Orchard City isn't changing point of responsibility for water meters, is planning a community survey to gauge the town's future, and trustees are still reviewing the drought task force recommendations. These are a few highlights from the board of trustees Feb. 6 work session.
Last month, the Orchard City water committee voiced concerns over the accuracy of the new water meters. November's report showed a one percent leak percentage -- a strange anomaly given the usual double digit percentage of loss.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees convened its first regular meeting of the year on Jan. 9. The meeting was short, with no visitors or constituents desiring to speak.
First on the Jan. 2 work session agenda for the Orchard City Board of Trustees was discussion of the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Delta County.
Emergency preparedness coordinator Kris Stewart walked through the improvements made to the plan and what the next five years will entail, such as grant monitoring and check-ins with the planning committee.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees met on Dec. 12 for one last meeting before the end of the year. The agenda covered various ordinances and resolutions to finalize 2018.
After making some adjustments to the agenda, the Orchard City Board of Trustees began its Dec. 5 work session by continuing the discussion on tiny home building regulations. "The hope is to ease some of the restrictions on building a normal home," said Mayor Ken Volgamore.
This summer a group of 14 community members and three trustees convened to tackle a drought task force for Orchard City. The goal of the group was to review, analyze and discuss the domestic water system to "enhance the measures used in foretelling a future potential 'drought.' "
At the Orchard City Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 14 Heather Darbe, training and outreach coordinator from The Center of Mental Health, made a presentation on a new suicide prevention task-force. She commented that suicide rates are high on the Western Slope.
The new water recording meter installed on the west line gave insight into suspected leaks, but it wasn't the insight the Orchard City water committee was hoping for. While the meter gives better accuracy, trustee Dick Kirkpatrick reported, "We definitely have leaks in the system and it's showing as a higher percentage with less use."
Attorney Bo Nerlin and Mark Kurtz from DMEA were first on the Orchard City Board of Trustees Nov. 7 workshop agenda to discuss the Elevate franchise agreement. Orchard City's usual attorney is a conflict of interest due to working with DMEA.
During its Nov. 7 work session, the Orchard City Board of Trustees heard a presentation from water commissioner James Holiman.
Concerning water for next year, he said he thinks the area will be okay, but "an average year won't get us back to normal."
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the Orchard City Board of Trustees and planning commission members met with Jamie D. Silverstein from Community Builders to learn about brownfields and discuss ways to improve the town. The first half of the evening was spent in education, the last in discussion.
On Oct. 10, the 2019 proposed budget was presented to the Orchard City Board of Trustees. Highlighted are the following:
Orchard City's water committee meeting on Oct. 10 was short, with not many agenda items.
After discussing progress on some unfinished projects, the committee reviewed the water audit. Last month system input read 17.5 million gallons.
The Orchard City board of trustees held a regular meeting Oct. 10. While approving the September minutes, disbursements and financial statement, trustee Mel Cook asked if the town had invested yet in COLOTRUST. This would be evident on this month's statements.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees had a full agenda to cover at tits work session on Oct. 3. To start, it discussed briefly the marijuana ordinance which will allow 12 plants per resident. The first reading will be at the regular meeting Oct. 10.
The Sept. 27 Orchard City planning commission meeting was short as the group discussed a couple of routine matters such as the rescheduling of November and December meetings due to holidays. In addition, news was shared about a joint meeting the planning commission will have with the trustees Oct. 24.
Several items were on the agenda for the Sept. 12 Orchard City water committee. First, the Bull Mesa Pipeline group proposed replacing Bull Mesa's upper line and having the town take it over.
At the Sept. 12 regular meeting of the Orchard City Board of Trustees, the drought task force presented an update on its progress. Previously it created a list of categories for evaluating drought need.
At the Sept. 12 regular meeting of the Orchard City Town Council, Nancy Hovde with HopeWest discussed the local nonprofit with the board of trustees. She began by giving background and how they work to provide hospice and care to those in need.
The trustees present at the Sept. 5 workshop for Orchard City were eager to tackle the agenda and get to work on various matters. First, they reviewed the ordinance for regulating the cultivation and possession of marijuana.
Women, and several husbands, continued the legacy of Orchard City Women's Club's first Friday of the month meeting on Friday, Sept. 7.
They met in the community room of Orchard City Town Hall where speaker Jason Cleckler, CEO of Delta County Memorial Hospital, talked with his audience about new services and new staffing at DCMH, and nationwide recognition the hospital has received over the past three years.
After six weeks discussing drought condition indicators, the Orchard City drought task force is preparing to move to phase two of its plan. This phase will focus on developing guidelines for conserving and reducing water use should a drought be declared.
At the Aug. 21 meeting for the Orchard City drought task force, the agenda was to narrow down criteria for normal conditions in the previously established set of drought condition categories. These categories cover current springs and winter supply flow and demand, reservoir carry over, and moisture equivalencies.
