Budget items were the main focus at the Price Water Improvement District meeting on Dec. 27.
The board meeting began with a public hearing on the PRWID's proposed 2006 budget. There was no citizen input offered during the hearing.
The budget proposal, Resolution 2005-7, had been duly posted and advertised for the prescribed seven days prior to a vote by the board members.
Before adopting the budget, the council discussed certain items contained in the budget proposal.
It was noted that the budget carryover from 2005 was larger than expected, partly because of higher than anticipated property tax distributions to the district.
Members had a short discussion about how the carryover would be absorbed into the 2006 budget. It was explained that the carryover would be placed in the general fund to be distributed as needed.
Board members also discussed a few capital outlay items and sources of district income.
After again asking for any citizen comments, concerns, or objections and receiving none, board member Keith Cox entertained a motion to close the public hearing on the water improvement district's proposed 2006 budget.
The PRWID board then voted to approve the 2006 budget as presented in Resolution 2005-7. The total budget is $4,987,110 and includes a 65 cent per hour across the board pay increase for district employees.
The budget also holds the medical coverage and insurance fees to 2005 levels.
Acting on a related matter, the board approved three adjustments to PRWID's 2005 budget to make it possible to transfer the carryover funds to the 2006 financial guidelines.
In an unrelated matter, local businessman Angelo Kiahtipes appeared before the board with a proposal for a 70 unit subdivision east of Price.
Kiahtipes presented plans with maps and petitioned the water improvement district board for clearance to began the first phase of the project that will include the building of 20 homes.
PRWID assistant manager Jeff Richens explained that district staff members have been working with Kiahtipes in developing the plans and a study of sewer and water issues has already been completed.
PRWID manager Phil Palmer said the staff had pre-approved the plan in principle and the subdivision met all code and fire flow requirements.
The water improvement district manager recommended that the board approve the plan.
After a short discussion, the board approved the subdivision plans. Kiahtipes will now present the plan to the Carbon County Commission for final approval. He plans to begin construction in the early spring.
The next item on the agenda was an application by the Carbon Canal Company to divert 136 acre feet of price river water to the PRWID water treatment plant for summer use by ranchers watering livestock. The proposal supplements an agreement already in place for winter livestock watering. A secondary culinary system has been installed county-wide to accommodate the ranchers who must provide drinking water to approximately 9700 head of cattle.
Under the agreement, Carbon Canal members will be able to water livestock all year through a secondary culinary water system. The Carbon Canal Company will retain ownership of the water, but will transfer the water right to PRWID for use in the treatment plant. The canal company will then buy the water back from PRWID through the culinary system.
Until now, the 136 shares of water have been diverted near the golf course and used from the carbon canal. The new system will be a great asset to ranchers as they will no longer need to maintain ponds and open ditches to water livestock. The new system will also significantly reduce water loss through seepage and evaporation.
Palmer told the group that the stock watering system is nearly complete with 80 of 160 connections ready to be put into service. He said that the system still needs to be certified for back flow prevention and a few agreements need to be finalized.
After a discussion and consultation with attorney Nick Sampinos, the board agreed to accept the transfer of the water right as outlined.
The board then discussed both the Helper and Wellington City water service agreements. It was noted that the Helper City Council had tabled approving the agreement until a new mayor and council members take their seats after the first of the year. PRWID members agreed to table the Helper agreement also. The item will again be placed on the agenda of the January 17 meeting.
Board members then discussed a sixth draft of the Wellington service agreement. Several items were discussed and new changes in the draft agreement noted. After a lengthy discussion, the board approved the agreement as outlined. The Wellington city council must also approve before the new service agreement takes effect.
In a related matter, Richens told the board that Wellington had made three payments to the district in the past month and the city was on track to retire the overdue debt owed PRWID by the end of January, as agreed.
The board then passed a final draft of a subdivision approval letter, and approved a new meeting schedule for 2006. The next PRWID board meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 3. .