A break in the water line serving the Ginter's Grove neighborhood north of Cedaredge that leaked over 1.5 million gallons and ran up a bill of $2,313 came to the attention of the Cedaredge Town Board on March 21. Trustees had been given a request to forgive charges for the leaked water.
The town trustees voted to forgive the amount for lost water.
According to a memo from Mayor Pat Means, "Based on numbers for the past 12 months, excess water usage was at 1.54 million gallons. Excess water usage for the past 24 months is 1.36 million gallons."
The homeowners association had written a letter to the town detailing their good-faith efforts and eventual success in locating and having the leak repaired. Town staff said that the homeowners worked hard to resolve the problem and their efforts were cooperative, diligent, and consistent once they learned of the possible leak.
The neighborhood is located north of town, not inside the town. It is served with treated water from the town's plant via a neighborhood-owned transmission line. Each home has an individual meter that is read by the town.
Leak detection can be deduced from discrepancies between amount of water billed to the residences compared with the amount of water flowing through a master meter on the transmission line.
Homeowners suggested going to a simplified bulk rate billed to the homeowners association off of the master meter reading.
The town does not currently have a bulk water rate.
Mayor Means replied, "The new water rates approved in February were created to charge more for excessive water use in consideration of continuing drought concerns. A bulk rate may follow a similar formula."
In other business at its March 21 regular meeting, the Cedaredge Town Board dealt with the following matters:
• The Cedaredge library manager announced a May 18 program being planned at the library. Libraries across the state will give away one book to four-year-olds in Colorado as an early reading promotion. The book chosen for this year's event is called "Duck on a Bike." The May 18 library event is being planned at the Cedaredge Public Library and other libraries in the county district. Staff are hoping to include a bike safety rally and parade, and to distribute copies of "Duck on a Bike" at that time. Final arrangements for the event and other possible activities were still being worked out last week.
•As reported previously in the DCI, Larry Murphy confirmed for trustees that the Chamber's Shopper Card Promotion this year will raise funds for the Cedaredge High School athletic program.
The cards will be sold this year for $10, a half-price cut from last year.
• Trustees approved a five-year lease agreement with the Community Gardens Association. The Association also presented its bylaws and a copy of its five-year plan to the town. The plan envisions working "towards developing a system that would relieve the burden of volunteers managing the garden on a yearly basis."
• Golf Pro Larry Murphy told the trustees that he is working towards establishing some youth golf activities. Local middle schoolers have gotten the chance recently to swing golf clubs at practice balls and some trips to the driving range are in the works too.
• Trustees reviewed a five-year lease agreement with the Friends of Cedaredge Animal Control for its facility at High Country Park. The FCAC is in the first year of its current five-year lease, trustees were told.
• Town administrator Katie Sickles announced that the town had made its presentation for a Main Street improvements grant application to state officials on March 20.
• Trustees decided they will apply for a $5,000 grant from Region 10 in Montrose and supply an additional $5,000 from town funds to pay for a study of the new civic center concept.
• Sickles reports to the DCI that all of the town's $945,000 in street improvement bonds were sold after the first of the year and the money was banked on March 13.
Town payments average $65,000 per year for 25 years. Average interest rate for the entire issue is close to 4 percent. The bonds are sales tax financed.