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Special Joint Meeting with PAWSD, October 2023





A Special Meeting of San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) with Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) was held Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 4 pm in person at 100 Lyn Avenue and on Zoom.

The following SJWCD Directors were present in person: Al Pfister, Rob Hagberg, Candace Jones, Bill Nobles, and Chuck Riehm. Sally High, Executive Assistant, was present in person. Directors Proffitt and Nossaman attended by Zoom. SJWCD Attorney Jeff Kane attended by Zoom.

The following PAWSD Directors were present in person: Jim Smith, Gene Tauges, Bill Hudson, and Peter Hurley. Director Glenn Walsh attended by Zoom. PAWSD employees present were Renee Lewis, Cyndi Foster, Justin Ramsey, and Aaron Burns. PAWSD Attorney Brad Seidel attended by Zoom.

Attending by Zoom was Tobi Rohwer, business owner. Attending in person was Josh Pike, Pagosa SUN.

Call to Order

The Special Joint Meeting of SJWCD and PAWSD was called to order by PAWSD President Jim Smith at 4:00 p.m. A quorum from both boards was present.

Revisions to Agenda

The Boards considered Revisions to the Agenda. No revisions were needed.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

The Boards considered Declarations of Conflict of Interest. No Conflicts of Interest were identified.

Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

Consideration of Approach to Uses of the Jointly-Owned Property

Directors considered how to use the jointly-owned Running Iron Ranch property. Both the 2016 contract (long version) and the 2017 Power Point slides (short version), created by Renee Lewis and Justin Ramsey, were used to clarify understanding. A point clarified was the fiscal responsibility of both water districts in the event of sale of the property or default on the debt. Agreement was reached that the property should be used for the highest best public use.

Consideration of Weber Request to Extend Grazing Lease

The Weber family has run cattle on the Running Iron Ranch in years past and has requested an extension of the 2023 grazing lease. PAWSD has received approximately $3,750 a year from the Webers for grazing (on a per head basis). The existing lease required maintenance of the property. The Weber’s fulfillment of that expectation was not satisfactory, according to some directors. Other cattle ranchers have expressed an interest in leasing the property for grazing. PAWSD will consider other lease proposals if they are received before their December 14, 2023 meeting. The PAWSD Board Packet will be finalized by December 7.

Consideration of Public Access to River if County Interest Remains

PAWSD has voted to build employee housing on the 20-acre parcel and to no longer entertain a proposal from Archuleta County to build a put-in for boats and public access on the parcel. PAWSD stated that they may consider allowing private river outfitters to use the parcel as a put-in, under specific conditions.

Consideration of PAWSD’s Sale of Jointly-Owned Property

A realtor contacted PAWSD with a preliminary offer to buy the ~20-acre parcel on the river for $50,000 per acre ($1 million total). A suggestion was made that PAWSD contact the realtor and ask that the interested parties buy the entire 660 acres. A suggestion was made that options for securing future water supply, other

than using river water or building a reservoir, be explored. A suggestion was made to get a legal opinion as to whether or not it can be sold. PAWSD and SJWCD directors voted on whether or not to sell. The vote was a unanimous no.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the Special Meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.


By /s/ Sally High

Executive Assistant for Board of Directors