The Town of Cedaredge board of trustees met for a brief executive session and a longer work session on Thursday, May 10. The purpose of the executive session was stated as being "to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations; and instructing negotiators." The Colorado Open Meetings Law allows a public body to confer regarding negotiations during an executive session which is not open to the public.
The work session was open to the public. The work session is a discussion-only meeting which essentially previews for trustees the agenda for their next scheduled regular meeting when action will be taken on agenda items. No action is taken at work sessions.
The trustees discussed the town's drought response plan. Action at last month's regular meeting declared the town to be at stage one. Scott Lock, public works co-director, reminded the trustees that the region saw its worst drought in 2002. Then in 2015 another seemingly dry year was made less severe due to the arrival of a single big storm. At present indications are that 2018 will be a dry year but not as severe as 2002. And 2018 is still a candidate for a big storm or two to improve the moisture outlook.
In the meantime, the town continues to observe the actions outlined in stage one of the town's drought plan. Those actions call for voluntary conservation measures on the part of citizens and continual monitoring of the situation by town officials. All town water customers received a copy of a "Wise Water Use" handout with their April water bill. The handout lists a dozen things that citizens can voluntarily do to conserve water.
Lock stressed that one of the most critical things every citizen can do is to be more efficient in watering lawns. Watering yards and outdoor plants early or late in the day reduces evaporation as opposed to watering in direct sunlight during the heat of the day.
Other recommended citizen conservation measures are:
• Take five-minute showers and use a low-flow shower head
• Turn off the water while brushing teeth, soaping hands, and shaving
• Wash only full loads in washing machine and dishwasher
• If you wash dishes in the sink, turn off the water while scrubbing dishes
• Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and walkways
• Mulch around plants to hold water in the soil and consider planting a drought tolerant garden
• Put faucet aerators on sink faucets, use a shut-off nozzle on hoses, and put a half-gallon jug in your toilet tank to reduce water used per flush.
In an effort to lead by example, the town is adjusting its water use for parks and the golf club. The town has also reduced the number of flower displays on Main Street by 20 percent and the plots in the newly completed intersection will not be planted this year.
Further information will be posted on the town's Facebook page and in the town's monthly newsletter "Writing on the Edge" which is included with town water bills. Citizens who wish to read the town's drought response plan in detail can find a link to at the town's website: http://www.cedaredgecolorado.com/ At the website, type the word drought in the site search box.
The trustees discussed the community garden and directed staff to gather further information for a continued discussion and possible action at the regular May 17 meeting.
The trustees ended their work session with a presentation by Les Mergleman, past chairman of Club 20. Club 20 is a non-partisan membership organization that promotes the interests of western Colorado counties. Trustees requested further information about the organization's activities and Mergleman agreed to provide them with the most recent report.