A Cedaredge High School senior who graduated early to pursue her nursing career plans is Orchard City's student of the month for March.
Mikaylah Saenz graduated early last semester from CHS with a 3.8 grade point average.
Two constituents came forward at the Orchard City Town Board meeting on March 8 to question trustees about the water rate increase.
Jan Gage, a former trustee, expressed concern for senior citizens in town on fixed incomes who would be hurt financially by the doubling of water rates.
Following action by the Orchard City Town Board on March 8, customers of the town's domestic water system will see steep increases in both base charges and user fees beginning May 1.
The move came on a split 5-1 vote.
The Town of Orchard City will not be going into the cemetery business.
By a vote of 4-0 on March 8, town board members rejected the idea of participating in some manner with management and operations of the Cory Cemetery.
The Orchard City Town Board at its Wednesday, March 8, meeting will act on a proposal which, if adopted, would double residential water rates.
For example, based on preliminary figures provided to the Delta County Independent, the monthly base charge in-town would rise from $13 to $25, and the use rate for the first 20,000 gallons would rise from $0.99 per thousand gallons to $1.89 per thousand gallons.
Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore has promised a discussion and possible vote March 8 on whether the town board wants to get involved in management of the Cory Cemetery.
The future status of Cory Cemetery management has been uncertain since its board of directors resigned six years ago.
Editor's note: With a majority of Orchard City trustees expressing interest in marijuana business as a way of raising town government revenue, and with a majority of town residents likely opposed to the idea, thanks to Orchard City resident Matt Soper for compiling a history of the marijuana issue in Orchard City and Delta County. (Sources and references are available.)
The Orchard City student of the month for February is Cristina Caballero, a senior at Delta High School.
Cristina has a 4.13 grade point average and has completed advanced coursework in language and composition, statistics, calculus, physics and environmental science.
The Orchard City Town Board meeting on Feb. 8 adopted an emergency ordinance placing a moratorium on issuance of building permits or water taps for parcels located in the 17-lot LaHabra II subdivision.
Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore and some of the town board members expressed disappointment that a room full of constituents left immediately following the previous week's community meeting on government revenue and marijuana.
"It was very interesting," Volgamore said during the town board's regular meeting on Feb. 8, "that after we went over the three items, especially the marijuana, that all but four [of the 70 people] got up and left.
Residents of Orchard City filled town hall to standing room to tell town board members their views on increasing government revenues and allowing marijuana business to operate there.
A trend of declining revenues the town is experiencing is contributing to depleted cash reserves in town budget funds including the water fund and roads fund, a trustee report has concluded.
A critical view of Orchard City finances -- a view which has led to proposal of marijuana business and sales tax for the town -- is a view which may seem more alarming than is justified.
There was broad agreement at last week's town meeting that water rates need be raised.
During the Orchard City town meeting on marijuana and town revenues last week, Mayor Ken Volgamore noted that the town board has the ability to allow marijuana business in the town without putting the issue to a vote of the electorate. However, the mayor did not endorse doing so.
A citizen complaint about speeding traffic on 2150 Road will result in additional signage on the long stretch of straight and narrow Orchard City roadway.
Trustees decided to place an additional 35 m.p.h. speed sign on the road and also to place signage warning of slow moving farm equipment.
Orchard City and Cedaredge have opted to participate in the state's Rural Jump Start economic stimulus program. But officials believe the pool of new businesses that will qualify for the tax incentives being offered is small.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has appointed Orchard City native Matthew Soper to be a non-attorney and Republican member of the Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission representing Delta County. Soper replaces Commissioner Bill Raley of Delta.
The Orchard City Town board adopted an ordinance at its Jan. 11 meeting designed "to put teeth" into its building codes by assessing big fines for violations.
Isaac Fuller, a home schooled high school senior who intends to pursue Biblical studies following graduation has been named Orchard City's student of the month for January.
The idea of Orchard City turning to marijuana as a town government tax source first came up at the end of a budget work session last September. Mayor Ken Volgamore took a straw poll of trustees on the marijuana-as-revenue issue. No decisions were made at that time.
