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Granada Trustees Discuss Funding for New Water Infrastructure Project

Granada

Granada

Several Granada Trustees were available for a work session Wednesday evening, June 15th, but not enough for a quorum.  The community is exploring plans to refurbish most of the water lines that run through Granada, but financing is the prime concern at this point.  The steps for the new water system as well as financing it were laid out for the Trustees by Thomas McClernan and David Frisch, consulting engineers from GMS, Inc. of Colorado Springs.

Tom McClernan and David Frisch of GMS Inc.

Tom McClernan and David Frisch of GMS Inc.

No decisions could be made due to a lack of Trustees, but the comprehensive work session lasted for more than 90 minutes, a chance for the engineers to lay out what has been proposed for the water distribution upgrades in a rough draft, and some available funding and grants that can provide for the bulk of the construction.

“The study we’re providing to you will be a good source for a demographic breakdown of the Granada community,” explained Frisch. He said it would be useful for any future economic development planned for the community, which is one of the reasons for the water upgrades.  “You have excellent water, but due to of the age of the cast iron pipes; there is some water loss, at least 10% or more at this point.  That’s a pretty tight system, but it’s based on a study of only eleven months.  A range of from three to five years would probably show more leakage.”  This came from a brief comparison between water production from the town’s wells and customer usage.  The consultants told the Trustees the current average water usage per customer was 191 gallons per day and was approximately 96,000 gallons for the town per day.  Future water sources should be able to handle future water needs 20 years from now, estimated at 100,000 gallons per day for Granada.

Granada has five wells and three main storage tanks and one well has not been in production for some time. There is one 50,000 gallon tank which is fed by two larger tanks, the one at Camp Amache can store 189,000 gallons and the second tank can hold 220,000 gallons.  There might be a need for re-drilling a fourth well and that would run into additional costs.

McClernan and Frisch said there are grants available through the Department of Local Affairs as well as a clean drinking water revolving fund from the state which can dramatically cut down on local costs. A rough estimate of the complete project, wells and pipeline, would cost approximately $2.2M with $1.17M for the distribution system and administrative costs and another million dollars for rehabilitating the tanks and drilling the fourth well. “I don’t think you’d have any problem qualifying for the status as a disadvantaged town,” Frisch explained, which would help secure the grants.  He added that would help pay for a zero percent, 30 year, Drinking Water Revolving Fund loan which could save 80% of the cost of the project.

The consultants laid out the timeline for the project, which if approved, would start around July with discussions with funding agencies. The design drawings would be put together from July through November called a project needs assessment, as well as the pre-application for the loan.  That would be submitted to the state health department for consideration of the drinking water revolving fund.  They expect to receive word on the funding commitments by March of next year and the project would go out for bids by April and continue the upgrades through the summer.  It’s estimated the matching funds from the town for the project would be $55,000.  The Trustees decided to hold one more meeting this month, June 29th for additional discussion and to approve the final wording of Ordinance 2016-003 for the selling of the town’s electrical system which will be decided in the November general election.  Town hall meetings to discuss the ballot initiative are going to be scheduled for the community.

By Russ Baldwin

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