by Edie Flanagin
GARDNER — About 20 Gardner area citizens attended the Town Hall meeting with the Huerfano County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday evening at the Raymond Aguirre Community Center in Gardner.
Before the listening session, the commissioners held a public hearing concerning the proposed rule changes for the bulk water haul through the Gardner Water and Sewer Public Improvement District.
The commissioners propose a three cent per gallon up to 26,000 gallons per year with a six cent per gallon rate above that threshold for consumers in the 81040 zip code. Out of zip code users and contractors will have a rate of six cents per gallon with strict limitations on usage. The proposed rules also designate the use of the hauled water for domestic use only, no watering of lawns, landscaping or commercial irrigation allowed. Users violating the regulations will have their accounts terminated. All those attending seemed satisfied with the new rules, which will go into effect June 1.
The “town hall” or listening session, as Chairman Ray Garcia called it, began at 6 pm. Concerns from the small group ranged from traffic speeding on Hwy 69 through Gardner to how can the county commissioners get more jobs coming to the area.
Citizens from the Redwing area asked about the progress of fixing the Lily Lake road which has been closed since last summer due to a land slide. The commissioners have been working with the land owner in the area, the National Forest Service, Colorado Geologic Survey, and the Division of Water Resources to get the road rerouted around the slide area. The county is waiting on a signed agreement with the landowner to begin actual work on the road. The Redwing area will also be getting new county road signs installed this year.
Traffic speeding through Gardner, lack of senior citizen services in the Gardner area and inadequate cell/broadband access were also on the minds of the assembled group.
Some of these problems are things the commissioners can help with, others are a matter of population density and county revenue. The three commissioners listened attentively and answered the questions with respect, but unfortunately, not all problems can be as easily addressed as a washed out road.