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Cortez Sanitation District plans construction projects

Waste management plant, sewer pipes on agenda
The Cortez Sanitation District directors examine cracked pavement at the town’s waste management plant.

The Cortez Sanitation District board of directors is planning repairs for next year at the waste management plant and several sewer lines in the city.

District Manager Jan Nelson said the pavement on the plant’s driveway is being worn down by traffic from trucks that transport waste from the plant to the landfill, and no repairs have been done there for several years. The district has contracted with Durango-based civil engineering company SGM to plan a repaving project. Board members also discussed the possibility of replacing sewer pipes in alleys adjoining North Elm Street, where the city wants to conduct its own repairs next year.

At their meeting on Monday, the board of directors toured the plant with representatives from SGM to determine how much of its driveway needs to be repaved. Several places had noticeable cracks in the asphalt. Board members said they’re also concerned about rain water drainage undermining the pavement, since the plant is located on a hill.

“We’re trying to also fix the drainage to get all the water away ... from the roads, so that we can keep the roads solider,” board member Jim Candelaria said.

After examining the plant, Catherine Carella, an SGM design engineer, said she would soon submit an estimated cost for the project to the board. Both she and the board members agreed the repairs will probably need to be conducted in phases, as the district’s yearly repair budget wouldn’t cover both the repaving and drainage repair. But district superintendent Kyle Schreckenbach said he hoped they could at least start the first phase this fall.

The board also discussed a project that would replace old sewer pipes near Elm and Carpenter streets. The directors originally planned to replace the pipes in several alleys near Elm Street when the city of Cortez repaved them this year. Now that the city has pushed the repaving project to next year, the Sanitation District may also delay replacing the pipes, but Nelson said they need to be replaced soon regardless of what the city does with the alley pavement.

“The lines are in such bad shape,” she said.

The district will also replace old sewer lines on Beech Street this year in conjunction with the city’s median project there. But board president Ryan Griglak said the other lines would cost at least $300,000 to replace, and it’s not clear where the money will come from.

“We’ve just got to start budgeting,” he said.

The board will start its 2018 budget discussion at the next meeting.

Other action

During the meeting, the board of directors also voted to change the district office’s operating hours to 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on business days, instead of the current 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nelson announced that Jim Webb has been appointed as the new wastewater collection supervisor, and Schreckenbach as plant supervisor.

This article was reposted on Aug. 18 to correct the name and title of the new wastewater collection supervisor.

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