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12/16/16 – Notes from 12/14/16 board meeting

The 2017 Budget for LPWWA was approved.

Phase 0 Progress
Phase 0 (Raw Water) construction is progressing very well. We are within budget. Canyon Construction is working in the area where there is some sandstone rock but have been able to break it up with toothed bucket so blasting has been avoided so far. That is good news for everyone. If you drive down 210 you will see the large piles of dirt and rock. See pictures here.

Phase 1 Progress
Everything seems to be on schedule for us to hear back from USDA by end of Feb. If you are a Phase 1 subscriber watch for a letter regarding the need for you to grant easement for the pipeline. This is a very important step we would like completed by end of Feb.

You can still sign up
If you are not a subscriber but live in a vicinity of the current pipelines please call (970-403-5790) us so we can help you get signed up (970-403-5790). You can see the pipeline maps here. If you look at the second map, any of the purple dots inside or very close to the red boundary line have a good chance of being added. Signing up now will cost the least as later the cost will be more.

11/30/16 – 2017 Budget expected to be voted on

At the Dec. 14, 2016 board meeting the 2017 Budget will be discussed and expected to be voted on.

11/30/16 – Get your neighbor to sign up for Phase 1

Want lower monthly cost? The more property owners that sign up the lower cost to you & your neighbor. If you know someone who has not yet subscribed for service on their property, PLEASE inform them that they can still signup. They probably qualify if the system pipelines are being installed in close proximity to their property, they still have the opportunity to sign up for a tap at the cost of $10,000 for a ¾” tap, with service to a primary residence and up to two accessory dwelling units on a single meter on a single parcel of land. If you have already subscribed and have interest in additional service locations, please contact at or 970-403-5790.

11/08/16 – New Photos Phase 0


Phase 0 – Construction pictures 10/26/16

More pictures here.

Lake Nighthorse
Entrance CR 210
Just before Intake structure
Toward Lake

10/7/16 – Phase 0 Construction Beginning

If you haven’t notice Phase 0 construction has started.  The pictures below shows the 16″ pipe at CR 141 & 125 & work on road to Intake Structure.  Watch for more pictures as construction progresses here and on Phase 0 page.


10/4/16 – Link to Durango TV story on Raw Water Groundbreaking

Click here for a link to the story done by Durango TV on the Raw Water groundbreaking.

September 14, 2016, LPWWA held the Raw Water Groundbreaking Ceremony

On September 14, 2016, LPWWA held the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the commencement of Phase 0 at the Tribute Garden Overlook by Lake Nighthorse. LPWWA, the lead agency, hosted eight entities that have supported the project with their contributions of time and money. The eight entities, including LPWWA,are shown in the shovel line-up below as follows: (left to right) Lake Durango Water Authority – Ward Holmes, La Plata West Water Authority – Mardi Gebhardt, Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe – Chairman Manuel Heart, Southwest Water Conservation District – Laura Spann, Southern Ute Indian Tribe – Chairman Clement Frost, Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District – Gene Bradley, La Plata Water Conservation District – Brice Lee, Colorado Water Resources & Power Development Authority – Bob Wolff, Colorado Water Conservation Board – Kirk Russell.  Other Groundbreaking photos can be found here.

LPWWA celebrated with 52 people related to the project. Speeches from all major entities were given with emphasis on the huge amount of joint cooperation between the groups to make this happen. Check out our website,, for more details of the event and some great pictures! Construction of Phase 0 is expected to be completed by August 2017.

Please note that the Durango Herald article, dated September 15, 2016, failed to report the significance and purpose of the groundbreaking ceremony. It was a significant milestone for our side of the county

in that the purpose of this project is to secure the treated water for the rest of the distribution system out to the far western side of La Plata County for our future phases.


Now that this project is on its way, can you still get into Phase 1?  YES, you can!  Tap fees cost $10,000 right now.  The more households that sign up, the less it will cost for everyone for the monthly charges.  For more information on how to sign up and to see if you are eligible please call (970) 403-5790.  Water User Agreement  can be found here .  Please pass on this information to anyone you know that doesn’t have internet.

9/14/16 – Phase 1 Update

Phase 1 is moving right along too! We have submitted our application with USDA for a loan to complete this phase of the project. We expect to hear back from USDA in late September, and we expect to get a letter of conditions that will list items we must accomplish before the loan to build the system is finalized. This is normal in the process to have things to complete in order to move forward. Most of the time they are very minor items that are normally required in construction projects. We, at this point, do not expect any major issues. If all goes as planned, we will be going out to bid for a construction contractor for Phase 1 in the Spring of 2017. We do know, at this time, that the USDA engineers have approved the Phase 1 design portion of the application.

7/11/16 – HURRAY! HURRAY!

