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Granada Trustees Renew SECPA Contract for 2018, Shutting Off Delinquent Utility Accounts

Granada

The Granada Trustees discussed several ordinance changes, as well as selecting a new bank for the town, renewed an electrical service contract and purchased streetlights during their monthly meeting, November 8th.

The Trustees agreed the ordinance governing mobile home placement and inspections in the community was vague and needed to be re-written. At issue is a 20 year cut off period as to whether mobile homes moved within the community or brought into the town needed an inspection before being settled on a site.  The use of golf carts on public streets, especially at night, was also discussed.  Golf carts have been used on Halloween nights to move trick or treating kids from one neighborhood to another.  Safety concerns for carts without lights of any kind was discussed, as some are equipped with front and rear lights and perhaps even turn signals, while some have no lights at all.  The Trustees decided to allow carts on Halloween, provided they are lighted.  The town’s Personnel and Policies Procedure Manual is out of date.  The Trustees said they will hold several sessions to bring the policies up to date and will make sure every town employee has one for future reference.

The Trustees approved a new contract with SECPA for electric power although this contract will be in effect until 2027. Some incremental ‘adder’ rate adjustments are built into the agreement, but Mayor Glenn Otto said that expense will be put upon the town and not the customers.  There was considerable discussion on unpaid utility bills and the steps needed to recoup delinquent accounts.  Town Clerk, Jackie Malone, said back payments are in the neighborhood of $20,000 with several accounts running delinquent by as many as six months.

Power customers have the option of paying in person by cash or check, credit card or online, but the standard policy has been a power shut-off for a 30-day delinquent account, although it has not been strictly enforced. That will be changing as notices will be sent out in future utility bills.  Residents will also be given until December 1st to come to the town complex to set up some sort of payment plan which will incorporate past due bills into their monthly bill until the balance is paid off.  Malone said no current credit check on customers is being conducted right now when they apply for service.  The Trustees discussed using a collection agency.  Trustee Sanchez said Lamar has been using a service for some time and new Trustee Pete Hernandez suggested that the town main keep in constant touch with delinquent residents.

The Trustees approved the purchase of new, LED lights for the community which will help cut back on utility costs. It was noted that the local Stop 2 Shop store in town was retro-fitting the business with LED lights as a cost-cutting measure.

Mayor Otto said he has placed several calls to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding a deadline extension on having to close the public landfill. “I’ve put in several calls, but they haven’t responded to any of them as yet,” he told the Trustees.  The town was given an October deadline to pay a penalty fee for landfill infractions, but has not sent any money at this time, mostly under advisement of the Prowers County Commissioners.  They, with other small communities, are pushing for legislation which will allow these towns to have more leeway to maintain their own operations.  Otto said another regional meeting is set for late November in Colorado Springs.

Mayor Otto, who is a PEP (Prowers Economic Prosperity) board member, said the economic organization has been holding outreach meetings in each county community and wanted to hold their December 5th meeting at the Granada Complex.  The meeting will include a catered lunch for a $10 fee and is open to the public.  Those wanting to attend should contact the town clerk by November 30th at 734-5411.  The next Trustees meeting will be held December 13th.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedPolice ReportPublic SafetyTransportationUtilities

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