Poncha Springs trustees moved forward on the town’s water infrastructure project Monday as they voted unanimously to approve a loan from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) and to accept a bid for work on the water trunk line.

The trustees opened their first meeting of 2018 by unanimously approving continuation of the established posting places, meeting places and staff holidays.

They then adjourned and convened as the board of the Water Activity Enterprise Fund.

As that board, they considered Ordinance 2018-1, a 30-year, zero percent interest loan through the CWRPDA not to exceed $2,450,000 for construction of a new water tower and improvements to the town’s water system.

Brian Berger, town administrative officer, presented the ordinance to the board of trustees. He explained that it originally was proposed to fund the trunk line with reserves, but because this loan had been lowered to zero percent interest, with repayments not due to begin for six to eight months, it was the best choice for the town.

He said in a memo to the board that this allowed the best options for well designs and type of elevated tank, and the town was “by no means” required to use the entire amount.

Joe DeLuca with the Crabtree Group, the engineering firm for the trunk line, presented the six bids received for the job.

Lowry Contracting, with a bid of $476,928.68, came in more than $200,000 less than the next lowest bid from ESCO Construction, at $687,784.

DeLuca said that such a low bid would normally raise red flags, but there were several reasons Lowry could bid the job lower, including the fact that some of the trunk line would actually be running on its land, which meant Lowry knew the property and would not have to move any equipment.

Trustees agreed with DeLuca and unanimously awarded the job to Lowry.

In their last order of business as the water board, the trustees decided to table until next month a consideration of the 2018 leasable water bids, as the board thought current bids might change in this fluid situation.

They reconvened as the board of trustees and unanimously approved renewing the liquor license for Chaffee County Fairgrounds.

The trustees also approved a resolution supporting continuation of lottery money to be allocated by the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The board adjourned to an executive session to discuss hiring a second public works crew member. When they reconvened, they voted unanimously to move ahead with the hire.

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