CENTER — In regular session Tuesday evening, Center Town Board set March 19 as the date for the upcoming recall election. They vetted and approved petitions requesting the recall last month.
Following a public hearing on a water rate increase for the Town of Center, trustees also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing an increase in water rates from $24 to $30.15.
Leroy Cruz from Colorado Rural Water Association (CRWA) made a presentation to the Board regarding the Water Rate Study prepared by his office. The study considered such factors as the current water rates and costs of production, proposed system improvements and debt (primarily regarding the new water tank and rehabilitation of the existing water tank) and operation and maintenance costs of the system.
According to a letter sent to the town summarizing the need for rate increases, projected operations and maintenance projections for 2012 are $257, 527. The expected debt service for 2012 is $9,167 for a total of $266,594. Based on the projected revenue of $297,220, the town has adequate revenue to cover its obligations in 2012 with the rate increasing to $24. The town also must develop a reserve fund to replace 60-year-old asbestos cement pipe and prepare for future improvements as they are needed to the system.
The new flat rate beginning this month will be $30.15. This is substantially lower than the state average of $43. 88 as of November 2011. The flat rate could be adjusted in the future to cover debt service and other expenses. A five percent increased is suggested for 2014 and a two percent increase for 2015-16. Water rate increases are necessary in future years to insure that revenues are available to cover the town’s obligations, Cruz told Town Manager Forrest Neuerburg.
Marijuana operations banned
The Board also passed a resolution prohibiting marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities and retail marijuana stores within the town.
The ordinance was worded as follows: “Should the Town Board approve ordinance 442, an ordinance prohibiting the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities or retail marijuana stores within the Town of Center?” Town Attorney Eugene Farish recomended in a memorandum dated Dec. 27 that the town “opt out”, at least until some of the many issues surrounding the legislation can be resolved.
The resolution could always be amended or revisited at a later date, he said.
Center had previously banned medical marijuana clinics in the town in an earlier resolution.