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The Board of Directors is pleased to announce it will reduce the capital improvement portion of the current monthly service charge by $5 starting in January and it will be reflected on your February 1, 2020 billing statement.
The Fort Collins City Council hearing on the Montava Planned Unit Development master plan is now scheduled for January 14, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Please click here for meeting details.
An open letter
to the Fort Collins City Council
from Boxelder Sanitation District
(prompted by Montava)
Since 1965 Boxelder Sanitation District (“BSD”) has provided public sanitary sewer service to areas northeast of downtown Fort Collins. BSD has a defined service area established by a regional association of governments of which the City of Fort Collins is an active member.
The proposed Montava development is located entirely within BSD’s service area. BSD has installed and paid for a large sewer collection line that runs directly through the Montava property and is available to serve it. BSD gave Montava its written commitment to serve the development over 2 years ago, and BSD has planned for the property to be developed.
However, in recent months the City staff has floated proposals for the City to provide sewer service for Montava instead of BSD. If that occurs, BSD’s financial planning will be seriously disrupted and BSD’s 15,000+ existing customers – who include many City residents – will have to pay much higher rates.
Last May, the BSD Board of Directors started inviting the City Council to meet with it about this grave policy matter of one service provider intruding into the established service area of another provider. That invitation has been extended numerous times since, but the Council hasn’t accepted. BSD’s Board of Directors wants direct collaboration with the City Council and customary regional utility studies through intergovernmental agreements.
Now, the Council is preparing to consider the first of Montava’s land use approvals. The developer claims that the amenities and housing types the City wants him to provide will cost him so much money that he won’t be able to pay BSD’s regular fees that are charged uniformly to everyone.
Those fees haven’t changed since the developer came to BSD requesting the commitment to serve, and they are being paid by many other developers with successful projects in BSD’s service area. Moreover, the sewer facilities of the City were not built and paid for by City residents in order to serve Montava, but rather to serve projects within the City’s own sewer service area.
What does all this mean?
BSD respectfully requests that:
- The City Council take no action that harms BSD’s existing customers or upends BSD’s financial plan.
- The Council not turn to City staff to learn about BSD, but rather engage directly with BSD’s Board of Directors to inform itself appropriately of the sewer issues and the immense consequences if the City tries to serve Montava.
- The Council defer land use approvals for Montava until the developer finalizes a sewer plan for the project that respects and does not disturb the long-range utility planning BSD has performed, relied on, and followed for many years.
As a Boxelder Sanitation District customer, it’s of the utmost importance to us that we not only deliver the highest quality service possible, but that we keep you informed of timely issues that could impact your rates.
While District growth and timely completion of capital improvements has allowed the Board of Directors to reduce the capital improvement portion of the current monthly service charge by $5 starting in January, a new issue may negatively impact your rates.
Montava is a proposed community-focused development on land in northeast Fort Collins. This new community falls within Boxelder Sanitation District’s service area and would be supported by the Cooper Slough Interceptor (CSI), which runs through the proposed development, from E. Mulberry Street northward and northwestward to the area east and north of the Fort Collins Country Club.
While the District Board of Directors is supportive of development in this area, this development has the potential to negatively impact current District customers if Montava is served sewer by the City and not the District.
Currently, the outcome still remains undecided. However, Montava developers have been in discussions with the City about whether this community will be served with sewer by the City or the District for more than a year now. However, City service inside another District’s service area is an unprecedented event.
According to the developer, high-cost amenities required by the City are presenting a financial burden and they are unable to pay the District’s fees. Even though Montava developers have already created a Metro District to offset such public infrastructure.
If Montava were to be served sewer by the City, additional costs for District capital projects, such as the treatment plant expansion, would be passed onto existing customers.
As you likely know, the District is undergoing the treatment plant expansion to not only maintain regulatory compliance but also for current and future capacity, in part to serve the growing area of northeast Fort Collins. The District had anticipated that future growth would help offset these capital costs as developments like Montava could potentially further reduce rates for existing customers.
This development’s planned unit development (PUD) is scheduled to go before the Fort Collins City Council on December 17th at 6 p.m., 300 Laporte Avenue. As an official reviewing agency, the Board of Directors has requested City Council postpone the PUD decision until a policy agreement and long-range utility planning can be reached.
Not only does the City serving sewer in another District’s area set a dangerous precedent, but existing customers and Fort Collins residents will have to shoulder the additional burden of rate increases from the current treatment plant expansion.
As a Boxelder Sanitation District customer, you can help by attending and providing comment at the City Council meeting, encouraging them to postpone this decision or mandate that Montava receive sewer service from the District. If you can’t attend the meeting consider emailing the Mayor and Council in advance so your voice can be heard.
Thank you in advance for your support of this important issue.
October Construction Update – Treatment Plant Expansion Project
The plant expansion project is moving along with concrete poured for the digester and oxidation ditches, as well as walls starting on the digester.
Notice is hereby given that a proposed budget was submitted on October 11, 2019 to Boxelder Sanitation District for the ensuing year of 2020; a copy of such proposed budget has been filed in the office of Boxelder Sanitation District, where the same is open for public inspection; such proposed budget will be considered at the regular meeting of Boxelder Sanitation District to be held at 3201 E. Mulberry, #Q, Ft. Collins, CO on November 21, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Any interested elector of Boxelder Sanitation District may inspect the proposed budget and file or register any objections thereto at any time prior to the final adoption of the budget.
Secretary, Boxelder Sanitation District
The Boxelder Sanitation District was one of 28 projects nation-wide to be recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s PISCES program in 2017. The District was recognized for biological nutrient removal, resulting in impressive water quality improvements. Read the EPA’s news release for more details here.