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Cucharas installs new board members

The results:
• Winning four-year terms on the board of directors were 
Jim Alt, Jim Littlefield, and Jim Berg.
• Winning two-year terms on the board of directors were
Shella Snider and Ronald Barbee.
by Carol Dunn
CUCHARA — On May 11, Jim Berg, Jim Alt, Jim Littlefield and Shella Snider took the oath of office to become the new board of directors for the Cucharas Sanitation & Water District.  The fifth member, Ronald Barbee, was not present, and therefore the board scheduled a work session on May 18 to talk over who is willing to serve as board officers.
Jim Berg updated the board on the CSWD water case involving augmentation water for 18 ponds in the district.  Berg and Jim Alt, along with a rep from TZA Water Engineers and CSWD’s water attorney, met with Steve Witte and Doug Brgoch the week of April 16 to find a solution to Witte’s concern that the current augmentation plan would not be administrable.  “We hammered out more clarifying terminology,” Berg said.  CSWD will keep the 18 alternate points of diversion called out in the court case, but the measurements will be taken monthly at one point – the water plant.  A meter will track the predicted monthly evaporative loss for the entire group of 18 ponds.  Berg said he expects Witte to sign the agreement soon.
Operations manager Shannon Shrout reported the new controls at the water plant have been activated so the systems can “talk to each other” and are now accessible by mobile devices.  He said the plant will automatically shut off when turbidity gets too high.  His plan is that the Dodgeton water treatment plant will go online June 1, and a second intake screen is being added to the Spanish Peaks water treatment plant.
Shrout said San Isabel Electric is planning a power upgrade project in Cuchara on the CSWD utility right-of-way on Community Road along the river, but the route could cause problems for CSWD because of the number of water lines, sewer lines and hydrants. “The best route to take needs to be discussed,” he said.
A professional services agreement was authorized in the amount of $30,000 with Element Engineering to assess needs to update the wastewater treatment plant.  Once the scope of work is determined, Element will help CSWD seek funding for the work.
Paula Berg spoke to the board about the increased fire danger because of the dry winter.  On behalf of the La Veta Fire Protection District Auxiliary, she requested that metal signs reading, “High Fire Danger” be placed at each end of Cuchara, and the board gave permission for the Auxiliary to do that.
Jim Alt reported he will be setting up emails for the board members on the CSWD domain so they will no longer have to use their personal email addresses to communicate CSWD business.
The board discussed drought issues and decided to do a separate mailing by June 1 alerting water customers to the need for conservation measures.
In his treasurer’s report, Jim Berg explained that the financial reports for January, February, March and April needed to be reconciled from last year to this year as a consequence of 2018 audit corrections to the cash flow position.  He pointed out CSWD is saving “a couple thousand dollars a month” compared to about four years ago because “operations are more efficient.”

Pictured above, left to right: Cucharas Sanitation and Water District board members Jim Alt, Shella Snider, Jim Littlefield, and Jim Berg. Photo by Carol Dunn.

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