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“THREE WAY SPLIT”

2/2/23, 3:23 PM

“THREE WAY SPLIT”

Jefferson County Public Works Director, Matt Powlison reported to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners yesterday (2/1/23), regarding a SDC Funding Request submitted to him via Special Road District (SRD) Chair Sue Haley. Haley, was unable to attend because according to Powlison she was “sick.”

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Powlison’s presentation included two separate project requests from Haley.

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The first request dealt with the installation of asphalt aprons.

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Powlison:

“A couple of months ago, Sue Haley, she’s the Chair of the CRR Special Road District (SRD), came to me and said she’s been working on a project-there, to install asphalt aprons on quite a few County roads and SRD roads. She’s put together a bid package and requested to use SDC (System Development Charge) funds. So talking to Jeff (County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen), he said this is the first place to start.

Talk to the Board (County Commission) about the use of SDC funds and specifically this project. She (Haley) came to me with another project..”

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Powlison:

“I’m not sure that altogether-meets the requirements, but I think it would, probably justify it as a project, because increased capacity, it could be warranted as safety, so they’re asking for $191,000 to do that project.”

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Powlison provided further details for the Commissioners and then switched gears to the Second Project.

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SECOND PROJECT

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“She (Haley) contacted me last month about a utility vault-water vault on Sundown Canyon Road that is in the roadway itself and the SRD wants to widen that road for safety.

So the Water Department did kinda of an Engineering Study of what it would take to move that vault and then came up with an estimate-so this is the SECOND PROJECT that they would like funds for.”

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“THREE WAY SPLIT”

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“It has an estimate of $469,000 and they’re going to split it three (3) ways-with the SRD, with the Homeowners Association and the Water Utility-Water Department.  It’s a three (3) WAY SPLIT…”

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Powlison wanted the Commissioners in the loop and aware of Haley’s two SDC funding requests. He was also looking for their feedback regarding the usage of the SDC funds.

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*SEE VIDEO ATTACHED

FOR MATT POWLISON’S PRESENTATION

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LOOKING BACK

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As previously reported, the Sundown Canyon Road controversy surrounding the SRD’s efforts to force the Ranch Water Company to move the Water Vault has been a hot topic since 2021.

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At the Ranch Board of Directors (BOD), November 15, 2021, Meeting, former Ranch Director/ Treasure Jerry Cooper stated: “By reading the TEXT-they’re (Ranch Water Company) fighting back.” Ranch President Bill Burt explained: “The Water Company doesn’t want to move the vault” and added the Water Company has been given time by the SRD to explore options.

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Cooper asked: “Are we going to look into legal action?” Burt answered: “It could come to that I suppose.”

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Burt reminded Cooper that the Ranch doesn’t “Have any skin in the game.”

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Cooper retorted: “We do, well, the people down at the bottom there deserve our attention…” Burt replied: “Absolutely” and explained,

“PRESSURE CAN BE APPLIED HERE AND THERE.”

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*Less than 30 homes in the Sundown Canyon area!

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Haley confirmed it was the Ranch Management that requested SRD’s help, “Because we’re the road authority and can ask the Water Company to move the vault.

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“The Ranch can’t ask or make the Water Company move the vault so that’s why the SRD got involved.”

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“We’re the ultimate authority, but we work together with the Road Department.”

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Haley’s response to Cooper’s remarks about “legal action”: “The SRD, as you know, doesn’t have the funding to hire a lawyer, I think we got, kinda put in the middle of it.”

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However, later, the SRD found some money to hire an attorney. At their June 2022, Meeting, the SRD Commission confirmed retaining a lawyer to help them understand statutorily their authority regarding utilities in right-of-ways.

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At the SRD’s November 2022 Meeting, Haley stated the following about the Sundown Canyon Project:

“Tabled until Spring.”

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The December 2022 SRD Minutes fail to mention any further discussions, specifically, about the Sundown Canyon Road Project or the SRD’s intention to use SDC funds to finance Haley’s Project. The Minutes reflected, in part, the following: “SDC FUNDS PROJECT-Chair Haley completed the bid documents for the proposed improvements and submitted the plan to Matt Powlison at Jefferson County Public Works for review and comment. Chair Haley confirmed that the SDC funds available are approximately $300,000 but some of the funds are to be put toward other safety improvements on the Ranch.”

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The SRD’s January 11, 2023, Meeting Agenda reflected only the SRD’s Apron Project and at their meeting they only discussed the bid package related to the Aprons. Nothing mentioned about seeking SDC funds for the Sundown Canyon Road Project.

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Interestingly, one day later, on January 12, 2023, Haley emails Powlison the following:

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“Hi Matt: Per our phone conversation, please see the attached Engineering Study completed by the Water Company. We would try to pursue cost sharing between the HOA, SRD, and the Water Company. SDC funds required would be one third if the total estimated cost, or approximately $156,400 in today’s dollars. After speaking with the HOA and my board, I will get back to you. Have a great day!.”

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Ranch Matters contacted Water Company General Manager Frank Day for a comment. Manager Day stated he was “Unaware of Sue Haley’s January 12 email to Powlison, was not informed or consulted” and asked RM for a copy. He added:

“THIS IS NEWS TO ME.”

MORE TO COME

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Ranch Matters Staff

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