LPWWA Board awarded a contract to Canyon Construction & Richard Phillips Marina, Co for Phase 0 Raw Water Project last night 8/10/16.  Stay tuned for more details and groundbreaking.

7/18/16 – Phase 0 and Phase 1 update

We are still working with the Phase 0 low bidder to get the cost within our budget.  Should have some kind of answer by Aug. 16 or sooner.  Keep watching here and we will get you the information as soon as we have more detail.  We expect a response from USDA for the Phase 1 loan some time in late August or early Sept.

6/18/16 – Phase 0 Bids

Bids for Phase 0 construction were opened on 6/16/16 with multiple responses, resulting in a competitive bid for all project components. After further review and analysis of bid responses during the next week, final review and negotiation with the low bidder is anticipated to occur. We anticipate action by the Board at its 7/13/16 meeting to consider approval of the recommendation for award of the raw water project construction.

6/18/16 – Phase 0 Bids

Bids for Phase 0 construction were opened on 6/16/16 with multiple responses, resulting in a competitive bid for all project components. After further review and analysis of bid responses during the next week, final review and negotiation with the low bidder is anticipated to occur. We anticipate action by the Board at its 7/13/16 meeting to consider approval of the recommendation for award of the raw water project construction.

6/17/16 – USDA Funding Application Sent in

We are happy to announce that the application to USDA for funding, of Phase 1 construction has been submitted. This is in the form of a loan which will be paid off by the monthly payments of subscribers.  We expect a response by late July or early Aug.  All indication right now are for a very positive response.  Please see the Timeline table on the website under Phase 1 for anticipated dates of construction.

6/4/16 – Phase 0 and Phase 1

Phase 0 bidding on schedule to open received bids on June 16.

Phase 1 information will be sent to USDA for loan approval in the very near future.  We expect to here from USDA on approval about 8 weeks from turn in date.

5/11/16 – Board Meeting Notes

Phase 0 bidding for the second time is on schedule for bid opening on June 16.  Much work has been done by our engineer Bartlett & West to improve the success of the bid process.

Facebook is now available to follow us with the latest changes.  Click on the Facebook logo in the top left corner to follow our Facebook page.  If you see any issues with Facebook or the website contact Ken Spence at

5/4/16 – Phase 0 Bidding

Bids were opened on March 31 for Phase 0 and we only had one bid for one of the major parts.  At the April 13 board meeting the board voted to reject the bids and do a rebid.  We hope to have the new bidding start mid May and opened in mid June.  A lot is being done to be sure we have more bids this next time.

5/4/16 – Resolutions Approved

3 Resolutions were passed regarding Phase 1at the 4/13/16 board meeting.
Resolution No. 2016-2 regarding commitment deposits for 2010.   Click here to see.
Resolution No. 2016-3 regarding well permit applications. Click here to see.
Resolution No. 2016-4 regarding designee for USDA. Click here to see.

3/20/16 – Board Advisory Committees can use your help

The board is looking for some help from people in the community to define tasks and assist in completing them for the LPWWA water project.  At the current time the board has 8 advisory committees.  If you are interested in helping even in a small way please contact one of the committee chairman.  If you want to help but are not sure which committee you might best help, please contact any board member.  Contact information is here.

Below is a list of those committees with chairpersons and current members..

Click here for Committee Chart
LPWWA Board Committees for 2016    
Committee NameCommittee ChairBoard
Functional areas & tasks for committee
PR/Marketing/Web presence Ken SpenceBarb McCallLinda RickettsGeneral public relations, publicity, newsletters,
Web site, Facebook page
Legal/NegotiationsKevin MallowRoy Horvath
Mardi Gebhardt
Paul Gray
Celene Hawkins
Amy Huff
Charlie Smith
Peter Ortego
Operations agreements, Maintenance agreement, bylaws, policies &
Phase 0
Kevin MallowMardi Gebhardt
Roy Horvath
Paul Gray
Jeanette Haas
Frank Smith
Barb McCall
Jeff Shamburg
Bernadette Cuthair
Construction monitoring, oversight
and communication
Phase 1
Roy HorvathMardi Gebhardt
Paul Gray
Jeanette Haas
Frank Smith
Barb McCall
Jeff Shamburg
Mae Morley
Bernadette Cuthair
Construction monitoring, oversight
and communication, easements
Financial/Budget/AuditMardi GebhardtFrank Smith
Paul Gray
Periodic financial reporting, financial transactions, budget and audit
processes at pertinent times
Grants & FundraisingRoy HorvathMardi Gebhardt
Jeanette Haas
Research on funding sources, communication with funding entities,
funding and grant applications/presentations
Engagement/Capacity BuildingRoy HorvathKevin MallowRecruitment of advisory committee members, identification of
tasks/commitments, definitions for staff positions as required
Archives/Information AccessKen SpenceJeanette Haas
Barb McCall
Roy Horvath
Structured retention of important documents & communications, both physical and electronic, access to information for Board
members and others as appropriate

3/20/16 – Phase Update

Phase 0 – Provide Water to Lake Durango and future treated water for LPWWA.

