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PAWSD board will consider Mill Creek inclusion request

Tuesday night, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District directors held a special meeting, approving matters such as the revised Rules and Regulations and an updated employee compensation plan.

First on the agenda, though, was the proposed inclusion of Mill Creek property owners — 13 property owners in total. The Mill Creek properties petitioning for inclusion are four miles up Mill Creek Road from U.S. 84.

“This is the first formal action,” explained PAWSD business services manager Shellie Peterson said of the request.

The next step will be a public hearing, which is scheduled for the next regular meeting on Feb. 14. The pre-engineering work for inclusion is currently underway.

The board also came to a decision on selection of an investment banking firm for refinancing the 2002/2003 general obligation bond.

The firm, according to Peterson, needs to be chosen soon, to move forward with the refinancing of the bonds. The longer action on refinancing is postponed, the less savings PAWSD will receive from the refinancing.

“Hopefully, this will be saving the district close to $1 million,” special projects manager Renee Lewis said.

The PAWSD board of directors voted, with none opposed, to use the firm Piper Jaffrey.

“The firm was chosen because they came with a competitive bid, and it was this firm that first informed us of the option of refunding,” board president Steve Hartivgsen said in an interview with SUN staff, noting that the board chose Piper Jaffray due to the firm’s proactive stance in the matter.

The board approved the 2010 annual report for the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners in accordance with the adopted Resolution 2011-24.

Directors also approved the PAWSD Employee Compensation Plan with very minor changes. According to Hartivgsen, he had asked for this to be put on the agenda due to a philosophical disagreement with the cost of living adjustment (COLA) held by several of the board members. Despite the disagreement, the board unanimously approved the plan with the potential for COLA increases in an amount equal to or less that of Denver/Greeley/Boulder area Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index statistic for that year.

The directors also adopted District Manager Ed Winton’s comprehensive vehicle policy. “If fuel prices become cost prohibitive, the policy allows the district to scale back in four stages,” Lewis explained. Director Roy Vega was the single vote in opposition.

The special meeting ended with discussion of the Code of Conduct, which had been left unresolved at the Jan. 10 regular meeting. As reported previously in The SUN, under question was a line under the Do’s and Don’ts list for the directors. The list is, “meant to assist the Director in furthering the mission and goals of the District,” the Code of Conduct reads.

The line under Don’t reads, “Bad-mouth a board decision or fellow Director,” with the Do side reading, “Understand, accept and support Board decisions once made. View your Board as a Team with common goals.”

After a lengthy and heated discussion, a motion was made to adopt the Code of Conduct and was unanimously approved.

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