On Aug. 23 the Orchard City planning commission held a work session focused on the beginning developments for a nuisance policy and its ramifications. This meeting was discussion-oriented rather than creating concrete policy components.
Drought: a word that strikes worry into any farmer, garden enthusiast or lawn lover. For the Town of Orchard City, it's also a word meaning increased water rates, water conservation efforts and this year, a drought task force.
During constituency time at the Aug. 8 meeting of the Orchard City trustees, Mary Ditlove expressed concern over not seeing a detailed disbursements ledger in the town financial statements. Trustee Gynee Thomasen was quick to say that the trustees do receive copies of detailed deposits and check details for all town accounts each month.
To start off the Orchard City water committee meeting on Aug. 8, Steve Kehmeier approached the board with a proposal regarding his water line. In short, he plans to pay for the relocation of his water meter and line near Nowhere Road.
Per his concern, the board agreed that if he desires extra pressure than what the town guarantees up to his meter then he will need to put in a water pump booster.
DCED, Delta County Economic Development, took priority at the Town of Orchard City's regular meeting Aug 8. Stacey Voigt, executive director of DCED, is a new resident of Orchard City and came to update the board on the organization's work and to address concerns raised by trustees at the July 11 meeting.
She began by notifying the trustees that Tom Huerkamp, former Orchard City trustee and board vice president of DCED, is retiring from his board position to focus on the hospital.
The Town of Orchard City board of trustees met Aug. 1 for a public work session during which they discussed a variety of issues ranging from water to committee assignments.
Trustees serve on various committees which meet periodically to consider topics such as water, personnel, and planning.
The Town of Orchard City has created a drought task force to develop a new drought policy for the future. An invitation to join the task force was sent to citizens last month as part of their water bill.
The Town of Orchard City Board of Trustees held a regular meeting on Wednesday, July 11. After approving the minutes of their June 13 meeting, the trustees discussed last month's disbursements and financial statement.
During committee reports at the July 11 meeting of the Orchard City Board of Trustees, trustee Mel Cook raised concerns regarding his role with the entity known as Delta County Economic Development (DCED). DCED is a nonprofit organization which (according to its website) works "in partnership with public and private sectors to strengthen and diversify the economy of Delta County, Colorado."
The Orchard City Board of Trustees will hold a regular meeting on Wednesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. in the Orchard City Town Hall at 9661 2100 Road, Austin. The agenda includes recognition of the student of the month and trustee committee reassignments.
Jenna Bemis lives in Orchard City atop a ridge from which she has a 360-degree view of the world surrounding her.
A stroll through her interestingly decorated home speaks of a professional decorator having put everything in place.
Two dozen citizens were on hand at last week's regular meeting of the Orchard City Board of Trustees. While water issues dominated the agenda, it was during constituent time that residents voiced their concerns on other matters.
At last week's regular meeting the Orchard City Board of Trustees passed a resolution declaring a "critical water supply shortage by reason of drought and setting mandatory water conservation measures." The drought resolution and other water issues dominated the meeting.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees met in regular session on May 9, with all trustees present.
Newly elected to the board, trustees Doug Keller and Jan Gage asked procedural questions as the board dealt with routine matters of agenda, minutes and financials.
Through the courtesy of Joel Magnuson of Orchard City, let's visit today with Joel's great-grandfather, Samuel Edwin Iams, who was born in 1844.
Joel has at his house a handsome, very old, Iams family trunk, which holds many treasures.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees held a special meeting on April 25. Mayor Ken Volgamore presented outgoing trustees Tom Huerkamp, Gary Tollefson and Bob Eckels with plaques of appreciation for their efforts while serving on the board.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees met in regular session on April 11, with all trustees present.
It was the final meeting for trustees Bob Eckels, Gary Tollefson and Tom Huerkamp.
In Orchard City the voters selected Jan Gage, Doug Keller and Mel Cook as trustees in the municipal election of April 3.
The vote tally was:
On Tuesday, April 3, most municipalities in Delta County conducted elections. Delta, Orchard City, Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford voters selected new members of their town councils, as well as the fate of tax questions. Cedaredge cancels its town election because there were only enough candidates to fill its open board seats.
The following are unofficial results, as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 3:
The March meeting of the Orchard City Board of Trustees was held on March 14. All board members were present with approximately 25 constituents attending.
During constituent time, Tim Hintz thanked the board for its work in the last year, stating that it was an interesting year.
In addition to electing three members to the board of trustees, Orchard City voters will consider three different tax questions on this year's municipal election ballot.
All were referred to the ballot by the Orchard City Board of Trustees.
Orchard City voters will be filling three seats on the board of trustees in this municipal election. The election will be conducted by mail. Ballots will be mailed by mid-March and must be returned by Tuesday, April 3.
