BOT Roles and Responsibilities, Liability Training (Workshop) Tuesday, April 29th at the Coursey Annex from 2 pm to 6 pm. Open to the Public. Executive Session/Special meeting at 1 pm, Tuesday, April 29th at the Coursey Annex. (see agenda below) Call T
The purpose of the training is train new and existing BOT members about laws and policies regarding roles and responsibilities of Town officials. The public is invited to attend and listen in. Below is a presentation provided by the Department of Local Affairs regarding official roles and responsibilities.
Thought it might be interesting to you to read the International City Manager's Association code of ethics, which I'm required to abide by as a professional town manager and a member of ICMA.
While I work for the Board of Trustees, my primary responsibility is to the community.
We have finally received very good news from CDPHE. We have a plan to address our water quality and regulatory issues in a way that makes sense for the Town and our actual situation.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (referred to as CDPHE) believes that our water quality problem is created because we are pumping too much water out of our primary well and that the volume of pumping impedes bank filtration from being able to clean the water sufficiently. This is the first time Greg Levine or I had heard that. CDPHE staff reports they were told that we do that because of a requirement of water rights. We are not sure where this came from and we are currently working with our attorneys as to where this assumption originated. Because of this, they had assumed that we could not fix leaks and improve the problem; we would still have to pump at a rate that is very high.
CDPHE agrees our biggest problem is our downtown infrastructure and the substantial leakage in our system. They are ok with including aggressive leak reduction as part of our water compliance plan which also may make us eligible for additional funds to accomplish our water line replacement plan. If we fix our downtown system and substantially reduce leaks, we will need to pump less water. When we can pump less water, the less expensive solution of bank filtration and UV or some other disinfection method will work to solve our water quality regulatory issue. CDPHE will accept bank filtration and disinfection instead of an expensive treatment plant under that scenario. We will look at another disinfection method besides our current interim method of higher levels of chlorination. They will allow us to delay a solution until we finish our downtown replacement project and aggressive leak program as long as we continue to chlorinate. My recommendation to the BOT will be that we fix our downtown system on an accelerated schedule (two years) starting this fall of 2014 and also to aggressively pursue leak repair in other parts of town both by fixing public water lines and requiring home owners to fix leaks on private property. We hope to reduce the leakage in our system by at least another 50% which will satisfactorily reduce our water pumping rates.
In addition, a public works engineer we have been working with believes that we can fix our wastewater problem for around $20,000, which is $100,000 less than we expected. We will continue to analyze that situation and bring a recommendation to the BOT for wastewater plant improvements when we have a solid plan.
Here is the skeleton water compliance plan I proposed to the state. I am working on getting additional funding and when I have all the information, I’ll be bringing a recommendation on how to proceed to the BOT. Please note that our current water quality is safe, this is a regulatory issue. Also, we will have to continue to raise water rates at what I now believe is a most reasonable level to fund these improvements.
1. Start right away on the bank filtration study according to CDPHE parameters (Greg Levine)
2. Get the downtown water and sewer system replacement project ready to bid for fall 2014 first phase construction. Do the heaviest trafficked streets first as far as budget will allow. We can put all of the $200,000 budgeted for well replacement, our $200,000 EIG grant and $100,000 budgeted for the wastewater treatment plant to do a first phase downtown replacement section in fall of 2014. That way we will do the most trafficked section and get it out of the way while we work on the less trafficked sections in 2015 and 2016. I am working with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and CDPHE to see if we can get additional funds for the fall first phase.
3. Apply for $2 million from Energy impact in August for the second phase in spring of 2015 and do as much leak repair and downtown work as we can. We will have to match this with loan or some other grant at least $750,000. At this point, we could be finished but if not we would wind up all repairs in 2016.
4. Start the CDPHE required Preliminary Engineering Report in order to help secure additional funding.
5. At the conclusion of the downtown replacement project plus aggressive leak repair elsewhere in town, we most likely will reduce our need for water to the point that we do not have to build a treatment plant.
We will be recommending to the BOT that we approach the downtown replacement as a multi-year contract to keep the bids lower.
There are consequences to this approach. We have to notify our citizens that we are in violation every month we don’t have treatment from February 2015 onward until we are completely done meeting our water quality compliance plan requirements (hence, the benefit in accelerating the replacement and leak repair plan). The notices are onerous and we will have to continue to do public education and keep everyone informed so no one misinterprets the notices.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call me, Leslie Klusmire, Town Manager at 970 944 2444 or email me at: email@example.com.
As you may have read in last week's Silver World, our hopes for a less expensive solution to our water quality regulatory requirments were dashed when we discovered unacceptable levels of arsenic in our test wells (our operating wells are fine). So we have to move to Plan B and contemplate a water treatment plant to achieve our water compliance requirements for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). I want to emphasize that our current water supply is safe. We are responding to regulatory requirements, not actual water quality problems. To understand why CDPHE has suddenly decided to make us go up another step and install filtration treatment, I've included the document below explaining their determination. The document is authored by the staff members who we are working with toward regulatory compliance.
Here is the Town's financial dilemma: Before we discovered water well replacement wasn’t going to work, we had planned for $4.37 million worth of urgent work to do over the next few years - $750,000 to replace two wells, $120,000 (budgeted - actual cost not confirmed) to do our required wastewater treatment plan improvements and $3.5 million to do the downtown system which is in critical condition. The plan was to replace one well and do the wastewater treatment improvements this year, and start the downtown work next year and complete it over 2 – 4 years. With grants and loans, we could have done this work with about a 10% increase in current water rates (which I would have proposed stretching out over the next 2-3 years). Since there are ample state grant funds available now, we would accelerate the construction schedule if needed in response to the availability of grant funds.
With this knowledge that well replacement is no longer an option, we now have $5.620 million in critical needs - $2 million for a water treatment plan, $120,000 (budgeted not confirmed) to do our required wastewater treatment plan improvements and $3.5 million to do the downtown system. We may have to do both our water treatment plant and start on our downtown infrastructure replacement this year. If our downtown system fails - and with the increased water/drainage we have experienced this year, I would suspect that possibility is more imminent - the worst case scenario is that we would be without water and/or sewer for the most used area of the Town or all of the Town for days or weeks at the height of tourist season. Repairing the system in response to a failure is much more expensive than systematic planned repair prior to a crisis.
I’m giving you the “big picture” conceptual bad news now and please rest assured that we will continue to aggressively ferret out any better (and less expensive) strategy we can document and get approved by the State of Colorado. We have discussed some strategies with our engineers about approaching CDPHE with different scenarios that are more affordable, including restructuring construction timing in a way that makes sense for our actual problems and funding capacity.
In order to proceed, we have these steps to go through in the next couple of months:
1. Complete at Preliminary Engineering Report (cost about $40,000)
2. Complete a community income survey to document our water customer's median income.
Please feel free to call me or email me with any questions. We are moving quickly to get this resolved. I don’t want to see the town stalled out and missing the opportunity to bring in substantial grant funds to offset the direct costs of these critical infrastructure problems. This is my primary focus for this next two years.
Download the PDF to see what is proposed.