Mayor Ken Volgamore has scheduled a town board work session discussion about the issues of declining town revenues, dwindling cash reserves in town budget funds, and ideas for addressing the two problems, ideas that include allowing marijuana businesses to operate in Orchard City as a means of generating tax revenue.
The Orchard City trustees, at their Jan. 4 work session, opened a dialog on the problem of declining town revenues, dwindling cash reserves, and on possible ways to reverse the trends.
Among the ideas suggested was whether to allow marijuana businesses to operate in town and so provide more tax revenue for local government.
Orchard City trustees are considering a town sales tax and other possible money raising ideas. Discussion of various ideas will begin at the town board's first work session of the year: Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. according to town hall.
Orchard City's water fund is the largest of the town's budget funds.
For 2017, an amount of just over $1 million in expenditures has been budgeted for the fund's operations and maintenance programs.
The Orchard City Town Board has dealt with several one-of-a-kind customer service issues recently.
The problems the town has encountered with meeting water customer requests have different causes. One involves the 17-lot La Habra II subdivision; a failed development proposal that dates back to the 1970s.
Orchard City's free use town park is a point of pride for the community. It receives many compliments by users who visit from around the region and across the state.
Orchard City's student of the month for December is Madiea Lyons, a senior at Delta High School.
She was presented with the honor during the town board's regular Dec. 14 meeting.
Orchard City trustees discussed an aberration in results of the monthly water audit report during their Dec. 14 regular meeting.
A report from the trustee water committee noted that the audit report is showing "significant water loss" and indicating "huge discrepancies." The aberrant readings are occurring below the storage tanks at the town water plant, the committee reported.
People in the Town of Orchard City receive much benefit from the services provided by HopeWest, trustees were told at their Dec. 14 regular meeting.
Nancy Hovde of Cedaredge and representing HopeWest paid a courtesy call on the town board to deliver a thanks for helping promote and supporting Hospice and Palliative Care Month during November.
Orchard City trustees called a special meeting on Nov. 30 for the purpose of holding an executive session to discuss a "personnel matter." The motion did not provide any further specificity regarding the topic. The closed-door meeting lasted for a full hour.
The Orchard City Town Board has chosen Delta High School senior Emily Nortnik as its student of the month.
Emily has been a three-sport athlete throughout middle and high school.
Local governments in Surface Creek Valley have issued several proclamations recently noting contributions made to the community by organizations and individuals.
• Both Orchard City and Cedaredge adopted proclamations honoring HopeWest in observance of Hospice and Palliative Care Month during November.
What to do about the failure of pavement on Austin Road, rebuilt just 10 years ago, will be discussed by the Orchard City Town Board at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
The Orchard City Town Board is faced with a decision on how to remedy the pavement failure occurring on Austin Road.
The Orchard City Town Board dealt with several items of business during its regular meeting on Oct. 13. Among those items were the following:
The Orchard City Town Board, which is considering its own sales tax proposal for the town, last week gave a thumbs up to the Delta County Ambulance District's bid for a 2.25 mill tax increase on the November ballot.
Following a presentation at the board's Oct. 12 meeting, trustees voted to give political support to the ambulance district's proposal for the tax hike from 2.5 to 5.75 mills.
Orchard City trustees got their first glimpse of the town's proposed 2017 budget document at their regular meeting Oct. 12.
The budget proposal delivered to trustees calls for a total $1.93 million in planned spending for next year.
Sisters Megan and Brooke Toothaker were honored as Orchard City's students of the month by the town trustees at their Oct. 12 meeting.
The presentations were made by Mayor Ken Volgamore.
Orchard City trustees held their first work session for the 2017 budget on Sept. 21. In addition to reviewing department spending proposals, trustees discussed donations the town may make next year.
The Orchard City Town Board adopted a newly revised version of the town's Master Plan at its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 14.
Adoption was preceded by a public hearing at which no public comment was offered.
Williams Orchards has acquired the former Hi-Quality fruit packing facility on Fruitgrowers Road in a lease/purchase deal.
Connie Williams told the DCI that the company is already using the facility for fruit packing and processing.