Jayden Miller, a Cedaredge High School student, was recognized by Mayor Ken Volgamore and the Board of Trustees as Orchard City's Student of the Month in February.
Jayden is a senior and maintains a 4.0 GPA.
The Town of Orchard City board of trustees met on Valentines Day, Feb. 14.
After dealing with routine matters of approval of the minutes and disbursements, Jayden Miller was recognized as Orchard City's February Student of the Month. Jayden is a senior at Cedaredge High School.
Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) will immediately begin inspecting power poles in the Orchard City area. The inspections are expected to last throughout the spring. DMEA is contracting with SBS Inspections to conduct the work.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees work session on Feb. 7 opened with all trustees and the town administrator present. Five constituents, Jack and Mary Ditlove, Doug Keller, Mel Cook and Jan Gage, also attended.
Bruce Stanley is quickly getting up to speed as building inspector for both Orchard City and Cedaredge. Although Cedaredge has zoning and Orchard City does not, and Cedaredge has a code enforcement officer and Orchard City does not, both communities have adopted the 2006 building codes for residential and commercial construction.
The Orchard City Women's Club is approximately 100 years old, and members usually meet the first Friday of the month at the Orchard City Town Hall, 9661 2100 Road, Austin, at 1 p.m.
In January, the club elected new officers for the year.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees held a town hall meeting Jan. 17 to discuss the ballot questions on the April ballot. Thirty people attended the meeting, including several trustees and Melissa Oelke, town clerk, who was present in an official capacity.
The first meeting of the Orchard City Board of Trustees in 2018 was held on Jan. 10, focusing primarily on the upcoming municipal election slated for April 3. All members except Gynee Thomassen, who was excused due to a prior commitment, attended.
Tatum Gilmore, a Delta High School student, was honored by Mayor Ken Volgamore and the Orchard City Board of Trustees as the January Orchard City Student of the Month. With a GPA of 4.25, Gilmore has received academic letters for the past two years.
The Orchard City Women's Club is approximately 100 years old, and members usually meet the first Friday of the month at the Orchard City Town Hall, 9661 2100 Road, Austin, at 1 p.m.
In January, the club elected new officers for the year.
The first meeting of 2018 of the Orchard City Board of Trustees was held on Jan. 3. All trustees, town administrator Melissa Oelke and town attorney Jeff Hurd were present.
Voters in Orchard City will elect three trustees in the municipal election to be held Tuesday, April 3. The election will be conducted by mail.
Trustee Bob Eckels, Orchard City's road committee chairman, opened a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 14, to consider a budget proposal for road funding in 2018 and beyond. Eckels stated that the information gathered would be set for consideration at a later date.
Cedaredge High School senior Axyle Belveal was acknowledged as the Orchard City Student of the Month.
Axyle maintains a 3.95 GPA and has received awards in a number of scholastic areas.
The Orchard City Board of Trustees held a workshop on Dec. 6. All trustees, except for Mayor Ken Volgamore, who was ill, attended the workshop. There were also four Orchard City constituents in attendance.
Holly Jenkins, a senior at Cedaredge High School, was recognized by Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore, as the November Orchard City Student of the Month.
Holly was the VFW Patriot Pen speech winner in her junior year.
At the regular monthly meeting of the Town of Orchard City Board of Trustees on Nov. 8, Ed Kissner and Dan Sanders, representing the Field of Dreams sports complex, expressed their appreciation for the support of the town. Field of Dreams runs summer baseball, softball and soccer as well as various sports throughout the year.
In an effort to build public trust, the Orchard City town council held the first of several planned public meetings with residents on Wednesday, Oct. 18. In addition to the trustees, 12 members of the community attended.
This meeting was focused on road maintenance, and began with presentation by trustee Gary Tollefson. He pointed out that deferred maintenance of the road infrastructure will cause the cost of repairs to increase as roads wear out gradually.
County commissioner Don Suppes was present at the Oct. 11 meeting of the Orchard City town board to answer questions about road work the county is doing in Cedaredge.
Suppes addressed the trustees to waylay concerns about the county's efforts to repair and pave SW 11th Street in Cedaredge.
At the Oct. 11 Orchard City town board meeting, Grace Andrews was presented a certificate naming her Student of the Month. Andrews is a senior at Cedaredge High School.
Orchard City has scheduled an hour-long, open house public meeting to discuss the single issue of a town roads maintenance program and its funding.
The session is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at Orchard City Town Hall.
The Orchard City Trustees want to get a clarification from the Board of County Commissioners on the county policy for providing paving services to municipalities.
The presence of county crews and equipment on two Cedaredge street asphalt overlay projects last week has raised eyebrows in Orchard City.
Constituents at Orchard City's Sept. 13 regular meeting raised questions about the town's new, higher water rates.
Gary Cape objected "strenuously" to the water rates.
