Utility buyout finalized

By Hank Lohmeyer

Utility buyout finalized | Cedaredge, Upper Surface Creek Domestic Water User's Assoc.,

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Water Users' General Manager Dan Hawkins signs ownership transfer documents as other officials look on last Thursday at the Cedaredge Town Board meeting room.

An agreement that brought good drinking water to undeveloped areas of the county and that dates generations came to an official end on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The Town of Cedaredge and Upper Surface Creek Domestic Water Users Association (USC) closed on the final paperwork separating the two water providers from the cooperative operating agreements that once linked them.

Paperwork was signed and Cedaredge Mayor Gene Welch handed USC Board President Gerald Figueroa an envelope containing a check for $175,000 that buys out USC's last 20 percent ownership interest in the Cedaredge water collection and treatment system.

For over a decade, USC has treated water for its own customers in Upper Surface Creek, Cedar Mesa and Redlands Mesa with its own facilities, an operational independence that made the former operating agreement obsolete.

But USC still had investments in the town's water collection and treatment utility that its member/owners wanted to recoup for their private water company.

Discussions on a final separation -- legal and financial -- led to the courtroom where mediation brought about the $175,000 buyout deal that was consummated last week.

USC and the town still maintain a cross connection between their systems to provide for mutual aid in event of an emergency.