PAWSD board approves inclusion of Mill Creek properties


Staff Writer

The inclusion of six properties located east of Pagosa Springs near Mill Creek Road were approved for inclusion into the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Tuesday afternoon.

The area, located east of town, was not previously included in the district boundaries. The six petitioners’ properties are located approximately 2.5 miles from U.S. 84. Another six to 10 property owners located up the hill excluded themselves from the petition due to the fees required for construction of the pumping stations needed to transport water.

This inclusion makes it possible for the owners to start the process of putting in their own water system that will then hook up to the Pagosa Area and Water Sanitation District. They will later turn over ownership of the system to PAWSD.

“The board is aware that we are fully funding our construction up front,” explained property owner Wayne Wilson. “We will turn it over to PAWSD after inspection.”

Gregg Mayo, PAWSD project manager, will be in charge of inspection of the water system. An engineer will be responsible for the design and will provide certification after inspection.

Each property owner paid an equity buy-in fee of $41,088. If the property owners who omitted themselves from the petition want to be included in the future, they must reach an agreement with the original six petitioners.

“We want an agreement in writing that we can address, that there needs to be reimbursement agreement with property owners,” Shellie Peterson, PAWSD business services manager, explained. “We are not responsible to make it happen, but we will help facilitate.”

In terms of a future main line extension, board member Roy Vega explained that, “an agreement has to be with the six petitioners.”

The conditions of inclusion for wastewater and water purposes are as follows:

1. Seven single-family equivalent units for water purposes will be allowed.

2. All associated equity buy-in fees must be paid in full prior to submission of the order of inclusion to district court.

3. Capital investment fees (at the then current rate) will be assessed prior to connection to the water system (2012 capital investment fee is $4,617).

4. Property is subject to the district’s rules and regulations and the main line extension is subject to the district’s construction specifications.

Other considerations on the agenda at the meeting were:

• Authorizing the purchase of three additional, reconditioned Solarbees for $116,937, a savings — with the price of three new Solarbee machines at $159,980. The Solarbee is used for water treatment, helping to solve water quality problems in many types of reservoirs.

• By a 4-to-1 vote, with Mike Church opposing, the board decided to purchase a Volvo backhoe loader. The Volvo comes at a price of $66,063, with a 1,100 foot-pound breaker costing another $16,130. Church argued against the purchase of the breaker attachment for the loader, noting that the savings on the loader ($90,000 was budgeted for the purchase) should be passed along to the customer, rather than used to purchase the breaker.

“There is no excuse to spend money just because we are saving,” argued Church. “I do not see the benefit. Put the savings back to the customer.”

“We will save money because we will no longer be renting,” responded Mayo, the project manager.“We will earn back the $16,000 in one year.”