The Orchard City Town Board, at its regular meeting on Sept. 13, heard complaints from residents of Horizons West mobile home park about smoke from burning piles of brush near the retirement community.
Deann Thomas, a resident of the park, and three of her neighbors told the town board of smoke and other problems they claim were caused by the burning of brush just north of their senior mobile home park on Running Deer Road.
The Orchard City Town Board acting at its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 13 voted to rescind its previous decision to proceed with repealing current bans on marijuana business in town.
The town board also voted to place three referred measures on the April 2018 ballot asking voters to decide on new revenue measures for town government.
Deann Thomas, a retired physical therapist, says she will raise concerns with the Orchard City Town Board about an agricultural burn operation next to the senior mobile home park where she and elderly neighbors live.
Orchard City's Cannabis Revenue Committee announced last week that it is ready to drop a recommendation for immediate repeal of the town's ordinances which bans marijuana business. The committee had recommended the town repeal current bans on medical and commercial marijuana businesses before taking the question of sales tax from marijuana businesses to the voters. It has drawn notable public opposition.
The Orchard City Town Board received results of the town's 2016 financial audit at a special meeting on Aug. 31.
Total assets across all six of the town's budget funds increased by $500,000 last year, according to the report.
At the Orchard City Town Board meeting on Aug. 9, it was announced that the trustee Cannabis Revenue Committee has performed the task assigned to it by the full town board.
"We feel we have completed our work," announced Tom Huerkamp who along with Gynee Thomassen comprises the committee membership.
Orchard City constituents turned out for the town board's Aug. 9 meeting with comments offered to their government on management of the water utility, on marijuana businesses, and on the town board's fiscal responsibility.
Dave Stueck offered comments on the town water utility.
The Orchard City Town Board is scheduled to hear a further report from the Cannabis Revenue Committee -- trustees Tom Huerkamp and Gynee Thomassen -- on potential town revenue from licensing fees on marijuana business at its regular Aug. 9 meeting.
The draft report update is a one-page document dealing with "manufacturing, testing, and transport licenses."
Orchard City Town Board members at their meeting on July 12 heard comments from constituents wanting changes in handling of town finances and a more "user friendly" government.
Doug Keller criticized town government for not being financially responsible with town money.
Area residents on July 12 pushed back against Orchard City's moves toward allowing marijuana businesses to operate in town. However, not all were opposed. Some spoke of personal benefits from medical marijuana.
The Orchard City Town Board will move ahead with an expanded study of the types of marijuana businesses that could be allowed in town to provide government funding following town board action on July 12.
The town board's Cannabis Revenue Committee will also continue looking into six types of marijuana businesses, including retail shops, that could provide money to local government.
The Orchard City Town Board on July 12 will discuss, and possibly act on, a trustee committee report that lays out a road map for the eventuality of voter approval for marijuana businesses in town, including repeal of the town's current bans.
The first recommendation board's cannabis revenue committee is that "the town should start the process of repealing the ordinances of 2011 and 2013 prohibiting any type of licensed marijuana business."
Orchard City Town Board members are expressing second thoughts about allowing marijuana businesses in town as a way to generate more tax revenue for town government.
Speaking at the town board's June 14 meeting, trustee Craig Fuller expressed his opposition to the town board taking unilateral action and allowing marijuana business because it would be against the express will of the people, and he offered an alternative plan.
The marijuana tax issue for Orchard City is not simply one of somehow raising $1.2 million to fund government needs. Indeed, the answer lies in first deciding how to use $1.2 million that is already been raised through newly enacted water rates.
Orchard City's first "tiny house" development at 2100 and Iris roads is drawing concern from area neighbors who say they had no advance notice of the project.
Orchard City residents told trustees that it is the town's water customers themselves who have gotten soaked by higher water charges because new rates were implemented ahead of the promised schedule.
The revelation was one of several complaints presented to trustees at a second consecutive boisterous business meeting on May 10.
In spite of strong opposition from town residents at a February public meeting, the Orchard City Town Board is moving forward with the idea of allowing marijuana business in the town.
Mayor Ken Volgamore announced at a work session last week that he will appoint two trustees, Gynee Thomassen and Tom Huerkamp, to research the issue further.
The Friends and Flower Garden Club appreciates the generous donation of a Ukrainian maple tree and a juniper pine tree from John and Ron Romatzke of Arbor Acres Farm. These trees were planted in the Orchard City Town Park in memory of Bobbie De Leau and Zoe Weiss.
Orchard City's base water charges for residential water customers with three-quarter-inch taps were revised for the second time in a month at the town board's April 12 meeting. The latest rates corrected a math problem with the rates adopted last month.
The Orchard City Town Board is being challenged on the method and reasoning that it used for establishing new water rates. The new rates take effect May 1 and will show up in rate payers' June billing.
