Sanitation board meeting set to discuss IGA

CENTER — Town of Center Attorney Mike Trujillo said he spoke with the town’s sanitation board attorney recently to arrange a meeting to discuss renegotiation of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the board concerning the operation of the sanitation district. 

Trujillo hinted he may send a notice of termination of the current IGA unless he is successful in arranging a meeting with the board. He complained that he cannot meet with the board because their president, former Center Schools superintendent George Welsh, is not able to attend. 

Welsh, now superintendent of schools in Canon City, still owns property in Center and by law is allowed to sit on boards as a property owner. Trujillo challenges this assumption and said he is going to look into special district rules to see if this is the case. Trustee Bill McClure suggested the town raise the rates paid by the sanitation district and suggested a meeting be held where Welsh could Skype in if he cannot attend.

McClure also commented that the town will need to meet with the board sooner than later in order to adjust their budget to the new rates following renegotiation of the IGA. Town Administrator Brian Lujan agreed, setting a meeting date with the sanitation board for Dec. 10, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

New dental clinic

Attorney Trujillo read a resolution to the board agreeing to administer a block grant through the Department of Local Affairs awarded to Valleywide Health Services (VWHS) to renovate the former Jehovah Witnesses Hall on Broadway for their new dental clinic. The resolution declared Center would help VWHS carry out a major portion of the project activities.

The resolution stated it is desirable that Center enter into the agreement with VWHS. The board voted unanimously to participate in the project. Dante Gonzales with VWHS thanked the town and said the next step is to complete the grant application process and hold a public hearing sometime in January. Gonzales said the project planning will begin in August, but construction would not begin until 2020.

Employee insurance

Lujan told the board he has been comparing insurance policies for employees and believes the Anthem Gold coverage would be the best for the town. The board discussed their options and there were questions raised about the town paying more for some employees who are older than younger employees.

Some trustees disagreed on the issue and requested more time to study the situation. The matter was tabled until the board could discuss the questions raised during the meeting. 

Consaul wells

The board heard a report from town project manager and building inspector/code enforcement officer David Mahaffie on the rehabilitation of the Consaul wells, located on property owned by the town just outside Center. The town plans to eventually annex the property.

Mahaffie told trustees the two big wells are not grouted, and the wells need to be tested for contaminants. One well is also pretty well pitted, he said, and the town will have to decide how much money they want to put into the wells. 

Trujillo told the board the town may not be able to convert the irrigation wells to domestic status because it is too cost prohibitive. He suggested they consider going to a junior right, since converting the wells to domestic would mean the loss of “tons of water.” Trustee Bill McClure commented the town also could sell the wells and use the money to buy augmented water.

Trujillo added that the town is in good shape water wise and can thank previous boards for buying the water “cheap” from the conservancy district years ago.

Miscellaneous business

The board also approved the following:

• $500 for the Center Christmas Parade

• $500 for Parks and Recreation/Pee Wee sports 

• The completion of the Center water tower project

• A request from Enrique Aguilar for a conditional use permit to open an alignment and brake shop on commercial property near the school, contingent on the agreement of adjacent property owners to the project.

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