Special Session Tonight Regarding Town Administrator
Tonight, Monday, April 25 the Saguache Town Board has set a special session meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss whether to go forward and hire a Town Administrator. This meeting is open to all public and will be held at the Town Hall located at 504 San Juan Avenue.
Recently the Town of Saguache received a $98,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). This grant money is specifically earmarked to enable Saguache to hire a town administrator. At tonight’s special session, if the majority of Trustees vote no, then the town will need to return the grant money to DOLA.
According to the town’s website, Akia Tanara has been working under a contract to jumpstart projects like repairing local sewer lines.
While the town’s old system is not leaking sewage, the pipes do allow sub-irrigation water to get into the system, causing the sewer lagoon to take in over the amount of effluent allowed by the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment. If the problem is not fixed, the town will likely be required to build a multi-million-dollar waste treatment plant. The DOLA grant pays 75 percent of a town administrator’s salary the first year, 50 percent the second year and 25 percent the third year.
The former town board who initiated the possibility felt that this grant makes it possible for the town to hire an administrator without taxing the town budget. The hope is that the position of Town Administrator can be self-sustaining.
“One of the major responsibilities of an administrator would be to write and administer grants for projects—for instance, to fix the sewer system, pave streets and remodel the Community Building and add a commercial kitchen,” said Saguache Town Mayor Greg Terrell. “Not only would grant money pay the lion’s share of the projects costs, but various grants also allow us to add up to 15 percent of the total amount to cover administrative costs. That means the actual cost of an administrator could be zero.”