Even before Orchard City's new water rates take effect as scheduled on May 1 they are already being changed. An accounting error made in calculating the new water charges is said to be responsible.
A Cedaredge High School senior who graduated early to pursue her nursing career plans is Orchard City's student of the month for March.
Mikaylah Saenz graduated early last semester from CHS with a 3.8 grade point average.
Two constituents came forward at the Orchard City Town Board meeting on March 8 to question trustees about the water rate increase.
Jan Gage, a former trustee, expressed concern for senior citizens in town on fixed incomes who would be hurt financially by the doubling of water rates.
Following action by the Orchard City Town Board on March 8, customers of the town's domestic water system will see steep increases in both base charges and user fees beginning May 1.
The move came on a split 5-1 vote.
The Town of Orchard City will not be going into the cemetery business.
By a vote of 4-0 on March 8, town board members rejected the idea of participating in some manner with management and operations of the Cory Cemetery.
The Orchard City Town Board at its Wednesday, March 8, meeting will act on a proposal which, if adopted, would double residential water rates.
For example, based on preliminary figures provided to the Delta County Independent, the monthly base charge in-town would rise from $13 to $25, and the use rate for the first 20,000 gallons would rise from $0.99 per thousand gallons to $1.89 per thousand gallons.
Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore has promised a discussion and possible vote March 8 on whether the town board wants to get involved in management of the Cory Cemetery.
The future status of Cory Cemetery management has been uncertain since its board of directors resigned six years ago.
Editor's note: With a majority of Orchard City trustees expressing interest in marijuana business as a way of raising town government revenue, and with a majority of town residents likely opposed to the idea, thanks to Orchard City resident Matt Soper for compiling a history of the marijuana issue in Orchard City and Delta County. (Sources and references are available.)
The Orchard City student of the month for February is Cristina Caballero, a senior at Delta High School.
Cristina has a 4.13 grade point average and has completed advanced coursework in language and composition, statistics, calculus, physics and environmental science.
The Orchard City Town Board meeting on Feb. 8 adopted an emergency ordinance placing a moratorium on issuance of building permits or water taps for parcels located in the 17-lot LaHabra II subdivision.
Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore and some of the town board members expressed disappointment that a room full of constituents left immediately following the previous week's community meeting on government revenue and marijuana.
"It was very interesting," Volgamore said during the town board's regular meeting on Feb. 8, "that after we went over the three items, especially the marijuana, that all but four [of the 70 people] got up and left.
Residents of Orchard City filled town hall to standing room to tell town board members their views on increasing government revenues and allowing marijuana business to operate there.
A trend of declining revenues the town is experiencing is contributing to depleted cash reserves in town budget funds including the water fund and roads fund, a trustee report has concluded.
A critical view of Orchard City finances -- a view which has led to proposal of marijuana business and sales tax for the town -- is a view which may seem more alarming than is justified.
There was broad agreement at last week's town meeting that water rates need be raised.
During the Orchard City town meeting on marijuana and town revenues last week, Mayor Ken Volgamore noted that the town board has the ability to allow marijuana business in the town without putting the issue to a vote of the electorate. However, the mayor did not endorse doing so.
A citizen complaint about speeding traffic on 2150 Road will result in additional signage on the long stretch of straight and narrow Orchard City roadway.
Trustees decided to place an additional 35 m.p.h. speed sign on the road and also to place signage warning of slow moving farm equipment.
Orchard City and Cedaredge have opted to participate in the state's Rural Jump Start economic stimulus program. But officials believe the pool of new businesses that will qualify for the tax incentives being offered is small.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has appointed Orchard City native Matthew Soper to be a non-attorney and Republican member of the Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission representing Delta County. Soper replaces Commissioner Bill Raley of Delta.
The Orchard City Town board adopted an ordinance at its Jan. 11 meeting designed "to put teeth" into its building codes by assessing big fines for violations.
Isaac Fuller, a home schooled high school senior who intends to pursue Biblical studies following graduation has been named Orchard City's student of the month for January.
The idea of Orchard City turning to marijuana as a town government tax source first came up at the end of a budget work session last September. Mayor Ken Volgamore took a straw poll of trustees on the marijuana-as-revenue issue. No decisions were made at that time.
Mayor Ken Volgamore has scheduled a town board work session discussion about the issues of declining town revenues, dwindling cash reserves in town budget funds, and ideas for addressing the two problems, ideas that include allowing marijuana businesses to operate in Orchard City as a means of generating tax revenue.
The Orchard City trustees, at their Jan. 4 work session, opened a dialog on the problem of declining town revenues, dwindling cash reserves, and on possible ways to reverse the trends.
Among the ideas suggested was whether to allow marijuana businesses to operate in town and so provide more tax revenue for local government.
