by Caitlin Dunn
CUCHARA — Before stepping down as president of the Cucharas Sanitation and Water District on May 11, Art Pierce administered the oaths of office to Gerald VanNort and Thomas R. Lewis. VanNort was officially elected to the board after filling out the unexpired term of Jim VanLue. VanNort was was also selected by the board to replace Pierce as president, with Jim Berg dissenting. Henry Harnly was elected vice-president, Berg remained treasurer, and Lewis became board secretary.
Administrative Assistant Jennette Coe reported to the board that the pond owner water augmentation court case was filed by the district’s attorney on April 19, before becoming aware of another pond. Coe said the landowners were not previously aware of the pond, but do want to be a part of it and have paid the initial $2,000 fee to participate in the augmentation plan. Currently, their lease agreement is the only one being waited on, and the district is staying in compliance during the wait. Coe said the board will hopefully have “a good idea where we’re headed” within six months.
Coe also presented the operations status report and told the board the district is currently getting the sludge from wastewater plant applied to a ranch in the valley. According to Coe, one pump at the water plant stopped working and tripped the breaker, and the pump they tried to switch to was bad. A spare was installed, but by that time there was no water left in the tank. “Everything is working okay [now],” she said. The Cuchara Water Plant is ready to come online for the busy season, and three of the four items which the DOVE (Disinfection Outreach Verification Effort) inspection brought to attention have been taken care of, with the fourth set to be done “in a timely fashion” and prior to the deadline.
Coe said the rules, regulations, and policies committee met two weeks ago to begin going through the district’s rules and regulations. She added a few rules need to be altered.
The board unanimously adopted a new special clothing allowance policy and adopted the holiday pay policy with the dissent of Berg. The new policy specifies that employees working on holidays will essentially receive double time pay.
Berg reported the water stewardship committee members have met informally. VanNort, Berg, and Marshall Moore attended the May 2 meeting of the Cucharas Basin Storage Collaborative. Berg said the collaborative is at the point where they are “seeing the demands” of all of the water participants. Storage opportunities such as White Creek, Britton Ponds, South Baker Creek, and Chaparral Creek are all being identified.
Pierce said the wastewater plant roof repair is important because the roof is leaking badly in the books and records area, which is next to the electrical components area. The Operations Superintendent is attempting to get a bid on partial repair, with a current bid for full repair of approximately $42,500. “It would be more beneficial, more efficient, to just replace [the roof],” Coe said. The leaking area could be patched, but because of the type of roof, it is unclear exactly where the leak is.
The board approved Lewis and Harnly to act on behalf of the board regarding getting the roof repairs completed.