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Holly Trustees Decide on Well Issue

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The Holly Trustees decided to use a reconditioned pump for the town’s south well and place it 20 feet higher than before in an effort to put the well back into production. The well was taken off line several months ago when residents began to notice sediment in their water.  The Trustees have considered several options for repair and even replacement, but decided during their monthly meeting, June 1st to place the pump to a higher position and run it to see what happens.  Delays on parts and repairs dragged out any lasting remedy.  Cameras were used twice to inspect the problem from the well shaft, a consultant offered several suggestions and Trustees briefly considered a new well, but the $200,000 price tag, plus the amount of time needed for a grant, site selection, drilling and replacement equipment quickly ended that option.  The rebuilt pump was expected to be ready by the first weekend in June.  The Trustees will determine their next steps based on water quality and performance.

The Trustees tabled discussion of the water backflow and cross/connect requirements facing the town from the night’s agenda until they’ve had a chance to review how the survey of the water users in town would be applied. Administrator Jerry L’Estrange explained that restaurants would be the primary focus in the community while most residential meter system would be exempt from installing a system that prevents contamination of the basic water flow through the town from a backwash situation.  He added that if some residences are supplied from one central line, they would be obligated to install a backflow device.  This as a state mandated requirement from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The Town of Holly has approximately $22,000 to spend this year on road repair and the Trustees singled several streets where the need is greatest, mainly along 7th and 10th Streets, sections north of Cheyenne Street, which, according to L’Estrange, “Are pretty sizable areas.”  He added that due to limited funds, some form of triage, the Trustees need to decide which roads are placed at the top of the list.  Major overlays are not financially feasible right now and the local asphalt company that supplies Holly’s needs is not currently producing loads less than 50 tons, considerable less that the town needs.

Discussion also centered on the degree to which heavy truck loads are creating problems on some streets at turn-around points, or just due to their weight in general. There’s a ten ton limit in Holly for vehicle weight loads.  The Trustees acknowledged the difficulty in regulating overnight or long term parking because hauling materials is the only way some residents earn their livelihood.  Trustee Lyons stated, “Most of these people live in town, but their jobs take them to other places, not here.  We don’t want to drive them out, because they could just as easily move to another place.  They live here and park their trucks here, but work in other locations.”  L’Estrange suggested some sort of common parking acreage that would be maintained with electricity and a level and plowed area through the year.  “It might only cost $10 a customer a month for the service which is probably the same amount they pay for electricity on some of their rigs at their houses.”  He said there may be some property west of Holly that would be acceptable.  The Trustees said a public hearing on any developments would be required.

An earlier REDI Grant for rural economic development from the state was potentially earmarked for acreage and a lift station for the eastern border of Holly, but any firm development is pending. L’Estrange said he was contacted by DOLA representative, Lee Merkel, who suggested that there were some seldom sought grants that might be beneficial to Holly.  The administrator said he and the town clerk, borrowed portions of an earlier engineering study for a road bore project where Second Street crosses Highway 50.  The total project involving a multitude of streets and land is almost $750,000, and L’Estrange said the town couldn’t finance the matching funds on that. Instead they applied for a smaller grant of $79,000 for Second Street which is connected to the larger project.  He said the city’s in-kind contribution would combine labor and $5,000 cash.  They will await word on the grant’s approval.

Keith Dennis, the town’s new Field Services Supervisor, met with the Trustees and L’Estrange said his background, especially on electrical areas will be a bonus for future community projects.

By Russ Baldwin

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