u Rico Town Hall Monthly Newsletter u


January - 2000

 

End of Millennium Nothing More than Good Time News Years Eve festivities were held at both the Rico Theatre and Café and the Enterprise Bar and Grill. Favorable reports from party revelers were widespread throughout Town the (late) morning after. The Town turned out to be fully Y2K compliant with all computers, Town equipment, and the Town water system functioning normally Monday morning. The first significant snow storm of the winter arrived in Rico nearly on the minute of the new millennium – which some may consider to be a very good omen.

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2000 Budget AdoptedThe Town Board adopted the Town’s Budget for year 2000 at its December meeting. Copies are available at the Rico Town Hall. The projected General Fund revenues amount to $79,916.76 comprised mostly of $30,922 in property tax and $35,000 in sales tax. The projected Street Fund revenues amount to $34,300 comprised mostly of $13,000 in State Highway User Taxes, $6,000 road maintenance agreement with the U.S. Forest Service paid through Dolores County, and $10,000 from the recently adopted Street Fund property tax. The projected Water Enterprise Fund revenues amount to $101,570 comprised mostly of $85,000 in water user rates. The budget format was revised this year to isolate annual revenues and operation and maintenance expenses from special projects and grant funding. A three page Financial Policies section was also included to promote long range financial planning.

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Town Projects for 2000 – Town plans to pursue a host of projects in 2000 promising a busy start for the new year. Projects include finishing the 201 Waste Water Study (see below); expanding the water system treatment and storage capacity and replacing the main distribution line to Town; researching water rights issues and potential water rights acquisition; completing the River Corridor Planning Project; acquiring land for open space, parks or trails; working with CDOT to coordinate Hwy 145 resurfacing through Town next spring; repointing the masonry on the historic Courthouse building; pursuing restoration and preservation of the RGS Water Tank and the Atlantic Cable and Van Winkle head frames; and working with Rico Volunteer Fire District to apply for a lower fire insurance rating.

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Streets – New for this year is the 4x4 front-end loader acquired by the Town for $2,600 from CDOT. The loader will enable Town to remove snow from steep streets, alleys, and, beginning next winter, from the middle of Highway 145. Town plans to purchase a mid-range dump truck/plow/sander by next winter. The local CDOT shop donated some tires chains to Town for this beauty. The retail value of the tire chains are about as much as the Town paid for the loader – so thank Todd and James!

New (to Town) 4x4 Front-End Loader

CDOT plans to discontinue removing snow from Highway 145 next winter. The front-end loader and dump truck are necessary for snow removal operation by the Town.

Town is working to meet the additional snow removal

demand once CDOT discontinues snow removal

from the middle of main street next winter.

Residents can look forward to some dust control next summer. Due to the passage of the Street Fund property tax, the year 2000 budget includes $5,000 for magnesium chloride applications. This amount will allow the Town to apply dust control to approximately ˝ of the Town streets.

The Town leased this property at the west end of Mantz Ave. this winter for snow dumping. This property is being studied for acquisition by the Town for long term snow storage due to its central location and suitability for snow storage.

The Town Board supported installation of street signs next summer at its December Board meeting due to recommendations by the Fire Department that street signs would improve emergency response time and consequently improve the Town’s insurance rating review application. Delivery services have also requested street signs in Rico.

Finally, the Town Board plans to conduct a public hearing regarding street lights. If you prefer to see a street light remain on or be turned off in your neighborhood please attend the January 12 Trustee meeting or send a written comment to Eric Heil, Town Manager, at P.O. Box 56, Rico, CO 81332, faxed to (970) 967-2864, or e-mailed to ericheil@frontier.net, by January 11th.

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River Corridor Planning Project – The Rico Planning Commission will continue with the River Corridor Planning Project this winter and spring. The Town has approximately $35,000 remaining to use for planning, studying, surveying, and legal work for the project. A comprehensive document identifying existing conditions of the river corridor, desired trail alignments, park improvements, capital costs and improvement plan, property ownership issues, and prioritization of future project will probably be available for public hearing and review this summer. The Planning Commission will review property ownership issues at its next regular meeting on January 25th. Currently, the Town does not own any property or access easements along the Dolores River through Town.

River Corridor in Town

Study area for potential recreation bridge crossing – approx. 1 block north of water tank

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Code Enforcement – The Town Board reaffirmed concern about code enforcement at its December meeting. Inoperable vehicles, building violations and dog licenses topped the list of concerns. In order to follow through on code enforcement matters the Town will most likely reactivate the municipal court within the next couple months. The year 2000 budget includes a line item for contract law enforcement for traffic control, so activation of a municipal court will be necessary for traffic tickets. If you haven’t registered your dog yet please do it as soon as possible. 1997 dog tags will be good through year 2000.

