In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.
In what would have otherwise been a very benign, dare I say, boring meeting Monday night, the Lyons Board of Trustees (BOT) and Town Staff were shocked, stunned, and overcome by a report from
Administrator Victoria Simonsen about the current corrosive state of the plumbing fixtures in the pump house that supplies water to Lyons via Longmont. Simonsen indicated she doesn’t think there is any question that the corrosion is the direct result of the chlorine injector system that was installed in August of 2009.
The system was installed at the recommendation of Bob Alberts of Alberts Water & Wastewater Service, an independent contractor out of Ft. Collins, who has been overseeing and maintaining the Town’s water and wastewater facilities since 1998. As recently as last month, officials from the Longmont Water Department came before the BOT in a regular meeting and stated that they had not been informed of the installation, didn’t think it was necessary, and had reservations about the corrosive nature of “chlorine off-gassing.” They also wanted to go on record that they would not be responsible for any damages to plumbing or electrical equipment due to corrosion that might arise from the installation and continued function of said system. Alberts, who was present at the meeting, gave the Trustees and Staff assurances that the system was necessary, reliable, and that corrosion from “off-gassing” was not a factor.
Simonsen reminded the Trustees Monday night that they had all taken an inspection tour earlier this spring (late April) of the facility, located east of town near the Rabbit Mountain Road turn-off, and there hadn’t been any corrosion visible at that time. Simonsen did note that a small drip under the injector (in another area of the facility) that was discovered by the state health inspector during the inspection tour, was repaired before the inspector left the building.
The Board voted unanimously to give Simonsen the go ahead to remedy the situation, and as of Tuesday morning she indicated she was in discussions with Town Attorney Tim Cox about what actions the Town will likely pursue. Simonsen also indicated early Tuesday afternoon that she has spoken with Alberts, and he feels strongly that the damage is not due to chlorine “off-gassing,” and suggested that the problem might perhaps lie with the leak of a chlorine/water mixture, and put the responsibility for that at Longmont’s feet. Stay tuned.
Since there was virtually no one in the audience (one young LHS co-ed who missed the fireworks two weeks ago, and she left early), the public hearing and passage of an ordinance to increase the penalty for traffic violations from $20 per point to $30 per point sailed through quite quickly. As did the audience business portion of the evening and the consent agenda, consisting of the November 1 BOT meeting minutes and the October Clerk & Treasurer’s report. The October financials were pulled, so that they could be discussed, but that discussion was also brief (the sales tax numbers were up a whopping 43% from the same period in 2009, and finally brought year to date numbers into the black, 2.61%) and they too were approved in short order. Things continued at a brisk clip, when the application for a special event permit for a Cyclo-cross bicycle race on December 18 was approved, and likewise a resolution naming the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska to act as purchasing agent for the Town of Lyons for energy credits. Although things did slow down a bit when Trustee Kathy Carroll volunteered to try to explain exactly what energy credits are, why and when are valuable, and what you can do with them. Not much clarity resulted.
Things grounded to a halt when the discussion turned to the adoption of a Board of Trustees’ mission statement, and more precisely a possible new Town Motto. The new mission statement for the BOT is: “Provide community leadership that fosters Lyons’ unique economic, social, environmental, and cultural well being through efficient, forward thinking and accountable governance.” Sounds good! The new Town Motto was a little more problematic. Trustees Kirk Udovich and Kathy Jacobson suggested “Challenge Your Body, Nourish Your Soul,” to which Trustee LaVern Johnson replied, “It sounds a little vague, and the nourish your soul part sounds kind of religious.” Not surprisingly, Johnson was in the “Double Gateway To The Rockies” corner, stating, “We are already identified with it.” Udovich also liked the “Forward Thinking” aspect of the mission statement, and Jacobson stressed the need to be thought of as a destination, rather than a gateway to pass on through. Mayor Julie Van Domelen piped up that she was rather fond of “The Jewel of the Front Range,” and Trustee Ed Bruder jokingly (I think) suggested “Lyons, Handrail Capital of Colorado.” In the end, no one felt comfortable making a decision without first getting some input from the Economic Development Commission and the public. So for the time being, the status of the town’s motto remains “fluid,” which considering the proximity of the two rivers, might not be a bad suggestion: “Lyons, A Fluid Community.”
After the Trustees and Staff gave their reports, adjournment was called, and everyone was homeward bound by 8:30 p.m. A new record!