Conservancy district stays on road to a reservoir


By Lindsey Bright

Staff Writer

The San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) is taking steps, albeit small steps, to push the possibility of Dry Gulch reservoir to actuality.

The board approved sending a letter to the Southwest Water Conservation District asking for an extension of a $25,000 grant. The grant was originally awarded at the beginning of 2011 to be used within the year to complete environmental assessment of the reservoir site. Last year, after the Colorado Supreme Court awarded 11,000 acre feet to a Dry Gulch Reservoir project, the SWWCD extended the grant for another year. The SJWCD board is now asking for another year. In addition, the board also approved sending a letter to the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners requesting a support letter be sent to SWWCD.

At Monday’s night board meeting, the SJWCD directors looked at the 2013 draft budget in its preliminary stages. The beginning balance for the 2013 budget is $288,078, with $393,696 made up of revenue from abatements, delinquent tax, delinquent tax interest, current tax interest, grants, impact fee revenue, and the bulk coming from general property taxes.

The total expenditures budgeted for 2013 is $68,375. The largest line item for expenditures is the $25,000 for Dry Gulch. However, board chair Rod Proffitt said that approximately $30,000 would be needed to be move forward with procurement of a special use permit for U.S. Forest Service land. This permit, or a land exchange with the USFS, would be necessary in order to have the acreage to build the reservoir. Also, about 10 acres of the adjacent Laverty property would be necessary to build Dry Gulch.

Other notable line items include $5,000 for administrative services; $5,000 for general legal fees; $5,000 for water rights legal fees and $5,600 for publications and website.

The board came to a consensus that more money should be budgeted for Dry Gulch in 2013, but nothing was approved at the meeting. The budget will be reviewed and approved at a Dec. 10 meeting.

In that time, Proffitt will move forward with completing and submitting the special use permit application for the USFS.