The Orchard City trustees gathering at its monthly work session on Sept. 7 discussed a thorny issue involving enforcement of its building permit regulations.
During a staff and trustee discussion, it was stated that construction had been started on a commercial building in town without the owner first obtaining a town building permit costing $250.
Though the Orchard City Master Plan is set to be reissued in a new and updated version, the community's old-fashioned values of "live and let live" expressed in the original 2005 plan are restated in the proposed 2016 revision.
"Orchard City has adopted a land use philosophy of 'live and let live' that does not include zoning regulations," states part of the community's vision plan.
The Town of Orchard City hosted its 13th annual picnic last Saturday, a community tradition begun in 2004 by then town mayor Tom Huerkamp.
At that first town picnic held in the town shops, elected officials and staff contributed fresh produce from their own home gardens and kids got rides on the fire truck.
The much-studied and eventually abandoned idea for a small hydropower generator driven by Orchard City's water plant inflows came up for discussion again by trustees on Aug. 10.
The agenda topic was prompted by a trustee invitation to Jim Heneghan, renewable energy engineer for DMEA.
The Orchard City Town Board agreed at its July 13 meeting to participate in developing a hazard mitigation plan for the county.
The request to participate was made by county emergency manager Jeff Wright. He told the trustees that the deadline for participation was that same evening.
The severe economic consequences widely expected in Delta County since decline of the coal industry began with layoffs at Oxbow in 2013 have yet to materialize, as far as Orchard City finances are concerned.
"Overall, the town is better off financially in 2015 than you were in 2014," auditor Pete Blair told trustees on July 13.
The Orchard City trustees at their regular monthly meeting on July 13 declined an offer to host a community event promoting DMEA's broadband business project. However, explained Mayor Ken Volgamore, there is no problem if private individuals want to rent the community room and stage a promotion on their own.
The Orchard City Town Board has appointed Gary Tollefson, a 38-year resident of the community, to fill a trustee vacancy.
Tollefson was a U.S. Forest Service employee for 23 years before retiring, he said during his interview on May 11.
The 35-members of the Orchard City Women's Club held their annual fundraiser auction for local charity last Friday -- an occasion for doing good while having fun and enjoying friendship.
Members of the 94-year-old local service organization dispensed with all appearance of pondering seriousness that sometimes accompanies the financial support of social causes in the community.
The Orchard City Town Board will hold a work session at 6:30 p.m. prior to its regular May 11 monthly meeting to interview applicants for the open trustee position.
Mayor Ken Volgamore was elected last month with two years yet remaining on his trustee term.
The Orchard City Town Board met in special session April 20 for a changing of the guard as newly elected trustees and mayor accepted their oaths of office and assumed their positions on the town board.
Mayor Ken Volgamore's election by voters to mayor halfway through his four-year trustee term has left one more vacancy on the town board.
Giving final approval to the annual agreement with Field of Dreams for organized youth sports use at Orchard City Town Park was the major business item on the agenda for town trustees on April 13.
The town board's business item gave occasion for the trustees and the youth sports organization's president to exchange appreciation for each other's efforts on behalf of the area's youth sports.
Tori Carr has been named Orchard City's student of the month for April.
Tori's resume includes numerous accomplishments and achievements during her career at Delta High School.
Ken Volgamore has been elected to a four-year term as Orchard City mayor in the April 5 municipal elections.
Volgamore has served half of a four-year term as trustee he was elected to in 2014.
The current Orchard City Town Board will have one more full business meeting together on April. 13.
Then, on the following Wednesday, April 20, the trustees will convene in an official special meeting to seat the new mayor and trustees.
Even though the Town of Orchard City at present has no plans nor expressed interest for entering the telecommunications business, the town's voters have given their government permission to do so virtually without restriction so long as any such venture in the future is done "without charge to members of the public."
Incumbent town trustee Craig Fuller was the high vote getter among the four candidates for Orchard City Town Board, getting 592 votes out of a total 2,056 cast for trustee candidates in the April 5 municipal election, according to unofficial election results.
