The Mancos Board of Trustees has approved a project that could produce high-speed internet and improve the water treatment plant.
On Wednesday, the board approved a $27,962 contract with SGM Inc. to design, engineer and manage the construction of a water tank. In addition to replacing a tank and outdated equipment, the project includes research on fiber optic infrastructure for the water plant as part of a long-term plan to add high-speed internet in town. The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2019.
Town Administrator Heather Alvarez said a 2016 inspection showed the town had no record of when the tank was installed, except that it was before 1988. SGM estimated repairs would exceed $400,000, which is $50,000 more than the town paid for a tank in 2015.
Her written report to trustees said the plant operating system needed an update, since it still runs on cassette tapes.
“Currently the plant has no internet service at all,” Alvarez said. “One of the components of the project is to update the operating system, and in order to do that, we’ll need some type of internet.”
Alvarez said the town owns very little fiber infrastructure, and installing it at the plant could boost residents’ internet speeds. After the installation, the town will offer the fiber network to companies, but will own and maintain the fiber.
Alvarez said she hopes to install antennas at the plant that could broadcast a wireless signal.
Funding will come from the water budget, which includes $50,000 for plant improvements in 2018, excluding construction costs, which Alvarez said she will discuss later. It does include funding for grant applications to help cover future design and construction costs. The project wouldn’t use reserve funds.
“I think it’s a good deal for us,” Mayor Pro Tem Fred Brooks said.
SGM, an engineering, consulting and surveying company based in Glenwood Springs, has worked several years with Mancos to research and design improvements to the plant. Alvarez said the town will hire another company to build the tank.
Trustees voted unanimously to approve the contract. Cindy Simpson and Lorraine Becker were absent.
On Wednesday’s meeting, the board also:
Approved a resolution offering the town’s support for a mill levy for the Mancos Conservation District in its May election.Voted to award $3,000 in sponsorship funds for the Tri-State Firemen’s Association Annual Convention in Mancos this August. Renewed the liquor license for Mancos Liquor.Discussed types of artistic works the town could support with its $3,000 public art budget. Town staff will draft a request for proposal, to be sent to local artists in the next few months.