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Cedaredge trustees approve $818,000 waterline project

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The Cedaredge Board of Trustees met in regular session on Jan. 18.

Water was a dominant theme as the trustees approved an $818,000 bid for the Highway 65 waterline replacement project and increased funding for the town's 2018 water and wastewater utility relief fund. In other water-related actions, the trustees approved a reduction in the water rate to be paid by the Surface Creek Saddle Club, gave rare approval to a proposed in-town septic system, and heard concerns from Cedaredge Golf Club staff regarding the condition of the golf course grounds and irrigation system.

After interviewing the two lowest bidders for the Highway 65 waterline replacement project, staff recommended the trustees accept the bid of Western Gravel Constructors which submitted the lowest bid. The other firm interviewed was Ridgway Valley Enterprises. Staff recommended Western Gravel for three reasons:

1) The low bid of $818,000 is within the budget.

2) Rather than digging an open trench, Western Gravel plans to bore the horizontal waterline at a vertical depth of six feet -- well below the level where other utility lines run. Staff is particularly concerned that gas lines be avoided. Western will use a state-of-the-art pneumatic drill which will allow them to drill straight through Cedaredge's typical substrata which, for the most part, consists of clay and rock. As with any digging, cobble -- essentially loose pebbles of varying sizes -- will present a problem, but cobble is rare in this area and not expected below the highway.

3) Western will not require Cedaredge water users impacted by the project to make use of temporary above-ground water lines. They plan to completely bore the new line, thoroughly clean it, and then hook up users to the new line.

The town offers a water and wastewater utility relief fund for qualified citizens. The trustees approved a resolution to increase the amount of the fund and to modify staff procedures to be followed in administering the fund. Residents seeking Cedaredge relief assistance must first apply to the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), a federal program designed to help low-income households home heating costs. A household that receives LEAP approval is issued a letter which must be presented to the Town of Cedaredge for water/wastewater relief. The LEAP application can be obtained from Delta County Health and Human Services by calling 1-866-432-8435, or by visiting the Delta office at 560 Dodge Street, or the Hotchkiss office at 196 West Hotchkiss Avenue. LEAP heating assistance extends from Nov. 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018; however the Cedaredge water/wastewater relief program covers the entire year.

The Surface Creek Saddle Club has a larger than average water line which ordinarily means a higher water bill but the club is a nonprofit that uses the water three months of the year and usage is low. Given their special situation, the trustees approved a reduced monthly rate for the club.

A large parcel in north Cedaredge, in the vicinity of NW Fir Avenue, is being developed with a plan to put a single family dwelling in a location that is more than 400 feet from the closest town sewer main. Although Cedaredge has a procedure for septic systems within town limits, the town does not have the expertise to issue a permit. Town staff has worked with the developer and Delta County to create a plan that calls for the county to serve as Cedaredge's "review agency" to issue a permit to install a septic system. Cedaredge will withhold a town building permit until the Delta County Environmental Health Department issues an appropriate septic permit. Trustees approved the plan with a stipulation added by trustee Al Smith that Cedaredge will not be billed for this service. Staff assured the trustees that the developer will be required to pay for Delta County services.

Barring special meetings, the trustees typically meet twice a month: once for a work session on the second Thursday and again for a regular meeting on the third Thursday. Unless otherwise announced, all meetings begin at 5 p.m. in the Cedaredge Civic Center, Grand Mesa Room, 140 NW 2nd Street.

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