A Public Hearing of the Board of Directors for El Rancho Florida Metropolitan District and the residents of the Subdivision were held on April 28, 2011, at 7:00 PM at the Faith Community Church of the Nazarene on Hwy. 172 in Durango.  Board members present were:

Steve Swisher – President

Jack Wasserbach – Vice President

Tony Rocha – Secretary

David Shipps – Treasurer

Robin Boucher

Also present for the meeting was Marsha Moreland – Administrator.  There were a total of 18 lots represented at the meeting -21 people present.   The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.

A brief history was given for those present on the water system of the District.  It was purchased in 1984 from the Developer and is currently a 30 year old system built with substandard materials.  In 2000, the Bowman Tract was purchased and a fee of $15/month was added to the monthly water billings for the loan payment on the Bowman Tract.  The loan was paid off early in 2004.  The fee remained to build a reserve for improvements to the water system that generated approximately $24,000/year.  In 2008 the Bond Issue was approved by the electors for system improvements in the amount of $2 million.  2011 the loan was approved by CWAPA in the amount of $1.4 million for those improvements.  The Board of Directors exhausted all options for grants and funding in the process prior to the approval of the CWAPA.  The Preliminary Engineering Plan (PER) and the Environmental Analysis (EA) were completed as a condition of the funding thru the State.  DOLA ran out of money and the District’s average income was too high for USDA money – grants or loans.

The District needs to be pro-active in collecting revenue for maintenance costs and replacement costs of the infrastructure.  There are over 5 miles of line within the system.  Some items that need replacement or work done on them are as follows:

Pump House

Isolation Valves

Replacing 4” Lines

60,000 Gallon Tank Inspection & Coating



Well head needs to be raised.

Source Security

Record keeping on System Logs

Testing Equipment

There will be a property tax mill levy assessed to make the annual loan payment on the system improvements.  It was explained that on a $300,000 assessed valuation on a home in the District it will increase taxes by $620/yr.  That is a mill levy of 26 mills.  The annual loan payment is $86,000.  The maximum the District could borrow was $1.4 million based on the District’s assessed valuation.  Hopefully construction will begin this summer buy there are still many things to be done to get to that point.  It could possibly be August or September.

The State of Colorado may impose a new classification of the water system from ‘ground water’ system to a” ground water system under the influence of surface water’.  Reclassification would require more treatment of the water and filtration.  The loan approved does not cover the costs of filtration (reclassification requirements) and can only be spent on the items noted in the PER, distribution not treatment.  A new loan would be required.  The BOD are researching all possibilities, perhaps drilling another well that would keep the current classification of the system.

There followed an open forum for questions, some of which were as follows:

1.     There are concerns of water pressure – are the 6” lines going to be replaced?  No, the 6” lines will not be replaced and the water pressure will not change that much.

2.     Will the Mill Levy ever be adjusted?  Yes, it will be adjusted annually and is based on the assessed value of the individual property owner’s lot and house.

3.     Will the Capital Assessment Fee ever go away?  Not entirely, however, that is a decision the BOD will have to make annually during the budget process.

4.     How long is the project going to take?   We really do not know until the Bids are received.  The BOD hopes that there will not be long outages of water during the construction.

5.     Would the new pump house hold the required treatment if imposed?  Yes, the pump house will be sized to accommodate the treatment necessary if required.

6.     Will a full time water operator be necessary?  Yes and the cost will be three times what the District currently budgets for operations.  Testing costs will increase as well.

7.     Will the tax be based on what is actually spent or the full 1.4 million?  Since the loan is based on even annual payments it will be the same tax amount each year, but again, it is based on the change in each homeowner’s assessment.

8.     If work cannot be done in the winter, can the project be completed in 18 months?  Yes.  The plan is to complete the work in 18 months or less.  The first part of the construction will be the pump house.   The pump house is out of the 100 year flood plane.

9.     With the type of filtration that may be required will the District be back flushing into the pond?  Not into the pond but held in a confined area, such as a septic tank, pond, etc.

There being no further discussion the hearing was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Tony Rocha, Secretary