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201 Waste Water StudyA revised final version of the Town of Rico’s 201 Waste Water Facility Plan has been received by the Town. The 201 Study analyses waste water generation and treatment in the Rico region (an area generally within 1˝ miles of Town). The Study includes information about existing conditions and the local environment, projected future conditions, potential wastewater treatment systems, and an evaluation of four different treatment systems.

Service Area: The proposed initial service area would include the commercial main street area, River Street, Soda Street west of Hwy 145, Hancock Street, Mantz Ave. east of Hwy 145, and portions of Commercial and Silver Street approximately ˝ block on either side of Mantz Ave. A later second phase would include the remaining existing platted portions of Town. The initial service area would use 4,900 to 6,950 lineal feet of main collector lines, 1,560 to 2,020 lineal feet of lateral collector lines, 4’ man holes, would serve 50 to 70 taps, and would cost an estimated $1.3 to 1.5 million dollars. The report also states that the additional cost of locating a treament plant significantly father to the south (5,000 lineal ft. from south boundary of Town) would be an additional $200,000.00.

Treatment System: The four treatment systems analyzed in the report include (1) Aeration Lagoon, (2) Rotating Biological Contactor, (3) Sequential Batch Reactor, and (4) Extended Aeration Activated Sludge. The Study recommends a Rotating Biological Contactor treatment system due to its effectiveness in treatment, simplicity in design, ability to expand, and small contained size. The estimated cost of an initial Phase I treatment system is $915,000.00.

Operation and Maintenance: The Study estimates that the proposed treatment system would require a part-time operator and would involve O&M costs of $46,100 annually or $3,842 monthly.

Costs and Financing: The proposed Phase I total cost estimates range from $2.2 million to $2.6 million. The financing could, for example, include $750,000 from Small Community Wastewater Facility Grants, $250,000 from Energy Impact Assistance Grants, and the balance funded through Federal loan programs at 4.5% interest rates. Direct cost to Town after grant funding is $1.2 to $1.6 million amounting to annual debt service payments of $73,000 to $97,300 for 30 years. Sewer plant tap fees typically range from $3,500 to $5000 per residential tap plus $750 to $1,000 for tap installation charges to connect a house to the system. Monthly fees may be based on water usage and would likely range from $40 to $55 to meet the minimum monthly O&M costs. Assuming a Town wide availability fee or supporting property tax to assist with costs, the estimated cost of connecting into this proposed system would amount to a total average monthly cost for all fees and taxes of $80 to $100 per residence.

Public Hearing: The Board of Trustees will conduct a public hearing before considering adoption of the Study on February 9th, 2000, during its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Rico Town Hall. A copy of the 201 Study is available for review at the Rico Town Hall. Written comments may be mailed to Eric Heil, Town Manager, at P.O. Box 56, Rico, CO 81332, faxed to (970) 967-2864, or e-mailed to ericheil@frontier.net. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on February 1st, 2000 to be included in the Board of Trustees packets for their review and consideration. Public input is critical because a Waste Water Treatment Facility will effect everyone living in Rico or owning property in Rico.

Additional Alternatives to 201 Study: The 201 Study was prepared by Denver engineering firm, Rothberg, Tamburini & Windsor (RTW), with funding provided by a state grant of $21,120, and Town matching funds of $5,280. The Town’s contract with RTW amounted to $20,000 leaving a balance of $6,400. The Town Board plans to hire another waste water engineering consultant to prepare an analysis of a down-scaled alternative system to serve primarily the main street commercial area. This down-scaled alternative system would supplement the 201 Study.

Purpose of 201 Study: A 201 Study is a prerequisite to the Town’s eligibility for State and Federal grants and low interest loans for waste water treatment facilities. The Town is not restricted to constructing a particular system recommended in a 201 Study and may supplement a 201 Study with additional treatment system alternatives. Once a 201 Study is adopted and a treatment system acceptable to the community is determined the next step involves complete designs of the system and applying for construction financing.

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Boards and Commissions

(meetings at Town Hall unless otherwise noted)

Board of Trustees – Wed. January 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Home Rule Charter Commission – Thurs. Jan. 13 and 27.

Rico Business Association – every Thursday at noon – place to be determined

Law Enforcement Advisory Committee – Date to be Determined

Rico Planning Commission – Tues. January 25 at 7:00 p.m.

Board and Commission vacancies: 5 Director seats are open on the Rico Business Association. No other Board or Commission vacancies exist at this time. If you wish to apply for appointment to a vacant Board or Commission seat please send a letter to Linda Yellowman, Town Clerk, at P.O. Box 56, Rico, CO 81332 or fax to (970) 967-2862.

Maybe it wasn’t the whitest Christmas but more

than a foot fell on Rico for the New Year