Orchard City trustees are considering a town sales tax and other possible money raising ideas. Discussion of various ideas will begin at the town board's first work session of the year: Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. according to town hall.
Orchard City's water fund is the largest of the town's budget funds.
For 2017, an amount of just over $1 million in expenditures has been budgeted for the fund's operations and maintenance programs.
The Orchard City Town Board has dealt with several one-of-a-kind customer service issues recently.
The problems the town has encountered with meeting water customer requests have different causes. One involves the 17-lot La Habra II subdivision; a failed development proposal that dates back to the 1970s.
Orchard City's free use town park is a point of pride for the community. It receives many compliments by users who visit from around the region and across the state.
Orchard City's student of the month for December is Madiea Lyons, a senior at Delta High School.
She was presented with the honor during the town board's regular Dec. 14 meeting.
Orchard City trustees discussed an aberration in results of the monthly water audit report during their Dec. 14 regular meeting.
A report from the trustee water committee noted that the audit report is showing "significant water loss" and indicating "huge discrepancies." The aberrant readings are occurring below the storage tanks at the town water plant, the committee reported.
People in the Town of Orchard City receive much benefit from the services provided by HopeWest, trustees were told at their Dec. 14 regular meeting.
Nancy Hovde of Cedaredge and representing HopeWest paid a courtesy call on the town board to deliver a thanks for helping promote and supporting Hospice and Palliative Care Month during November.
Orchard City trustees called a special meeting on Nov. 30 for the purpose of holding an executive session to discuss a "personnel matter." The motion did not provide any further specificity regarding the topic. The closed-door meeting lasted for a full hour.
The Orchard City Town Board has chosen Delta High School senior Emily Nortnik as its student of the month.
Emily has been a three-sport athlete throughout middle and high school.
Local governments in Surface Creek Valley have issued several proclamations recently noting contributions made to the community by organizations and individuals.
• Both Orchard City and Cedaredge adopted proclamations honoring HopeWest in observance of Hospice and Palliative Care Month during November.
What to do about the failure of pavement on Austin Road, rebuilt just 10 years ago, will be discussed by the Orchard City Town Board at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
The Orchard City Town Board is faced with a decision on how to remedy the pavement failure occurring on Austin Road.
The Orchard City Town Board dealt with several items of business during its regular meeting on Oct. 13. Among those items were the following:
The Orchard City Town Board, which is considering its own sales tax proposal for the town, last week gave a thumbs up to the Delta County Ambulance District's bid for a 2.25 mill tax increase on the November ballot.
Following a presentation at the board's Oct. 12 meeting, trustees voted to give political support to the ambulance district's proposal for the tax hike from 2.5 to 5.75 mills.
Orchard City trustees got their first glimpse of the town's proposed 2017 budget document at their regular meeting Oct. 12.
The budget proposal delivered to trustees calls for a total $1.93 million in planned spending for next year.
Sisters Megan and Brooke Toothaker were honored as Orchard City's students of the month by the town trustees at their Oct. 12 meeting.
The presentations were made by Mayor Ken Volgamore.
Orchard City trustees held their first work session for the 2017 budget on Sept. 21. In addition to reviewing department spending proposals, trustees discussed donations the town may make next year.
The Orchard City Town Board adopted a newly revised version of the town's Master Plan at its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 14.
Adoption was preceded by a public hearing at which no public comment was offered.
Williams Orchards has acquired the former Hi-Quality fruit packing facility on Fruitgrowers Road in a lease/purchase deal.
Connie Williams told the DCI that the company is already using the facility for fruit packing and processing.
The Orchard City trustees gathering at its monthly work session on Sept. 7 discussed a thorny issue involving enforcement of its building permit regulations.
During a staff and trustee discussion, it was stated that construction had been started on a commercial building in town without the owner first obtaining a town building permit costing $250.
Though the Orchard City Master Plan is set to be reissued in a new and updated version, the community's old-fashioned values of "live and let live" expressed in the original 2005 plan are restated in the proposed 2016 revision.
"Orchard City has adopted a land use philosophy of 'live and let live' that does not include zoning regulations," states part of the community's vision plan.
The Town of Orchard City hosted its 13th annual picnic last Saturday, a community tradition begun in 2004 by then town mayor Tom Huerkamp.
At that first town picnic held in the town shops, elected officials and staff contributed fresh produce from their own home gardens and kids got rides on the fire truck.
The much-studied and eventually abandoned idea for a small hydropower generator driven by Orchard City's water plant inflows came up for discussion again by trustees on Aug. 10.
The agenda topic was prompted by a trustee invitation to Jim Heneghan, renewable energy engineer for DMEA.
The Orchard City Town Board agreed at its July 13 meeting to participate in developing a hazard mitigation plan for the county.
The request to participate was made by county emergency manager Jeff Wright. He told the trustees that the deadline for participation was that same evening.
