Town of Rico
January 2003 Newsletter

Special Election on Tuesday, January 14th

On Tuesday, January 14th, two elections will be held. The first election is a special municipal election for Mayor and three Trustee seats. Tom Clark is the only candidate for Mayor. There are four candidates running for the three open Trustee seats: Bruce Kinsey, Steve Snelling, Eric Reeser, and Genevieve Yellowman.

The much anticipated Rico School Reorganization election will also be held on Tuesday, January 14th. The Board of Trustees unanimously passed Resolution 2002-2 last November stating: “The Board of Trustees Hereby Supports the Voter Approval of Final Plan of Organization for the Rico School.” Copies of the Rico School Organization Plan are available for review at the office of the Town Clerk during normal business hours.

The polling place will be conducted at the Town Hall, 2 N. Commercial Street. The polling place will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.


Jones Park Playground

Town expects to receive notification from Great Outdoors Colorado regarding grant funding to construct a children’s playground in Jones Park. The playground is estimated to cost $23,000. Town has applied for $15,000.00 in state grant funding and has approved an appropriation of $3,000.00 from the Parks fund. The remaining $5,000.00 is expected to be raised by donations. To date, the playground volunteers have raised $4,000.00. Please contact Barb Turrin or Holly Bennett if you are interested in making a donation for a new playground in Rico.

Notice of Flood Plain Moratorium

Notice is hereby given that Ordinance No. 2002-6 Enacting a Temporary Development Restriction for All Flood Plain Areas was adopted on final reading at the December 18th, 2002, regular Rico Board of Trustees meeting. The effective date of the ordinance is December 18th, 2002. The Town Board reduced the proposed duration of the moratorium from 10 months to 4 months. The full text of the ordinance is available for public inspection at the office of the Town Clerk, (970) 967-2861.

Town staff is currently drafting flood plain regulations which meet the minimum federal requirements for grant funding of the sewer system and for the National Flood Plain Insurance program. These proposed flood plain regulations should be available for public review Monday, January 13th, at the office of the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will review these proposed flood plain regulations as part of various land use code amendments at a special meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2003.

Notice of Public Hearing

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Trustees will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, February 19th, 2003, at 7:00 PM., or as soon thereafter as possible, at the Rico Town Hall, located at 2 Commercial Street, Rico, Colorado 81332 concerning the following matters: 1. Second Reading of Ordinance No. 2002-5 Amending Ordinance No. 312 concerning the regulation of dogs. 2. Second reading of Ordinance No. 2002-8, Requiring an Affidavit for Write-In Candidate.

The Town Hall will be closed on January 20th in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Rico Renaissance Master Plan Amendment Application

The Planning Commission has scheduled a special meeting on at the Rico Town Hall on February 11, 2003, 6:30 P.M. regarding the continuation of the December 3, 2002, public hearing of the Rico Renaissance Master Plan Amendment application. A worksession has been tentatively scheduled for the regular January 28th, 2003, Planning Commission meeting to discuss overall density with representatives of Rico Renaissance.


In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost


Klinke & Lew - Contractors hired for courthouse restoration

From left to right:
David Singer, Construction Manager;
Fritz Klinke, President Klinke & Lew;
Michael Bell, Architect;
Richard Lippoth, Pinnacle Quarry & Development Co.

Rico Courthouse Restoration Project

The Town expects to begin restoration of the Rico Courthouse (Town Hall) this month. Initial work will focus on the interior of the building which will involve stabilizing the attic/roof structure. Restoration of the exterior is planned to begin in May when the snow melts. Please be aware that this construction activity may affect the availability of Town Hall for private events.

Mine Discharges

A water quality assessment of mine discharges has been completed by Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc., of Fort Collins, CO, and a copy has been provided to the Town. The report, dated Dec. 23rd, 2002, is titled, “Upper Dolores Basin and Silver Creek Basin Water Quality and Discharge Monitoring Summary.” This report was conducted by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and paid for by Atlantic Richfield Company. This report is being reviewed by Town Staff. On preliminary review the report analysis water sampling events from July 2002 of the St. Louis Tunnel effluent discharge as well as numerous other sampling points for the various tailings pile.

A new discharge has been identified along Silver Creek near the lower tram tower. The water quality assessment is intended to serve as a basis for prioritizing treatment and remediation as well as determining the appropriate discharge limit requirements. This report will be analyzed and summary will be provided in the next newsletter explaining the type, amounts and location of various metal discharges into the Dolores River.

The Town Manager and Town Attorney conducted a phone meeting with representatives of ARCO and Rico Renaissance concerning the Brownfields project and cooperation on a new treatment facility for the St. Louis Tunnel Discharge. During this meeting ARCO representatives indicated that they desired the Town of Rico to hold the discharge permit for the treatment facility and proposed that a non-profit organization be formed to hold title to treatment area site including the settling ponds. It was represented that the board of directors of this non-profit organization would include representatives from ARCO, the Town of Rico, and Rico Renaissance, and that the non-profit would decide the use of properties with regard to light industrial development. Some of the potential light industrial development was envisioned to be conveyed back to Rico Renaissance for private development.

The Town Board reviewed these proposal terms and took action at the December 18th meeting to reply with the following positions: (1) the Town does not interested in being an applicant or holder of a discharge permit of the St. Louis Tunnel treatment system, and (2) the Town is not interested in forming a non-profit business entity with Rico Renaissance to co-own property. The Town has taken previous action to request the EPA to begin enforcement proceedings and has requested that representatives of the EPA and Attorney General’s office attend a community meeting in Rico to explain the water quality violations, the enforcement process, and the status of enforcement actions. Currently, the EPA is prosecuting Rico Development Corporation and its officers, Wayne Webster and Virginia Sell, for violations of the Clean Water Act. The St. Louis Tunnel treatment system was abandoned in fall of 1996.

Water Rights

The Town Board is reviewing a draft of a water user’s agreement with the Dolores Water Conservancy District at its regular meeting in January.

Sewer System

The Town hopes to hear grant funding decisions from the EPA, Economic Development Administration and USDA Rural Development by late February. A draft preliminary engineering report is currently being reviewed by federal agencies and is available at the Town Clerks office for public review. Once comments by federal agencies are received and incorporated the Town will revise this draft Preliminary Engineering Report and schedule public hearings by the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees. It is hoped that such public hearings will be scheduled later this winter. The Town is also trying to finish an environmental assessment with the help of Rural Community Assistance Corporation, a non-profit supported by Rural Development that has offered to prepare the Environmental Assessment at no cost to the Town.

The Preliminary Engineering Report proposes two approaches to sewer, (1) an initial main street core system that could be expanded, and (2) a town wide system. Under either scenario a main street core system would be constructed first. The main street core system would cost $2,800,000.00, including property acquisition, installing collection lines, constructing a treatment plant, and various engineering and consultant fees. The Town wide system is estimated to cost a total $5,200,000.00 which would extend collection lines to all platted properties in Town. Town is applying for federal and state grant in the amount of 70% to 90% of the total project costs.

Overview of the St. Louis Tunnel/Settling Ponds north of Town

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