Cedaredge trustees review USC settlement

By Hank Lohmeyer


Following a Nov. 1 review with the town's attorney, Cedaredge's agreement to buy out Upper Surface Creek water users' (USC) interest in the town water utility is scheduled to be acted on by the town board on Nov. 17.

Trustees met in an executive session on the matter with attorney Stephen Harper at a Nov. 1 work session. The proposed settlement agreement had appeared on the town board's Oct. 20 agenda as an ordinance action item. But the item was stricken from consideration without comment and was passed over without action at that meeting.

At the Nov. 1 special meeting and executive session, the matter was noted as a "settlement agreement with Upper Surface Creek Domestic Water User's Association and the Town of Cedaredge" and was discussed in a closed-door session.

Following the closed session, an agenda action item on the proposed agreement was tabled by board members until the regular meeting on Nov. 17.

Since about 2005, the Upper Surface Creek water system has provided its domestic water customers with treated water from its own treatment plant. Prior to that time, however, USC had been in an operating agreement and semi-partnership understanding with the Town of Cedaredge for joint use of the water collection and treatment plant the town now solely uses. During those years, USC made capital investments in the Cedaredge water treatment utility.

A court mediator recently determined that the town must pay USC either $175,000 cash by the end of 2016 or $210,000 over a period of years as compensation for USC's prior investments in the town's water utility.

Cedaredge has said it will not litigate the matter further. The town has been working on an arrangement to refinance another water loan to provide cash for paying the USC settlement this year.

In other business at the trustee's special meeting on Nov. 1, the following business items were dealt with:

• A proclamation was adopted observing David Starr Day. The well-known local muscian's birthday is this week.

• Another proclamation was adopted observing HopeWest Month.