Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

RED FEATHER LAKES PLANNING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Fire House Meeting Room

44 Fire House Lane, Red Feather Lakes, CO

 

July 10, 2008 Meeting Minutes

 

The meeting was called to order at 1:30 PM by Chairperson Lucille Schmidt.

 

Members in Attendance:  Gene Allen, Susan Bradley, Ted Carter, Terry Ferebee, Bill Gilbert, Eunice Michalka, Ross Reid, Lucille Schmidt, Michael Sledge, Roger Svendsen, Bud Thomas

 

Members Excused Absence:  All other members had excused absences.

 

Audience Members:  Jill Bennett – LARCO Planning Department, Ed Schemm, LARCO Asst. Environmental Health Director and Mark Peterson, LARCO Engineer

 

Guest Present: Larry Clark, Terri Donnelly, Pat Bradley

 

Adoption of Agenda: The agenda was approved as written (moved by Ted Carter and seconded by Roger Svendsen

 

Approval of Minutes: The minutes of June 12, 2008 were approved as written (moved by Ted Carter and seconded by Bill Gilbert

 

Communications from Committee Members:

 

Ted Carter, Gene Allen and Michael Sledge briefed the PAC on their meeting with Commissioner Rennels wherein Commissioner Rennels encouraged the PAC to encourage and plan more Red Feather community involvement before the designated PAC members would meet with the BOCC.  Commissioner Rennels advised that she would continue to make County staff available for PAC meetings.  Ted, Gene and Michael felt that the meeting was productive and that Commissioner Rennels was supportive of RFLPAC.

 

Communications from County: Jill Bennett commented that Ed Schemm and Mark Peterson were present today because of Commissioners Rennels commitment to RFLPAC.

 

Action Items Scheduled: None

 

Discussion Items - Community Pathways – continued –

 

·   Jill advised that roads, lot lines, water protection and waste water are all interwoven and each element has its own legal issues.  The water quality portion is probably on the front burner as far as resources that are available.  The County has participated with several communities to put in small waste water treatment plants.  Consequently, there is a lot of history available to assist in such a project.  Ed will discuss some State money that may be available and identify some steps 

 

 

·   Mark Peterson as the PAC how the aforementioned items fit together and Michael Sledge and Ted Carter advised:

 

o   The PAC needs the Commissioners to designate the primary 5 or 6 roads as public.

o   Get definitive gridlines (center points) on the designated roads that does not specific the width of the roads.

o   PAC would like to cooperatively look at water/waste water lines down these roads and then asked property owners to voluntarily volunteer to participate in public water and sewer.

o   PAC is looking at a water distribution and waste water collection in a common treatment type of facility.  Gravity lines would be cost prohibitive and therefore a pressurized system would be more appropriate.

o   With this picture in mind, the PAC would like to learn from the County how to put such a project into place, such as funding sources, grants available, etc.

 

·   How can waster water treatment be approached in RFL: 

 

o   Ed Schemm advised that the system that he foresees is a pressurized system because of the major cost of gravity lines.  However, it is best not to have any preconceived ideas until we get some preliminary engineering plan done and several items that go into this plan are: (1) figuring out what type of collection system would work best; (2) where would the treatment process go; (3) what are the alternatives.  The Engineer would need to be an independent person, not County.  There are several sources of funds available for Preliminary Engineering: (1) the Department of Local Affairs has funds up to $15,000 to be matched by a local RFL association for a total of $30,000 and (2) that State Department of Health can provide a grant up to $10,000.  To Mr. Schemm’s knowledge, Larimer County has never funded the matching funds.  However, the County would have to sponsor RFLPAC’s effort to get these funds.  The County has worked with Glacier View Meadows and Hidden View Estates which is west of Loveland in obtaining Department of Local Affairs’ and State Department of Health funds.  Ed pointed out that $30,000 may not be adequate based on what needs to be accomplished.  $30,000 was adequate for the previously mentioned projects but some systems were already in place in these two locales.  The $10,000 was used for legal fees to form a Local Improvement District, which then is a County entity. 

 

o   Ed mentioned that there are also funds (both grants and loans) available through the State Department of Agriculture and then when you get to the construction phase, the Colorado Water and Power Development Authority is an entity that sells bonds for power and water projects to include drinking and waste water projects.  The interest rates on these bonds are very favorable (3.5%) and Ed has maintained contacts with people within these entities.  You have to have a legal entity to get these loans, such as a Local Improvement District or some type of special district.  If a Special District is established, it officers are elected by the RFL citizens and not by the County.  The County has to approve its creation but after that the Special District is it own legally separate entity.

 

o   There are also loans available to assist financially strapped community such as some of the poorer communities on the Eastern Plains.  The average family income is based on the permanent residences of the community.  The interest rate on these loans can range from zero to 3.5%.

 

o   If the PAC starts the grant process, there are benchmarks that the grantor may require the grantee to meet.

 

o   Ed advised the PAC that the grants being discussed required the community to be on state eligibility lists, and asked PAC if they would support Red Feather Lakes being put on the lists.  After discussion, it was agreed that there would be no disadvantage to taking this step.  Susie moved (2nd Eunice) to place Red Feather Lakes on the lists; motion passed unanimously.  Ed indicated he would state one of the needs would be to replace individual sewage disposal systems (i.e. septic systems) as this is one of the criteria for awarding the grants.

 

o   Ted Carter advised that the RFL plan defined as a concern, public water and a water distribution system.  The water in the lakes that is owned by Red Feather Lakes and Irrigation has exposure to future changes in Colorado law.  In order to preserve these water rights and the identity of Red Feather, the PAC needs to work closely with the Red Feather Lakes and Irrigation to use some of the water for domestic use in order to protect this water from exposure and to make the water more secure.  This is a high priority of the community.

 

o   Several PAC members asked questions pertaining to Red Feather roads and easement and Mark Peterson provided feedback to these questions.  When a road is dedicated as “public”, then a public utility has the right to be in the road.  The County Attorney has been asked to provide legal guidance pertaining to the Red Feather road issue.

 

o   The PAC discussed various means to obtain the $15,000 that the Department of Local Affairs would match.

 

Public Comment:

 

·   Terri stated that there are many new community members who don’t know about PAC or don’t know that the group is still in existence.

 

·   Janice asked Mark what road width the County would need and indicated this was an issue when she was working to establish the Clinic.  She also indicated dissatisfaction with the directional signage program.  Bill suggested that she could attend one of Commissioner Rennels’ monthly meetings to voice concerns.

 

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 PM.

 

 

Submitted:

 

Terry Ferebee

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.