Frisco officials talk over water issues |

Frisco officials talk over water issues

FRISCO – Despite this week’s heavy snowfall, Frisco officials planned for continuing drought conditions this summer.

“This is nice outside here,” said Frisco water operations foreman Dave Koop, pointing out the window, “but I think we’re going to run into the same problem this summer.”

Frisco council members discussed water conservation measures at thier worksession Tuesday – with the intent of implementing an ordinance in time for the irrigation season.

Frisco implemented a voluntary water conservation program last year in the early part of the summer. By late August, the town council unanimously agreed to make the town’s conservation program mandatory.

Officials are preparing for similar measures this summer.

Public Works Director Tim Mack recommended the town enact a water conservation plan which includes public education, a four-step water-restriction program and modification of Frisco’s water rates and charges.

“Staff’s goal is to preserve quality of life, the town’s existing water resource and maintain the system’s economic viability over the long term,” Mack said in a memo to the council.

The proposed water restriction program includes four phases, beginning with voluntary water restrictions. The trigger points for the various levels of mandatory restrictions would be based on stream flow levels in North Ten Mile Creek and other factors. The final phase would prohibit outside watering.

Those who don’t comply with mandatory restrictions would first receive a written warning from the town. Mack recommended $100 for the second offense, $150 for the third and $250 for the fourth and all subsequent offenses.

Though council members agreed with Mack’s proposed restriction and fine schedule, several disagreed with his suggested modifications of the town’s water rates.

Frisco currently charges $30 per quarter for 24,000 gallons of water – which equals $1.25 per 1,000 gallons. The town would need to increase the rate to $1.73 to cover the water department’s operating expenses, Mack said.

But officials feared that increase would be too much for Frisco’s residents.

Instead, Mack suggested the town keep the quarterly water fee at $30 but decrease the amount of water to 18,000 – bringing the rate to about $1.65 for 1,000 gallons.

Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli and Councilmembers David Amli and Bernie Zurbriggen said they liked Mack’s suggestion, as it give residents an incentive to conserve water.

But Councilmembers Rick Amico, Dede Dighero-Tuso, Jon Zdechlik and Tom Connolly disagreed. They would prefer to leave the base water amount at 24,000 gallons, they said, but increase the quarterly bill to at least $42.

Tuesday’s discussion was the first of two on water rates and conservation, Mack said. If council members reach a consensus during their second discussion (Tuesday, April 1) the resulting ordinance should be scheduled for a first reading at the Tuesday, April 15 council meeting.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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