Bids are scheduled to be open on March 31, 2016 with contract awarded shortly after that.  Construction of the pipeline to Lake Durango is anticipated to begin late Spring.

Phase 1 – Construction of water pipeline to houses within the boundary of Phase 1

Initial field work for the Cultural Survey was completed 03/16/2016.  Cleanup work and specific site characterizations are now being completed with some field work required.  Now the Preliminary Engineering Report can be finalized and applications to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), USDA Rural Development and EPA’s State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) can be submitted.

2/26/16 – Phase 1 Cultural Survey to finish up on March 5 & 6.  (If the ground is clear of snow .)

March 5 & 6 are scheduled for the remaining Cultural Survey properties in the Marvel area.  You will be contacted if you are affected by this survey to get permission to enter your property.   If you have questions or want to just call and give permission call (970) 749-1949.

2/16/16 – LPWWA Project Update 

Now that the Holidays have past, we are back at work on final details prior to opening bids for the Phase 0 Project that will provide a way to get water to Lake Durango and future treated water to our area.   We anticipate many of our upcoming meetings this year to be construction-oriented with the commencement of the project expected this Spring, and are working on creating sub-committees to address and streamline the work that will need to done with regard to the many aspects that are involved with any construction project. 

Committees have been formed to focus on the following concerns:  legal/negotiations, financial/budget/audit, design/construction monitoring/engineering, public relations/marketing/web presence, grants/fundraising, engagement/capacity building, and archives/information access. We are looking for advisory, non-voting members to join each committee from the community to work with us. We’d be happy to talk with you to define tasks and time required, so if you have interest and familiarity in any of these areas, please contact a Board member to get involved and help support the project.

Our Phase 1 Project momentum has slowed due to our wonderful winter snow, not allowing the ongoing cultural survey started last fall to be finalized.  As the snow melts, survey technicians will be resuming on-site parcel reviews and complete their work.  If you have not been contacted for permission to survey your parcel, and have not received an easement agreement, (for Phase 1 area only) please contact us at, or Mardi Gebhardt at 970-749-1949.

Please recall that due to the length of waterline and the number of properties that are involved in the project, fair market compensation for easements would greatly reduce the feasibility of the project. Accordingly, LPWWA is asking property owners to donate easements needed for system pipelines. If you elect to do so, when the easement is finalized, we can provide you with information about the location and size of the easement you’d be donating, which will allow you to assign a value that can potentially be identified as a donation for tax purposes. Remember that the installation of the system will inherently provide an increase in your property value due to the access you’ll have to a safe and dependable source of domestic water. Successful completion of this phase and the whole system will greatly depend on us all working together to accomplish what would be impossible for us to achieve as individuals.

Please keep in mind, LPWWA always welcomes your input and your participation on one of our Advisory Sub-Committees. We greatly appreciate any time that any of you can give us.  Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm, at the Fort Lewis Elementary School.  This is a change from previous years.  Please consult our website for information on meeting dates and times.  Also, our website contains information on time-lines related to the construction of both phases.  Find the latest news at and look for us on Facebook in the very near future.

1/5/16 – New website Look

We hope you will enjoy the new website look.  We have improved the frequently asked question (FAQ) so they are much easier to find and read.  Take a look.  The Home page will have the most current news.  At the bottom of the pages is the weather that is Ken Spence’s weather station of CR 113 so you can get the latest weather if you like.  Please call Ken if you have any suggestions or find any problems.  Contact information is here.

12/8/15 – Board Thanks

JT Coyne has left the Board as of 11/15 after serving for five years.  JT spearheaded our PR campaign for signups for Phase 1.  He developed the catch phrase ‘I’m on tap are you,?” for our yard signs. He made numerous brochures, signs, and tended  our information  booths.  He will be sorely missed for his many good ideas and support for a project he believes in. We are sure he will be keeping in contact to see how we are progressing. We wish him & Barbara all the best in their new home.

Bernadette Cuthair will  be an added advisor for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.  She is the director for Planning and Development for the Tribe.  She will bring much experience during our planning and execution of our water project.  Welcome to LPWWA Bernadette!

12/7/15 – Looking for a few good men and women to join our Advisory Board

The Board is looking for a few good men and women to join our Advisory Board.  It’s a great way to help make history. Do you have talents to share? We will have more details after the first of the year. In the mean time,  please start thinking about how you might help to make this great water project flow in the best way! Call and let us know that you might be interested in.

12/5/15 -2016 Budget approved

At the 12/2/15 Board meeting the budget for the 2016 year was approved. Click here to see the Budget and here to see the Resolutions approving the budget.

