-2005 Wastewater System Improvement Project-
The Town's wastewater treatment plant (sewer lagoon) was determined to be at 95% of its rated organic capacity. Not only did this limit the Town of Deer Trail to only 11 new sewer taps, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requires construction for expansion when a facility reaches 95% of its capacity. In July, 2000, the Board of Trustees began planning for expansion options.
The Town received a grant of $18,000 from the CDPHE for an engineering study to evaluate wastewater treatment plant expansion alternatives and collection system (main sewer line) requirements. The study contract was awarded to GMS, Inc. Evaluation of the treatment plant was required by the state, and replacement of the Town's remaining deteriorating clay lines was considered.
GMS, Inc. began the wastewater study. They reviewed utility services, town plats, collection system maps, population projections, employers, budgets, audits, flood plain, topography, number of users, assessed valuation, mill levy, water usage, debt, problem areas in the wastewater treatment facility and collection system, sewage flows, monitoring records, and health department reports.
GMS, Inc. met with the Deer Trail Board of Trustees and presented, discussed, and explained results and options from the extensive study done for the wastewater treatment facility and collection system. After reviewing options, and upon the recommendation of GMS, Inc., the Board selected an aerated lagoon with deepened settling cell and sewer line replacement. The current lagoon will be slightly removed and regraded in order to move it out of the 100-year flood plain, a new lagoon will be installed, a lift station and force main will be installed, and the Town's existing clay lines will be replaced. The project will allow for an addition of approximately 270 new sewer taps.
Project reports, prepared by GMS, Inc., were submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utility Services, CDPHE (Water Quality and Air Pollution Control), Department of Local Affairs, Deer Trail Conservation District, Colorado Water Conservation Board, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Arapahoe County, Colorado Historical Society, and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG).
The Town applied to Rural Development for financial assistance totaling $1,717,000 for the project ($717,000 loan and $1,000,000 grant). Notice for the request of financial assistance was published in the Tri-County Tribune.
The CDPHE notified the Town by letter that its sewer system was exceeding the 95% hydraulic limit and expansion of the facility was required.
The Town signed an agreement with Rural Development, the funding source for the project, agreeing to: a repayment schedule over a period of 40 years; interim financing (construction loan with First National Bank at 4.375% for one year); a Sewer Revenue bond; management plan for the new facility; insurance and bonding; reserve funds; audits; plans and specifications; sewer rate schedule to produce enough revenue to repay the loan portion of financing; legal services agreement; etc.
Rate restructuring research began with Bill Hogrewe, Rural Community Assistance Corporation.
Final approval of the site design was given by DRCOG and CDPHE.
Bidding on the project began.
The Board again met with Bill Hogrewe to discuss rate increases.
Six companies bid on the sewer project. Interstate Irrigation, Inc. of Yuma, low bidder, was awarded the project. According to the contract, Interstate Irrigation may purchase and store supplies for the project before it begins in mid-March.
Bill Hogrewe met with the Board of Trustees to review rate options.
A pre-construction meeting was held Monday, March 21 at the Deer Trail Town Hall. Nineteen people attended including representatives from GMS, Inc., Interstate Irrigation, Champion Cable, IREA, Bijou Telephone Co-op, Eastern Colorado Utility, the Town of Deer Trail, and residents.
The sewer project is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 18, 2005.
SEWER RATE INCREASE
Sewer rates will be raised in the next couple of months to enable the Town to pay back the $717,000 portion of the project. The rates will include a base fee plus a proportional fee, based on water usage in the three lowest-use months, December, January, and February. The Board of Trustees is working diligently to develop a sewer user charge system that will be both equitable to residents and be sufficient to pay back the loan.
The Town of Deer Trail was required by CDPHE to increase the capacity of its sewer lagoon. Since a portion of it currently lies in the 100-year flood plain, the lagoon had to be moved in order to be approved by CDPHE and DRCOG. If the Town's lagoon capacity continued to be in violation of CDPHE guidelines, Deer Trail was in danger of being assessed large fines or even possibly losing control of its wastewater system. In conjunction with the lagoon project, all the old, clay lines in the Town's collection system will be replaced.
Letters will be sent to property owners that will be directly affected by the upcoming sewer project. Maps and specifications for the project are available for review at the Town Hall. Questions about the project or rate increases may be directed to any member of the Board of Trustees or the Town Hall, 303/769-4464.