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State easing sanitation district deadlines
8/10/2007 By: Melanie B Mazur
Bayfield Town Manager Justin Clifton gave some good news to the Bayfield Town Board on Tuesday night.
With the help of some lobbying from Colo. Rep. Ellen Roberts of
Brandi Calderwood brings one of her mixed-breed steers
into a chute Tuesday at the family ranch in Ignacio.
She and her brother, are members of the Ignacio Westerneers
4-H Club and will show several steers and heifers at this
weekend's La Plata County Fair.
Durango, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is willing to extend a Sept. 3 deadline that required commercial users to reduce how much waste they put into the Bayfield sanitation system.
“We have accomplished a lot,” Clifton told town trustees. With a new sewage treatment plant being designed, and construction slated for 2008, state officials appear willing to ease some of its deadlines and may visit Bayfield to discuss the issues.
Clifton said Roberts met with Jim Martin, head of the Public Health department, and asked if the agency could work on a more “solution oriented” approach, instead of strict enforcement. State Sen. Jim Isgar also has helped with the effort, Clifton said.
State and town officials might meet to re-examine the town’s growth rate and decrease in building permits and certificates of occupancy in areas served by the sanitation district.
The town issued a building moratorium earlier this year when the state appeared prepared to do so after Bayfield’s sewage influent readings exceeded state standards. The sewer district, which formerly operated as a separate entity from the town, is in the process of disbanding and will be formally taken over by the town in January.
In the meantime, town crews have removed sludge from the sanitation district settling ponds and installed a new clarifying system. The town also is working with commercial users to reduce the amount of influent, particularly food, entering the system. The district might meet its influent limits in July for the first time in several months, Clifton said.
In other action, the town board on Tuesday:
•debated building a 250,000-gallon water tank on a site donated by Jack Roe, the developer of the Highlands at Dove Ranch.
The cost for the tank came in at $657,000, higher than originally expected.
Clifton said a possible state grant and a surplus in water operating funds could help make up the difference.
Board members appeared split on whether they should proceed with building the large tank to accommodate future users.
“We’re asking existing taxpayers to take on a lot of debt,” said Trustee Niel Hieb. Trustee Russ Jones said that large a tank might not be needed now that growth is Bayfield is slowing down.
Trustee Rick Smith said he wants to see the town build the larger tank.
“Three to five years down the line, we might be just getting by,” he said.
• approved the annexation of The Highlands, a 36-unit subdivision near Dove Ranch.
•approved the annexation and minor subdivision of the 3.69-acre property where Bayfield Realty is located, owned by Dave and Linda Hardy, into two lots.
• heard an update on a proposed recycling center in Bayfield. It might be located at the current county-town maintenance yard, and would be only open on weekends, with an attendant on duty.
Trustees directed Clifton to proceed with the proposal.
The town board will meet for an all-day work session starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow in the town hall. Agenda items include the water tank, town budget, Fox Farm subdivision, rural water district, intergovernmental agreement with La Plata County, development standards, business and economic development, and the Homestead annexation.