Boxelder Receives Award for Wastewater Treatment Plant Permit Compliance

NACWA Award

Boxelder Sanitation District (BSD) received a Gold Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) for its excellence in permit compliance in 2019. BSD has a clean water discharge permit through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and had no permit violations in 2019.  It is BSD’s mission to responsibly provide wastewater treatment to protect public health and our Poudre River. The water leaving BSD’s wastewater treatment plant flows immediately into the Boxelder Creek, which flows into the Poudre River.  The District staff operates the treatment plant every day to treat the water to meet or exceed all permit standards assuring compliance.  This award recognizes those efforts.

Who is NACWA?

For more than four decades, NACWA has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues, as well as a top technical resource for water management, sustainability and ecosystem protection interests.

The Peak Performance Awards recognizes NACWA member agency facilities for excellence in permit compliance.

NACWA Award

Official Results – May 5th Election

The Boxelder Sanitation District’s official election results for Directors from the regular May 5, 2020 election are as follows:

  • Andrew Chismar, elected to a 3-year term
  • Nick Armstrong, elected to a 3-year term
  • John Giuliano, elected to a 2-year term
  • Nathan Miller, elected to a 2-year term

Please visit the board of directors page for more information.

Following online public hearing Boxelder reduces rates during outbreak

Boxelder Sanitation District recognizes this is a difficult time for our customers and their families in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, the Board of Directors has moved to reduce rates by $15 per month for residential customers (see this chart for other reductions in other classifications). This move is to provide financial relief during these tough times.

To offset this cut, the District will suspend all planned rehabilitation and replacement projects in 2020, such as pipe relining and replacement and manhole repairs. This is only temporary, and the board will revisit this reduction as part of the annual budget process for  2021. Boxelder held an online public hearing to officially implement the rate change on April 28. Changes will be reflected in your May bill.

Despite COVID-19 closing Boxelder’s office to the public, rest assured our district is an essential service provider and our staff will continue to work diligently to assure our customers that all services are met. Boxelder has a detailed action plan in place that is being followed to respond to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Boxelder serves customers in portions of Fort Collins, Windsor, Severance, Timnath and unincorporated areas of Larimer and Weld Counties.

Transmission of COVID-19 through wastewater is considered low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Our utility service provides resources that are vital to maintaining public health, sanitation and safety. The safety of our customers, employees and the environment is our No. 1 priority.

In preparation for such emergencies, Boxelder has been a member of Colorado’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network, CoWARN, since 2011. CoWARN is a statewide agency that is designed for utilities to help each other prepare and respond to natural or man-made emergencies.

Your Board of Directors remains a steadfast leader committed to District customers during this time of crisis while providing reliable wastewater service to our customers and for the protection of the Poudre River. For the latest updates visit http://boxeldersanitation.org/.

Boxelder cuts rates, continues service during COVID-19 outbreak

BSD Customer,

Boxelder Sanitation District recognizes this is a difficult time for our customers and their families in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, the Board of Directors has moved to reduce rates by $15 per month for residential customers (see chart below for other reductions). This move is to provide financial relief during these tough times.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, our staff will continue to ensure all services and needs are met. Boxelder will hold an online public hearing to officially implement the rate change on April 28. Changes will be reflected in your May bill. To offset this cut, the District will suspend all planned rehabilitation and replacement projects in 2020, such as pipe relining and replacement and manhole repairs.

 Your Board of Directors remains a steadfast leader committed to District customers during this time of crisis while continuing to provide reliable wastewater service to protect the Poudre River and our shared environment. For the latest updates visit http://boxeldersanitation.org/.

Brian Zick, District Manager

Dennis Gatlin, Chair of Board of Directors

 

An open letter to the Fort Collins City Council

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.

Montava Development Could Impact District rates

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.

Construction Update

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.

Digester
Digester
Digester Wall Construction
Digester Wall Construction
Oxidation Ditch Construction
Oxidation Ditch Construction
Oxidation Ditch Construction
Oxidation Ditch Construction
Oxidation Ditch Construction
Oxidation Ditch Construction

Boxelder Receives PISCES EPA Recognition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.