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Drought restrictions lifted in Cedaredge

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During an Oct. 18 regular meeting the Cedaredge Board of Trustees approved a variety of measures.

In an action closely anticipated by town residents, the trustees approved a resolution rescinding the special drought rates that have been charged to town water users as well as the watering restrictions imposed over the past few months. The rates and restrictions were set to expire on Nov. 1 but the rates will actually end earlier with the Oct. 22-23 meter reading in order to accommodate the town's billing cycle.

The trustees approved a resolution setting revised rates for employee health insurance. The new rate schedule will increase the percentage of health insurance premiums paid by the town in order to make the costs paid by employees more equitable. The old system favored single employees; the new system makes the rates more uniformly fair for employees with families. The total cost to the town will increase but the trustees voted to approve the measure to be fair to all employees and because, as the resolution states, "competitive wages and benefits are a vital component in keeping high quality employees." Although the adjusted health plan will be part of next year's budget, the town's new health plan was approved prior to official adoption of the 2019 budget in order that employees can make decisions during the current insurance enrollment period.

The trustees also approved a franchise agreement between the town and the Elevate Fiber service which is affiliated with the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA). As part of its regional utilities services, DMEA has proposed to deliver video programming and other cable TV services to subscribers within the town of Cedaredge. To cover such services, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires a franchise agreement and the Cedaredge home-rule charter requires that franchise agreements be established in the form of publicly enacted ordinances. As a consideration for the town's adoption, DMEA will -- according to ordinance language -- pay the town "a sum equal to three percent of the Cable Gross Revenue." The franchise will be in force for ten years with an effective day which is set at thirty days after publication of a public notice of the franchise agreement. In practice, Elevate has announced Nov. 5 as the target date to begin offering TV services. This timing will precede the franchise effective date but administrator Brinck indicated that a previously approved memo of understanding with Elevate Fiber will cover TV activities initiated during the interim.

In other action, the trustees approved a resolution strongly urging a "no" vote on Amendment 74 known as "the compensation to owners for decreased property value due to state regulation" initiative. According to the resolution, the proposed amendment is so broadly written that it would give individual property owners the option to sue government -- including small municipalities -- over a wide range of legitimate governmental actions. The resolution states that in Washington and Oregon where similar amendments were enacted then later defeated, billions of dollars of claims were filed requiring state and local governments -- and ultimately taxpayers -- to address those claim. According to the resolution, the amendment is not only dangerously broad it is also unnecessary because "under the current Colorado Constitution, a property owner already has the right to seek compensation from state or local governments."

The trustees approved a resolution to grant the Cedaredge community garden's request for a new water tap. Under the resolution, the town will waive the tap fee, establish a new tap on the new water line, and retain ownership of the arrangement. Going forward, the garden will pay a base fee and also be billed for water usage.

The trustees approved a resolution setting fees for sex offender registration. The State of Colorado revised statutes (CRS) require that sex offenders register with local municipalities and the statutes also allow municipalities to charge fees to cover registration costs up to a maximum of $75. The primary cost associated with registration is fingerprinting. The resolution approved by the trustees takes into account the fees which neighboring communities charge and therefore it calls for a $25 initial registration fee and a $10 fee for continuing registration. These fees are the same as Delta and lower than fees charged by Grand Junction or Montrose.

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Surface Creek
Cedaredge, drought
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