Friday, June 23, 2006

BAYFIELD: We have previously noted the severe problem the Bayfield Sanitation District is having with its water treatment system. The bottom line is the town has outgrown its simple lagoon system. In March the state health department issued a moratorium on new building permits in the town after the Southern Ute Indian Tribe complained that Bayfield was polluting the Los Pinos River, from which the tribe and Ignacio draw water. The moratorium was lifted in April with some conditions attached.

Now the Town of Bayfield and the Bayfield Sanitation District are discussing the possibility of dissolving the sanitation district. "It's always a good decision to have a town be in control of its destiny," said Rick Smith, a Town Board member. "If you have another governmental agency in the town limits, that makes it very difficult to make decisions."

The problem, as we see it, is that, in addition to Bayfield, the Sanitation District also serves Gem Village and the surrounding area. If the sanitation system is taken over by the Town of Bayfield there needs to be measures adopted to ensure the residents and businesses in Gem Village are represented in the new entity that is created.

Dissolving the district would likely require a special election, possibly in February.

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