County to plan wastewater meetings

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Routt County commissioners are planning a round of public meetings to discuss wastewater concerns in Hahn's Peak Village.

The decision came Tuesday after a Fort Collins company met with county commissioners to discuss the level of interest in water and wastewater solutions.

County commissioners said the issue is important and has been studied in the past but that it had been put on the back burner for too long.

Hahn's Peak Village has small lots and no common water and wastewater systems.

That means the area's more than 80 homes and businesses use drinking water that comes from streams or wells that passes close to individual septic systems, which range from outhouses to more modern systems.

That close mix of drinking water supply and wastewater systems is undesirable, officials said.

County commissioners met with Integrated Water Services, a company that helps small communities get cost-effective water and wastewater systems, in front of a half-dozen North Routt residents.

County commissioners emphasized they were meeting to discuss general wastewater issues at the company's request and did not want to imply that the county would ask for the company's services. They also said any action would have to come with support of residents.

"No matter what happens up there, the residents need to understand and be willing to pay for it," Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.

The county commissioned a study on solutions to the wastewater issues several years ago. Dave Patton of Integrated Water Services said his company could find solutions that would cost "significantly" less than the almost $1.5 million price tag estimated by that study. He also said he has met with several community groups interested in improvements.

Bryan Heselbach, president of the Hahn's Peak Village Homeowners Association, said county commissioners should be sure to discuss the concerns in open public meetings with accurate information.

Heselbach said he could not speak for the homeowners association because of short notice of the meeting, but that in previous discussions, some residents have been concerned about new systems because of their cost.

At the same meeting, several homeowners with sewage systems that are close to failing asked county commissioners whether they could join together to purchase a system that would service their six homes.

The project, which was thought of with the help of Integrated Water Services, would cost each homeowner $5,000 to $7,000 and could be incorporated in a villagewide system.

County commissioners said they liked the idea, as it was a way for homeowners to find a quick solution at a good price but that the homeowners would have to go through the county planning process.

Public meetings on water and wastewater concerns in Hahn's Peak Village likely will be scheduled for this summer.

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