Robert and Christy Cockerham, the owners of Valley Pump Company and AAA Septic and Drain, have purchased the former Meadow Gold site at the corner of 4th and Palmer.
Cockerham reports that his goal is to open a third business, Advanced Pump and Supply, which will sell and service irrigation pumps, septic systems and cisterns. "Everything we sell, we'll service, so if you come in and buy an irrigation pump, if you're a do-it-yourselfer we can help get it in; if you're not, we can send a truck out to do it for you."
Valley Pump Company is state licensed to drill, install and service water wells and pumps. The company is currently headquartered in Olathe, but has trucks in Delta, Montrose, San Miguel, Mesa, Gunnison, Ouray, Moffat and Garfield counties. The firm also offers cistern installation, pressurized systems, and water well testing and treatment.
While Valley Pump specializes in ground water, AAA handles the septic side of the business.
Service trucks for both businesses are parked at the building now, while Cockerham and his crew clean and spruce up the remainder of the 24,500-square-foot building. Over the years, several additions were made to the complex, including numerous bays and docks to accommodate semi trucks. Not all of those bays will be needed by Cockerham, who says he may end up leasing out a portion of the building.
Advanced Pump and Supply's retail operation will be located on the south end of the complex.
Winter is a slow time of year for drilling water wells and pumping septic tanks, and Cockerham hopes to take advantage of the slowdown to get his retail operation up and running by spring.
The Cockerhams moved to Olathe in 2004, the same year they bought Valley Pump Company. They started AAA Septic and Drain a year and a half ago. Both firms also have offices in Craig.
While the operation will never reach Meadow Gold's level of peak employment, Cockerham says he would like to have 10 or 15 employees at the Delta site.
"Hopefully we can help the economy, help the town and help ourselves," he said.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.