Sewer Plan B Technology Option Reviewed

Rico Board of Trustees

regular monthly meeting

- January 15th, 2020 -

  • New trustee appointed to fill vacancy.
  • Audience participation extended to agenda items.
  • Future of privately-owned hot springs and trails properties considered.

Trustees present
Nicole Pieterse (Mayor Pro Tem), Brandy Randall, Joe Dillsworth, Esteban Roberts, Sophia Kyriakakis
Trustees absent
Barbara Betts - (Mayor)

12 (approximate)

Citizens Communication

Comments about past Board of Trustees meetings procedure for "motion, second and discussion" from Paul Ruud. Following a "motion and second," he stated, a vote on the motion occurs, with no discussion of the motion by Trustees prior to the vote. Mr. Rudd suggested that discussion should occur before Trustees vote on a motion.

Another suggestion from Mr. Ruud to allow public comment about agenda Action Items affected the interaction between Trustees and audience for the remainder of the meeting. Following Trustees' discussion of each Action Item on the agenda, Mayor Pro Tem requested questions from the audience.

Appointment of new board member

From Town Manager's explanatory notes in the Board Packet:

"As you know, Zach McManus has resigned his seat on the Rico Board of Trustees. Mayor Pro Tem, Barbara Betts has taken over as Mayor and Nicole Pieterse was appointed as Mayor Pro Tem at the December meeting. This process left the Board short one member. Linda Yellowman noticed the vacancy as per the requirements of the Rico Town Charter. We have two applicants, Pat Fallon and Allyn Svoboda. Their letters of interest are included in this packet. It is worth noting that Allyn Svoboda ran unsuccessfully for the Rico Board of Trustees in November. He came in fourth in the vote count. The successful applicant will be completing Zach McManus’s term and will be up for re-election in November."

Trustees unanimously appointed Pat Fallon, the oath of office was administered, and the newest Trustee was seated at the Board table.

Action Items

1st Reading of the Amended 2019 budget
From Town Manager's explanatory notes in the Board Packet:

At the end of every year, once we have an accurate picture of how much money we have
spent during the year, we amend the prior year’s budget. This year enjoyed higher than
anticipated revenues but we also had major unanticipated expenses to keep the Town Hall intact.

Consideration of a fee agreement with Town's attorney, Carol Viner. Purpose: attorney is no longer in a partnership and has started a new practice.

Consideration of an eligible governmental entity agreement with the Internet portal authority of the State of Colorado. Purpose: grant funds to purchase ArcView GIS (geographic information system) software license. Town Manager's present GIS version is "a hand-me-down program from San Miguel County," and lacks some useful features.

Appointment of a member (alternate) to the South West Colorado Council of Governments (SWCCOG). Purpose: these meetings conflict with San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) meetings. Rico is now a member of SMART following Rico voters' approval of joining SMART at the November 2019 general election. Rico Town Manager needs to attend SMART meetings as Rico’s operations manager. If Rico is to continue as a member of SWCCOG Board, appointing a Trustee is needed.


SWWCOG Board has been involved with broadband Internet telecommunications, housing and transportation.

Appointment of a member (alternate) to the Region 9 Board.
Town Manager has been Rico’s member of the Region 9 Board. Meetings are quarterly. Town Manager is usually able to attend, but an alternate is desirable.

Region 9 is involved in economic development in rural areas. The next Region 9 meeting is January 30th.

Signature cards for Dolores State Bank.
Town of Rico requires two signatures on every check written. Town Clerk is one signature, and three Trustees are eligible to sign.

Sewer Plan B

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ORENCO Advantex Treatment System. Image from Preliminary Evaluation of an Advantex Treatment Facility - January 6, 2020 provided to Town of Rico by SCG Enterprises Inc - Conifer CO & Logan UT.

Goals: construct central sewer system for commercial buildings on Glasgow which are not compliant with State regulations. Town Hall’s cesspool could fail, making it "dysfunctional."

Preliminary estimated construction cost of packaged plants manufactured by ORENCO is $1,696,441, which includes a 20% contingency but not engineering costs. Grant eligibility through the State Revolving Fund for engineering is expected.

If Department of Local Affairs provides a construction cost 50% match grant, and if and a low interest loan (1.5%), is available, Town of Rico's financing cost could could be $49,117 per year.

From Board Packet notes:

"The money that currently exists and comes in to the sewer enterprise fund through taxes would be used along with user fees for maintenance."

The ORENCO systems requires a "Delos Processor" to be installed in each individual building. Delos Processor maintenance costs may affect financial feasibility of the ORENCO system.

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ORENCO Delos Processor. Image from Preliminary Evaluation of an Advantex Treatment Facility - January 6, 2020 provided to Town of Rico by SCG Enterprises Inc - Conifer CO & Logan UT.

Town Manager proposed a discussion with Glasgow Avenue property and business owners to determine if support for this approach exists.

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Proposed Rico central sewer service area. Sewer mains shown in red, parcels to be served highlighted in purple crosshatch. Town of Rico map contained in Trustees Packet - January 6, 2020

Town Manager proposed to appoint a Sewer Committee consisting of Rico citizens who have interest or knowledge of other wastewater treatment technologies.

Comments from audience supported Sewer Plan B and further research of alternative wastewater treatment technologies.

Rico Center grant application

From Board Packet notes:
". . . the Town applied for grants from the Rico Center for snow removal costs and to fix and buy chains for the old, smaller loader. We also applied for funding to reseal the Town Hall masonry. We got funding for snow removal and repairs to the small loader, $34,178.38 and sealing on the Town Hall masonry, $13,000."

License agreement for the Hot Springs property

Town Manager is negotiating for use of the hot springs property. A draft easement agreement was sent to the owner of the hot springs property (Mr. Swanky). The owner did not approve the easement. Town Manager requested Town Attorney's advice about a possible license agreement, which was provided and edited.


Comments and questions from Trustees and audience:

  • What is the goal of obtaining a license agreement?  Hot springs users are trespassing. Town is unable to advertise hot springs on Town website.
  • Who is responsible for keeping hot springs tidy, for providing maintenance? Maintenance may be needed if Town acquires license to use the site.
  • Homeless population.  Fence and gate may be needed to prevent driving to the hot springs by users who may wish to set-up residence.
  • Parking is inadequate.

Annexation of Popek property

Mike Popek purchased property south of a parcel which he owns from Lynne Markey. Mr. Popek has expressed a willingness to extend the trail easement that he has previously agreed-to with Town to include the second parcel. This will create a continuous trail easement from the Rio Grande Southern Railroad Grade trail through Town to the US Forest Service trail south of Mr. Popek's properties.

After purchasing the Markey property, Mr. Popek asked Town Manager whether Town may annex commercial property. He may wish to build a campground on the properties.

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Dolores County Geographic Information System map, Ore Cart labels and highlights.

From Board Packet Notes:
"There are both advantages and disadvantages to annexation. The advantage would be that the Town could collect sales tax on the campground. The disadvantage would be that while he would have to install his own improvements, roads, water, electric etc., the Town would likely have to maintain them once the annexation occurred."

2020 Workplan

Board of Trustees scheduled a Work Session for February 5, 2020 -- 6:00 PM at Town Hall -- to review the 2020 Workplan.