11/21/15 – See the latest Board information below

Happy Thanksgiving!

As gentle reminder Phase 1 second half payment is due by December 31. Invoices will be send out shortly to those who still have account balances.

LPWWA is now accepting bids on Phase 0. Bid opening is slated for Jan 28, 2016.

Animas La Plata Water Conservation District (ALPWCD) approved $25,000 for LPWWA’s pre-construction costs for 2016 & 2017. CWCB approved a matching $25,000. The support of these groups are greatly appreciated.

Ken Spence was appointed to the LPWWA Board by ALPWCD at the 11/17/15 board meeting. Ken has been maintaining the website for the last 2 years and attended most meetings of the board during that time. Click here for BIO.

LPWWA received approval for $500,000, from Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) which will allow the Phase 0 (Raw Water) pipe to be increased from 8” to 16”. A very appreciated grant from CWCB.

11/14/15 – New Flash

Cultural walking survey within Phase 1 to start Monday, Nov 16th weather permitting (no snow on the ground).

11/13/15 -Phase 0 (Raw Water Project) and Phase 1 Update Information

We are so excited to share with you that water is coming our way! Phase 0, the raw water project that will bring water from the intake structure at Lake Nighthorse to the water treatment facility at Lake Durango, is making headway. The final construction documents were issued earlier this month and the project was advertised for construction bidding last week. Response to our pre-bid meeting this week was very encouraging and well-attended. Bids are due back in a few weeks and we are excited to give the notice to proceed to the successful contractor sometime in February.

With progress on Phase 0 moving ahead, we have been diligently working on the development of Phase 1. Our efforts to gain community support and participation this year has benefited all of you who signed on as Water Users for Phase 1. There currently are 140 Water Users that signed agreements during our campaign over the last couple of months.
FOR FULL DETAILS PLEASE CLICK Update letter 11-13-15 TO SEE FULL LETTER SENT TO THOSE WITH EMAIL ADDRESSES. If you didn’t get the email then send your email address to

10/20/15 -Minutes updated

Minutes on the website have been updated through 9/23/15.

YOU’RE ON TAP Incentive Program!!!

                  Get a Bonus, Boost the System and Don’t let this offer float by…YOU’RE ON TAP! 

Thank you! Now LPWWA has a deal for you. Fill in the ‘gaps’ and get your family/friend and/or neighbor on tap also and earn a $250 credit along with them!  It’s easy, no limit to the sign- ups, but they need to be located in Phase One.

GO HERE FOR THE WHOLE STORY! Posted 9/10/2015 

Save the date

LPWWA will be hosting an event at the Breen Community Building beginning at 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 3. We’ll start with an open house at 3:00 PM, with a meal being served from 5:30 to 7:00 and a dance starting about 7:30 PM. Come one, come all – Bring your neighbors and come join us!  Posted 9/10/2015

Exciting Announcement

The La Plata West Water Authority is pleased to announce that a pivotal milestone has been reached in the long struggle to bring domestic water to the western La Plata County.

 June 30th was the deadline for LPWWA to receive Water User Agreements and partial payment for Phase 1 of the LPWWA Delivery System.  This was a critical milestone because the number of resident’s that signed up defined the basis for the construction of Phase 1 of the project. Based on initial review and analysis, LPWWA has been advised by its engineers that enough sign-ups have been received for the project to be financially feasible. Currently, over 130 subscriptions have been received. As the initial Phase is finalized work will continue with surveys for environmental assessment reports, easement acquisition, etc. Based on the current schedule construction could begin during the summer of 2016. The outcome will be water flowing through pipelines and being delivered to residents of western La Plata County as early as the fall of 2016.  This is the culmination of decades of planning, community partnerships and countless hours of volunteer time to reach a goal that has been the dream of so many for so long.

La Plata West Water Authority Board of Directors has made a decision to extend the original Phase 1 area in several places. This measure could improve project finances while delivering domestic water to more users in the first phase.  Extensions of  Phase 1 include areas south and west of Kline, property owners along CR 134 south of Hwy 140, along with property owners in and immediately adjacent to the platted town site of Marvel and extending west on CR 100 to the Church Hollow area. These property owners will be contacted within the next two weeks regarding public meetings to be held at the Marvel Grange Hall. The meetings are scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 6:30-8:00 PM and Saturday, August 1, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM for questions and sign-ups.

Another major milestone for LPWWA will be the construction of the raw water pipeline from Lake Nighthorse which is scheduled for construction beginning in the fall of 2015.  This project component will be completed in partnership with the Lake Durango Water Authority, Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and will construct a pipeline from the LPWWA intake structure to Lake Durango. This partnership will make it possible to supply water to all projected phases of the LPWWA system, current and new customers in the LDWA service area and future Tribal needs.

For further information, see our web site at or call (970)-749-1949  >Posted 7/23/2015