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. Eckels and Tollefson were unsuccessful in their reelection bids in the recent municipal election. Huerkamp did not seek reelection. The election was to be certified by April 13. The three new trustees, Jan Gage, Doug Keller and Mel Cook, will be sworn into office at a special board meeting on April 25, at 7 p.m.
During constituent time at the April 11 meeting, Gary Cape asked the board about the town water supply and drought plans. He was told the current snow pack is at 30 percent of average, while water storage is full. If needed, the Drought Plan established in 2007 will be put into effect. Town Clerk Melissa Oelke stated that the town has a flier on water conservation practices available at the town hall. The municipalities of Cedaredge and Orchard City do have water rights priority.
Cape said he has practiced water conservation techniques for the past 10 years. Many of his neighbors also work at conserving water, and he encouraged others in the community to become active in water conservation.
Later in the meeting, the water audit report indicated a reduction in leakage in the system to 16 percent.
Trustee Bob Eckels, during the water committee report, said there is no low snow, and there is no available water in the Ute Ditch. He noted that temperatures will play a role in water availability. A quick thaw would help the underground springs and municipal water, while a slow thaw will help fill the reservoirs.
The trustees also considered:
• There will be no changes to the contract for president of the Field of Dreams. Dan Sanders was approved as the new Field of Dreams president.
• Paul Kehmeier was reappointed to the planning commission.
• The road and bridge committee reported that additional work on North Road should be completed by April 13. The project is staying on budget. Quotes for the Austin Road chip and seal project are to be received by May 4.
The focus was on the changing of the guard during trustee comments. Mayor Ken Volgamore stated how much he appreciated working with trustees Tollefson, Eckels and Huerkamp.
Trustee Gynee Thomassen said she will miss the three trustees who are leaving the board, and welcomed the newly elected members.
Trustee Kirkpatrick specifically wanted to state his appreciation to Tom Huerkamp for his historical knowledge, Bob Eckels for his mapping skills and Gary Tollefson for his attention to detail.
The three outgoing trustees all praised the town staff, and said they were honored to have served.
Addressing the incoming trustees, Huerkamp advised, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." He added that he had the utmost respect for trustee Craig Fuller, and admonished him to "guard the hen house and not let the foxes win."