Cucharas District dealing with freeze/breaks

CUCHARA — Every winter the Cucharas Sanitation and Water District has to cope with water lines that have frozen, broken and then leak when they thaw out. General Manager Bob Northup told the Board of Directors that one condo had a freeze/break in the past month. “We shut off the whole condo complex until we could get that unit shut off,” Northup said. One house also had a freeze, and the homeowners thawed it out themselves. Northup said all contracts have been signed on the water tank project, there are no issues with the US Forest Service, and Huerfano County Planning and Zoning has granted an extension on the permit. Chairman Art Pierce told the board members that one homeowner expressed his hope that there wouldn’t be too much disruption caused by concrete trucks coming and going. Pierce said, “I don’t want to make them miserable while making their life better.” Northup said the bulk of the concrete work on the project will be completed in one day. “There may be two pours, but it won’t be like two days of steady cement trucks,” he said. Eddie and Barbara Hall requested that CSWD change the classification of the Spanish Peaks Lodge from commercial to single family residence for water and sewer billing purposes. This would reduce the customer’s account from two commercial EQRs to one EQR at the lower residential rate. A report run by the office showed the Halls’ water usage was “well within the usage you would expect from a single family residence.” The board approved the change. The board approved a continuation of an “availability rate” for taps that River Run at Spanish Peaks owns but is not using. The availability rate is one-third the regular billing. The taps are tied to what Northup characterized as “the old dead motel at the top of the Valley that has been torn down.” He said the rate was originally approved for a term of two years and, “They have kept current on everything.” Director Jim Howard advised that he would be limited in his availability between March and May because he will be having knee surgery. Howard is term-limited and will go off the CSWD board after the May election. Art Pierce was appointed as the designated election official for the election. The board voted to offer Legal Shield as an optional benefit to all of its employees and board members. Pierce said Legal Shield is a prepaid legal plan that offers attorney services and identity theft protection under a payroll deduction program. The board set the locations for meeting postings in 2014. One location will be the CSWD office. Another will be at the Cuchara Recreation Center, either on the bulletin board when it is rebuilt or on the front door in the meantime. Pierce said, “Our brand new bulletin board was the victim of a hit-and-run.” The third location will be at the Cuchara Country Store.