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PAWSD board to hold special meeting to consider ARRA funding resolution

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Board will hold a special meeting at the district offices on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 5 p.m., to consider a resolution approving the district to enter into a loan agreement for its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding authorization.

In June, the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority approved the district’s application in the total amount of $9,322,353: $1,309,282 in the form of a grant and $8,013,071 in two zero-percent interest loans, each for a term of 20 years. The approval, coming after months of work since November by PAWSD staff and Briliam Engineering, represents nearly 30 percent of the $31 million total ARRA amount available statewide for sewer-related projects from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The resolution is anticipated to read: “A resolution authorizing the issuance by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, acting by and through its Water and Sewer Activity Enterprise, approving a loan between the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and the District, acting by and through the Water and Sewer Activity Enterprise, for the purpose of making certain improvements to the system; authorizing the form and execution of a loan agreement and a governmental agency bond evidencing the loan; providing for payment of the governmental agency bond from the revenues of the Water and Sewer Activity Enterprise; and prescribing other details in connection therewith.”

ARRA funds will be used to decommission and eliminate the Highlands Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Facility located on North Pagosa Boulevard., and to construct 7.5 miles of sewer pipeline to the Vista Wastewater Treatment Plant. The completed project will allow the aging Highlands facility to be retired after more than 30 years of service, and will resolve many treatment issues. Some of these issues include periodically exceeding state thresholds for effluent (post-treatment outflow) water quality due to capacity limitations and treatment methodology of the facility. Since 2006, PAWSD has had a moratorium on connections to the Highlands facility, including on any new developments in un-subdivided areas, even if that property is within the sewer district boundaries.