The severe economic consequences widely expected in Delta County since decline of the coal industry began with layoffs at Oxbow in 2013 have yet to materialize, as far as Orchard City finances are concerned.
"Overall, the town is better off financially in 2015 than you were in 2014," auditor Pete Blair told trustees on July 13.
The Orchard City trustees at their regular monthly meeting on July 13 declined an offer to host a community event promoting DMEA's broadband business project. However, explained Mayor Ken Volgamore, there is no problem if private individuals want to rent the community room and stage a promotion on their own.
The Orchard City Town Board has appointed Gary Tollefson, a 38-year resident of the community, to fill a trustee vacancy.
Tollefson was a U.S. Forest Service employee for 23 years before retiring, he said during his interview on May 11.
The 35-members of the Orchard City Women's Club held their annual fundraiser auction for local charity last Friday -- an occasion for doing good while having fun and enjoying friendship.
Members of the 94-year-old local service organization dispensed with all appearance of pondering seriousness that sometimes accompanies the financial support of social causes in the community.
The Orchard City Town Board will hold a work session at 6:30 p.m. prior to its regular May 11 monthly meeting to interview applicants for the open trustee position.
Mayor Ken Volgamore was elected last month with two years yet remaining on his trustee term.
The Orchard City Town Board met in special session April 20 for a changing of the guard as newly elected trustees and mayor accepted their oaths of office and assumed their positions on the town board.
Mayor Ken Volgamore's election by voters to mayor halfway through his four-year trustee term has left one more vacancy on the town board.
Giving final approval to the annual agreement with Field of Dreams for organized youth sports use at Orchard City Town Park was the major business item on the agenda for town trustees on April 13.
The town board's business item gave occasion for the trustees and the youth sports organization's president to exchange appreciation for each other's efforts on behalf of the area's youth sports.
Tori Carr has been named Orchard City's student of the month for April.
Tori's resume includes numerous accomplishments and achievements during her career at Delta High School.
Ken Volgamore has been elected to a four-year term as Orchard City mayor in the April 5 municipal elections.
Volgamore has served half of a four-year term as trustee he was elected to in 2014.
The current Orchard City Town Board will have one more full business meeting together on April. 13.
Then, on the following Wednesday, April 20, the trustees will convene in an official special meeting to seat the new mayor and trustees.
Even though the Town of Orchard City at present has no plans nor expressed interest for entering the telecommunications business, the town's voters have given their government permission to do so virtually without restriction so long as any such venture in the future is done "without charge to members of the public."
Incumbent town trustee Craig Fuller was the high vote getter among the four candidates for Orchard City Town Board, getting 592 votes out of a total 2,056 cast for trustee candidates in the April 5 municipal election, according to unofficial election results.
The ballots have been tallied, and the following are the results of the voting in each of the county's municipalities, according to the Delta County Clerks Office:
Hotchkiss voters turned down ballot measures that would have authorized retail or medical marijuana facilities in the community. The medical marijuana measure was rejected with 156 against and 133 in favor; the retail marijuana measure was defeated with 161 against and 129 in favor. A third measure, adding a 2 percent sales tax to marijuana sales, was a moot issue since neither measure authorizing sales was passed.
The Orchard City student of the month for March is Abbigail Nicholson.
She was presented with her honor by Mayor Don Suppes during the town board's March 9 meeting.
Orchard City's new town board will not take up its official position until a special meeting scheduled for April 20.
According to Town Administrator Melissa Oelke, there is a 10-day gap between the April 5 election and the April 15 official determination (canvass) of the election results.
Mike Morgan, a team sports coach at Cedaredge High School, has been named assistant coach of the year by the Colorado High School Coaches Association, the DCI has learned.
Morgan, who is the public works director for the Town of Orchard City, was congratulated on his recognition by members of the town board at their regular monthly meeting on March 9.
The Orchard City Town Board has agreed to lend the town's support for development of local renewable hydroelectric power generation.
Following a presentation to the trustees during their meeting on March 9, the town staff will draft a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opposing a proposal by Tri-State Generation and Transmission.
The mayoral contest in Orchard City for this year's municipal election has incumbent trustee Ken Volgamore going up against former trustee Jan Gage.
Gage is a former trustee who also served as mayor pro-tem.
Orchard City's student of the month for February is Kerry Ribbens, a senior at Cedaredge High School.
His award was presented during the regular monthly meeting of the Cedaredge Town Board on Feb. 10.
Orchard City voters will have a chance to decide whether their town government may "opt out" from the statutory prohibitions of Senate Bill 152 and thereby use public resources to support a local telecommunications "broadband" business.
An opt-out measure similar to the ones adopted by voters in five other local municipalities, and also by county voters, was approved by the town board in January.
There will be mayoral races in both Cedaredge and Orchard City in the April 5 municipal elections.
At the Jan. 25 deadline, in Cedaredge there are two candidates.
