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February 2016

Citizen Advisory Committee Tops BGWSD Board Agenda

By Cindy Reinhardt, President BGWSD Board of Directors

The formation of a citizen advisory group topped the Baca Water & Sanitation District board’s agenda for its first meeting of 2016. In proposing the committee, Board President Cindy Reinhardt noted “we need citizens to be informed about the challenges facing the district in light of lower property valuations, slow growth, infrastructure and equipment needs, new regulations, and debt service payments. There are many smart, creative people in our community and together we can meet these challenges.” 

The proposal elicited feedback from the small group of citizens present that the District could do a better job communicating information to customers. Ideas for doing so included more articles here in the Eagle, using the notice box on bills regularly, and creating a blog to post information and provide a place for comments. Director Michael Scully will research the blog idea and local resident Lynn Drake volunteered to work with him and the board on other ideas.

The formal creation of a committee was deferred until after the May election, given that three positions (a majority of the board) are open and the priorities of a new board could be different.  The current board will continue discussion so that the groundwork will be in place to form the advisory group after the election should the board wish to do so.

Speaking of the May election, three director terms end this year: directors Judy Deluca, Kyle Grote and Reinhardt. All are eligible to run for re-election.  The board assured those present that the election will be held right here in the district on May 3, 2016. JoAnn Slivka was appointed as the Designated Election Official at the November, 2015 board meeting. Several community members have already volunteered to serve on election day. More may be needed, so please contact the office (256-4310) to volunteer.

Even better, consider serving on the board. Speaking from personal experience, I have learned much in these last four years and have enjoyed even the toughest challenges and changes that we’ve faced. Terms are four years. Self-nomination forms are available on the district’s website and at the district office.

The operations staff welcomed two new team members in January, Tad Crawford and Rebecca Potter. Construction of a secondary line crossing North Crestone Creek near the Well 17/18 complex was completed, and procuring a back-up power system is a priority for 2016. The board authorized the lease of a new dump truck (much needed since the current truck has over 1.3 million – yes, million – miles), a trailer to transport other district equipment efficiently to work sites, as well as two new service trucks.

The board also affirmed authorization of moving forward with an online bill payment system to offer customers a better way to pay bills online. Details will be coming in the next couple months as staff completes training and implementation.

In other business, the board received the great news from the district’s water counsel, Marcus Lock, that in December, the Justice Department finally filed a water court application to legitimize the current location of Well 17. This has been a pending issue since the new well was drilled in 2012, and is one of the many details required to be sure that the District is in compliance with Colorado water law. Since the District leases its water rights from the federal government, we had to request that the Justice Department file the water court case on our behalf.   We are glad this case is now proceeding.
The February meeting of the board of directors will be held on Friday, February 19 at 9a.m. at the district office, 57 Baca Grant Way South.