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Cortez Sanitation District schedules public hearing, workshop

At a meeting on Monday, the Cortez Sanitation District board of directors scheduled two meetings to discuss budget concerns.

The board agreed to hold a special work session to discuss the district’s 2018 budget at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, at the recommendation of District Manager Jan Nelson. The directors also agreed to hold a public hearing at their October meeting, during which they will take a final vote on whether to lower plant investment fees for hotels and recreational vehicles in the district. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 10.

Nelson said the district will face some challenges in forming a workable 2018 budget. She said replacing the old sewer pipes near Elm and Carpenter Streets, which the district plans to do next year in conjunction with the city of Cortez’s Main Street median project, will likely take up most of the construction funds for that year. She suggested the district consider applying for grants or loans to help fund that project.

“(There is) anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million that we’re going to have to fix before the city cements over those lines,” she said.

An early draft of the 2018 budget would be presented at the work session, she said.

The board has discussed the possibility of lowering plant investment fees for RVs and hotels since early this year. Right now, it costs RVs and hotels $4,770 per unit to connect to the water and sewer system, which is the same rate that residential property owners pay. At the public hearing in October, the board will vote on whether to lower that rate to $1,431 per room for hotels, and $1,193 per vehicle for RV parks.

During their meeting, the district directors also voted unanimously to approve a line extension and easement agreement with Southwest Memorial Hospital for the ongoing hospital expansion project.

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