected Wastewater Fund revenues for 2017 are just under $2.3 million, while projected expenditures are $2.8 million.
Treatments to remove chemicals from wastewater will be an area of focus in an effort to comply with new state regulations regarding wastewater care, Clifton said.
From The Albuquerque Journal (Ollie Reed Jr.):
“Too many local families are losing money because they lost their crops,” San Juan County Commissioner Margaret McDaniel said. “They are afraid to water their crops. There are some wells along here people are afraid to drink from.”
Kirtland Mayor Mark Duncan said some farmers could not sell hay they had raised because potential buyers feared it might have been poisoned by mine-spill contaminated water used to irrigate the crop.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas presided over the news conference, which also included other state officials and elected municipal and county officials in northwest New Mexico. The Journal took part via conference phone call.
Balderas said the state is committed to a long-standing litigation strategy ensuring that the people of New Mexico are fully compensated for the mine spill that dumped 3 million gallons of water laced with heavy metals, including lead and arsenic, into a Colorado creek on Aug. 5, 2015. That creek flowed into the Animas River, which took the tainted water into New Mexico and into the San Juan River near Farmington and through the Navajo Nation.