Oak Creek could spend additional $140,000 on water storage tank

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In other action

The Oak Creek Town Board:

■ Approved, 4-0, the special events permit for the Taste of South Routt, to be held June 25.

■ Approved, 4-0, a liquor license renewal for The Oak Restaurant.

■ Approved, 4-0, an endorsement of the Yampa Valley Partners Regional Education Plan.

■ Approved, 4-0, the extension of a wastewater treatment plant grant that would have expired today. The town now has until Oct. 31 to utilize the funds.

■ Approved, 4-0, a contract amendment for a grant for the new water tank to add $143,000 of Community Development Block Grant funding to the project.

■ Approved, 4-0, pay application No. 9 for Duckels Construction for work on the wastewater treatment plant.

■ Approved, 4-0, a resolution to support changes in the boundaries of Routt County Commissioner districts because of 2010 census data.

■ Approved, 4-0, the renewal of a revocable permit agreement with Joan Rutledge regarding her fence encroachment on town property.

■ Approved, 4-0, a renewal of an information technology contract with Watersong Computers for $2,600.

■ Discussed increasing trash rates $1 a month to $21.50 a month, and asked the town clerk to draft a resolution for the increase to take effect June 1.

— The Oak Creek Town Board chose long-term savings over short-term affordability when choosing a bid on its new water tank project at Thursday night’s town meeting.

Will Koger, of Nolte Engineering, presented three options for the project from the lowest bidder, Front Range general contractor K.R. Swerdfeger: a 200,000-gallon steel tank, a 240,000-gallon steel tank and a 240,000-gallon concrete tank.

The latter could cost the town $75,000 to $140,000 in addition to the $85,000 already dedicated to the project, depending on whether several bid deductions come through.

However, a steel tank of any size could potentially cost $40,000 to $50,000 every 10 years for maintenance costs, Koger said.

“The concrete tank will last longer, and there would be virtually no maintenance,” he said.

The Town Board, which was missing trustees Chuck Wisecup, Lawrence Jaconetta and Bernie Gagne, deliberated on the matter for 45 minutes.

“We can afford a concrete water tank if all of these deductions come in and if we walk a tight line,” trustee Dawn Smith said.

Oak Creek resident Josh Voorhis, sitting in the audience, said he’d vote for the concrete tank if he could.

A few other audience members sitting around him nodded.

“I don’t see how you cannot go for the big one now because I don’t see it coming later,” Voorhis said.

Still, the project will have to be run on a tight budget. Trustee Wendy Gustafson said if the town had to dedicate an extra $90,000 — the projected number if two expected deductions come through — from the water fund to the project, it would leave very little in the fund.

If any contingencies were needed, Gustafson said the water fund could borrow from the general fund with a payback plan.

The town previously had worked on a sewer pipe project with Swerdfeger, and although there were some issues with the engineering subcontractor, the board members recalled Swerdfeger’s work was performed well and on budget.

“I’m on the fence with this,” trustee Johrene Myers-Story said. “I know it’s best in the long run, but I get nervous we’ll have to rob Peter to pay Paul.”

Still, after Smith made a motion for the concrete tank, Myers-Story, Smith, Gustafson and Mayor Nikki Knoebel voted “yes.”

Oak Creek Public Works Director Bob Redding said the board made the right decision.

“Life expectancy, maintenance,” he said. “We’re so short-handed, it just make sense.”

Koger said Nolte Engineering will keep a careful eye on the budget as the project unfolds.

“We’ll have to manage it as closely as possible,” he said.

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