From The Mountain Mail (Brian McCabe):
Salida will receive $666,069.72 in loan forgiveness for its $1,505,000 loan from the [Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority] for the city’s ultraviolet disinfection compliance project, City Administrator Guy Patterson announced in the Tuesday city council meeting.
“The [CWRPDA] had a unique situation last year where a sizable amount of design and engineering grant money was not utilized,” Patterson wrote in a report to the council.
“The fact that Salida was the first community to execute the loan in 2017 and the disadvantaged community status made us eligible for disbursement of the funds, along with several other communities.”
“This is very fortunate for the community to be recognized like this and get the grants,” Mayor Jim LiVecchi said. “We were trying to do what we could to get this project paid for without having to raise water rates or spend taxpayer money.”
LiVecchi said the city also received $755,000 in an Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund grant from the Department of Local Affairs.
Emails from The Mountain Mail to Patterson, Public Works Director David Lady and Finance Director Jana Loomey about the project went unanswered.
The Mountain Mail asked city officials the following questions:
•The loan from the [CWRPDA] was for $1,505,000, the loan forgiveness was $666,069.72, leaving the remaining loan amount at $838,903.28, which knocks off about 44 percent of the loan. How much of this loan has been paid off thus far? Also, there was another loan listed for $120,000. Does that mean the total cost of the UV project was $1,625,000, or was it more?
•It was stated that because the loan was passed under an emergency measure to keep construction costs within a single fiscal year, the water and wastewater funds will lose their enterprise fund status for 2018. Does this still apply with the loan forgiveness taken into account?
•Patterson said in his report to council that Salida’s “disadvantaged community status” made the city eligible for the disbursement of the funds “along with several other communities.” What is “disadvantaged community status” and how did Salida qualify? Also, do we know which other communities received funds?
•What is the status of the UV project? Is it finished? If not, what is the basic timeline for completion?
Deputy City Clerk Christian Samora said Wednesday the city will send out a press release in the next day or two.