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Crawford discusses mill levy, water/sewer increase

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At the Crawford Town Council meeting June 6, the first agenda item addressed building a 60-foot pole near the water tower for TDS. Area manager Bill Long asked for approval to start construction.

He emphasized they picked the location to not cause obstacles for the town. "We're just trying reach our surrounding neighbors with broadband," he said.

The council approved the pole with the understanding that TDS would put the tower where a road could still be built through the area if desired.

This pole will be built within the next few months. Long said he will work with public works director Bruce Bair on the project to ensure the best outcome.

The fund balance reserve policy was reviewed next. The policy outlines the parameters to stay within for future budgeting use. Reserves are used for emergencies and repairs.

For example, the lagoon needs several emergency repairs and this will take a large chunk of this year's reserves.

In the past, the goal of putting 10 to 20 percent of annual expenses into the reserves has not been met. Mayor Wanda Gofforth noted that when the council gets to the budget process they need to revise it to meet at least 10 percent.

Council discussed raising water by $.50 and sewer by $1.50 to meet the reserve requirement minimum.

"If we increase that just a little bit each year, it's better than doing a big leap all at once," said Gofforth. "To keep things working we need to plan ahead."

They did not come to a decision at this meeting but plan to put together more information to discuss in the future.

Council also approved resubmitting the mill levy question on the upcoming ballot. Details will be addressed at the work session on June 20.

"A mill levy increase will not pay the trustees and the mayor but will go toward services to benefit the people and town," said town clerk Cally Gallegos.

Council plans to work on ways to help educate the public on the ways a mill levy is used and how it can be beneficial.

Under old business, council agreed to read the nuisance ordinance at the work session meeting. Changes to the personnel policy were approved.

Five new hires for public works assistant were announced. These assistants will not be used all at once but will be placed into a pool to draw from when assistance is needed, said Bair.

Several non-agenda items were discussed, the main one being that the council is working overall to update old policies, such as the franchise agreement.

Gallegos brought up changes to the delinquency notice for the water bill. The changes will make the bill due by the 20th of each month. If not paid, it will become delinquent and water may be shut off 10 days after written notice.

Bair reported the water quality report is now available on the town website. This can be found by going to www.colorado.gov/crawford and searching "Water Quality Report."

An upcoming water inspection is scheduled for June 20. Additionally, the water level is starting to go down as typical during summer but Crawford still has sufficient supply.

Council discussed how if the water does decrease too much, water will be shut off to the water dispenser station. As a reminder, this dispenser is only for domestic use.

Gallegos announced the town website has been updated and should be easier to access and use. PERA is auditing Crawford for the years 2013 onward.

As the meeting came to a close, a town member pointed out Gallegos' diligent work. "I think Cally should get a raise," he said.

The suggestion was made to give a raise to both Gallegos and Bair for their hard work. This possibility will be discussed in depth at the next meeting.

The next work session is scheduled for June 20. The agenda includes items such as the nuisance ordinance, mill levy, and water/sewer rate increases.

Gallegos will not be attending because she received a scholarship to participate in the Colorado Municipal Leaders Conference in Vail.

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Crawford, mill levy, water and sewer rates
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