The Delta City Council authorized $26,810 for a design to repair seepage on the city-owned auxiliary dam of the Big Battlement Reservoir on Grand Mesa. The bid was awarded to Colorado River Engineering. City manager David Torgler noted the bid was not the lowest, but the firm was considered the most qualified to provide surveying, design, construction bid documents and construction oversight.
The dam was placed on storage restrictions after the seepage was observed two years ago. The state engineer's office required the city to lower the level of the reservoir by two feet, reducing storage capacity. Torgler said the Big Battlement Reservoir is on the eastern end of Grand Mesa, at the end of a chain of city-owned reservoirs, and therefore critical to the city's mountain water system.
The repair is expected to mitigate, but not stop, the seepage.
City attorney David McConaughy stressed the importance of building a portfolio of city water rights and uses. Council agreed, but will wait until a new public works director is hired and can be part of the process.
In other business at the Oct. 3 city council meeting:
• Lori Murdoch, owner of Pee Wee's Animal House, introduced her new business at 459 Main Street. She said her family-owned pet store will work with animal shelters to find forever homes for cats and dogs. "We plan to be in business a long time," she said.
• Torgler was authorized to begin exploring the sale of acreage and a home the city owns on E. 7th Street. In a memo to council, Torgler noted the purchase was made to acquire right-of-way for the extension of Pioneer Road north of 7th Street. The street dedication and utility easements have been completed, so the original purpose for the purchase of the parcel has been accomplished. In addition, the home was recently vacated. Council agreed now is the time to seek input from local realtors regarding the sale and possible subdivision of the land.
The city attorney will also investigate whether voter approval is required for any sale.
• Christopher Ryan and Ron Austin both expressed a desire to serve as the city's representative to the county's Airport Advisory Board. After discussion, it was agreed Austin would be the city's representative and Ryan would be the alternate. Austin said the airport is an underutilized asset of particular importance to the city due to its proximity to the golf course.
• Police chief Luke Fedler reported on the joint directed traffic patrol that led to seizure of five pounds of suspected methamphetamine. "For Delta, that's a career bust," he said, "and a huge dent in the distribution of methamphetamine."
• Glen Black, community development director, summarized the Delta Planning Commission meeting of the night before. The planning commission has recommended approval of the Delta Urban Renewal Authority plan. Commissioners also discussed zoning for marijuana establishments, in light of a petition being circulated. The discussion will continue at the November meeting.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.