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Cortez Sanitation District approves new policies

Rules affect procurement, elections
Phil Starks and Ernest Kois demonstrate how a Cortez Sanitation District sewer clean-out truck works. The board approved a new policy regulating equipment purchases on Monday.

The Cortez Sanitation District on Monday approved a new purchasing policy along with several state-recommended rules.

During the district’s monthly board meeting, manager Jan Nelson said the board didn’t have specific rules in place for the purchasing process, and she wanted to change that. The board unanimously approved a resolution to add a new purchasing policy to the district’s rules and regulations. They also approved a few new purchases.

Nelson said the only purchasing policy in place when she took office seemed to require her to get board approval and start a formal bidding process for any equipment or service that would cost more than $10,000, which she said was too low. She proposed a new policy that would raise that number to $25,000, among other changes.

“You can’t even buy a pump for $10,000,” Nelson said. “Especially in this area, I think ($25,000) is a good price to bid.”

The new policy would also officially require district staff to file a purchase order for any equipment more expensive than $100, which Nelson said is a rule they already try to follow.

In the same meeting, the board members voted to purchase new biosolid removal equipment for $48,859.63, which was over their budget in that category. Nelson argued it would save them money in the long run by cutting down on the money they currently spend every month to clean up after faulty equipment.

The board also discussed a law that passed in the Colorado legislature earlier this month, which allows special districts with five-member boards to increase their membership to seven. They agreed it would be easier to keep their board at its current size for now.

“We have a tough enough time trying to keep five people, without trying to find two more,” board member Jim Candelaria said.

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