The Orchard City Town Board and the top administrative official from Colorado Municipal League met in public on Jan. 13 in a bid to mend fences.
A disagreement with how the CML is using annual member dues had led the trustees to consider withdrawing from the organization which provides educational resources to and lobbies for the municipalities of Colorado.
Orchard City's student of the month for January is Brittany Chlarson, a senior at Cedaredge High School.
Brittany has attained a 4.02 grade-point average.
The Orchard City water capital construction fund will be the source of $300,000 for replacement of waterlines in the Del Ray subdivision. Money paid into the fund by water users' $5 monthly capital construction fee will raise $128,544 on the revenue side.
The Orchard City student of the month for December is Cedaredge High School senior Danielle Freeman, known to friends and family as Nellie.
She has compiled an impressive resume of activities and accomplishments during her career at CHS.
Orchard City's long-term financial outlook as described in the 2016 budget cites examples of declining revenues in some key areas.
However, balanced against that, the town's cash position and available funds and fund balances in budget accounts show a healthy underlying financial picture.
The Town of Orchard City has taken a different approach from other county municipalities on the broadband issue.
That doesn't mean the town won't be participating in the Region 10 broadband network project.
In April's municipal election at Orchard City, there will be four trustee seats up for election -- three with four-year terms and one with a two-year term -- along with the mayoral seat.
Orchard City town clerk Melissa Oelke announced at the trustees' Dec. 9 meeting that candidate petition packets for the upcoming April elections will be available right after the first of the year.
Orchard City's troubled West Main water transmission line encountered another failure over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a report from the trustee water committee.
One of the fused couplings which has experienced previous failures on the HDPE polymer line failed over that weekend.
The Orchard City Town Board may be close to deciding what to do with a new piece of equipment the town bought earlier this year that isn't performing as promised.
The town purchased the $6,900 road shouldering side dresser with expectations that it would cut in half the number of man-hours need for the labor-intensive task of maintaining road shoulders.
The Orchard City trustees have agreed to send a letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation, endorsing the county's plans for a gravel truck haul route that eventually will run from the North Road pit to Highway 65 at Eckert.
The county is being required by CDOT to apply for an access permit for its 18-wheel, belly-dump, semi-tractor trailer gravel trucks to use the North Road-SH65 intersection as the primary haul route.
The Orchard City Town Board received copies of the town's proposed 2016 budget of $1.91 million during its meeting on Oct. 14.
The budget's $1.91 total expenditure figure includes spending on the following individual items from the various budget funds.
Amber Jenkins has been named Orchard City's student of the month for October.
During presentation of the honor at the trustee's Oct. 14 meeting, Mayor Don Suppes noted that Amber, a senior at Cedaredge High School, has a 4.05 grade point average and is a member of National Honor Society.
Orchard City's Centennial honor wall is going to have to be rebuilt.
The structure is crumbling from a lack of adequate foundation support. Adobe soils the structure is built on are likely contributing to the problem also.
Delta Montrose Electric Association is asking local governments in Delta County for assistance in making plans for a possible decision to enter the "last mile" Internet service provider business.
The Orchard City Town Board has hit the brakes and taken a "slow down, wait and see" approach to the coordinated push to place a broadband "opt-out" measure on local November ballots.
Orchard City continues to make strides in its program of minimizing leaks that cause lost water and lost money from its sprawling domestic water utility.
Evidence of success in its efforts came from two reports presented to town trustees at their Aug. 12 meeting.
The Orchard City Town Board is hoping to get some questions answered soon about the Region 10 broadband fiberoptic cable network project. At the trustees' Aug. 12 meeting, concerns about potential pitfalls of the project were aired when supporters advised the board on allowing the town to enter the Internet service provider business.
With Delta County's events calendar abounding in fruit festivals, brews and wine festivals, music festivals and summer days festivals, Orchard City's annual town picnic could just as well be called the Friends and Family Fun Festival.
Orchard City resident R. Allen Scheetz and the town's trustees took tentative steps toward resolving a conflict during the town board's meeting on Aug. 12.
The trustee/Scheetz discussion was businesslike and at times pointed.
Orchard City's town government has been advised by a state water official that it has to revise a 2010 ordinance dealing with construction in floodplains, but town officials have questions.
Orchard City Trustees wondered whether other municipalities in the area had received the same instructions on changing their local floodplain ordinances.
The Orchard City Irrigation District (OCID) board, meeting last week, increased its water share allocation to 130 percent. The previous allocation was 80 percent.
Orchard City trustees during a special meeting on July 22 heard a positive report from an audit of its finances for the year ending 2014.
As the town's auditor had done previously reporting to another Surface Creek Valley town, Cedaredge, on its financial report for 2014, auditor Pete Blair pronounced Orchard City "better off financially in 2014 than you were in 2013."
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