The ballots have been tallied, and the following are the results of the voting in each of the county's municipalities, according to the Delta County Clerks Office:
Hotchkiss voters turned down ballot measures that would have authorized retail or medical marijuana facilities in the community. The medical marijuana measure was rejected with 156 against and 133 in favor; the retail marijuana measure was defeated with 161 against and 129 in favor. A third measure, adding a 2 percent sales tax to marijuana sales, was a moot issue since neither measure authorizing sales was passed.
The Orchard City student of the month for March is Abbigail Nicholson.
She was presented with her honor by Mayor Don Suppes during the town board's March 9 meeting.
Orchard City's new town board will not take up its official position until a special meeting scheduled for April 20.
According to Town Administrator Melissa Oelke, there is a 10-day gap between the April 5 election and the April 15 official determination (canvass) of the election results.
Mike Morgan, a team sports coach at Cedaredge High School, has been named assistant coach of the year by the Colorado High School Coaches Association, the DCI has learned.
Morgan, who is the public works director for the Town of Orchard City, was congratulated on his recognition by members of the town board at their regular monthly meeting on March 9.
The Orchard City Town Board has agreed to lend the town's support for development of local renewable hydroelectric power generation.
Following a presentation to the trustees during their meeting on March 9, the town staff will draft a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opposing a proposal by Tri-State Generation and Transmission.
The mayoral contest in Orchard City for this year's municipal election has incumbent trustee Ken Volgamore going up against former trustee Jan Gage.
Gage is a former trustee who also served as mayor pro-tem.
Orchard City's student of the month for February is Kerry Ribbens, a senior at Cedaredge High School.
His award was presented during the regular monthly meeting of the Cedaredge Town Board on Feb. 10.
Orchard City voters will have a chance to decide whether their town government may "opt out" from the statutory prohibitions of Senate Bill 152 and thereby use public resources to support a local telecommunications "broadband" business.
An opt-out measure similar to the ones adopted by voters in five other local municipalities, and also by county voters, was approved by the town board in January.
There will be mayoral races in both Cedaredge and Orchard City in the April 5 municipal elections.
At the Jan. 25 deadline, in Cedaredge there are two candidates.
The Orchard City Town Board and the top administrative official from Colorado Municipal League met in public on Jan. 13 in a bid to mend fences.
A disagreement with how the CML is using annual member dues had led the trustees to consider withdrawing from the organization which provides educational resources to and lobbies for the municipalities of Colorado.
Orchard City's student of the month for January is Brittany Chlarson, a senior at Cedaredge High School.
Brittany has attained a 4.02 grade-point average.
The Orchard City water capital construction fund will be the source of $300,000 for replacement of waterlines in the Del Ray subdivision. Money paid into the fund by water users' $5 monthly capital construction fee will raise $128,544 on the revenue side.
The Orchard City student of the month for December is Cedaredge High School senior Danielle Freeman, known to friends and family as Nellie.
She has compiled an impressive resume of activities and accomplishments during her career at CHS.
Orchard City's long-term financial outlook as described in the 2016 budget cites examples of declining revenues in some key areas.
However, balanced against that, the town's cash position and available funds and fund balances in budget accounts show a healthy underlying financial picture.
The Town of Orchard City has taken a different approach from other county municipalities on the broadband issue.
That doesn't mean the town won't be participating in the Region 10 broadband network project.
In April's municipal election at Orchard City, there will be four trustee seats up for election -- three with four-year terms and one with a two-year term -- along with the mayoral seat.
Orchard City town clerk Melissa Oelke announced at the trustees' Dec. 9 meeting that candidate petition packets for the upcoming April elections will be available right after the first of the year.
Orchard City's troubled West Main water transmission line encountered another failure over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a report from the trustee water committee.
One of the fused couplings which has experienced previous failures on the HDPE polymer line failed over that weekend.
The Orchard City Town Board may be close to deciding what to do with a new piece of equipment the town bought earlier this year that isn't performing as promised.
The town purchased the $6,900 road shouldering side dresser with expectations that it would cut in half the number of man-hours need for the labor-intensive task of maintaining road shoulders.
The Orchard City trustees have agreed to send a letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation, endorsing the county's plans for a gravel truck haul route that eventually will run from the North Road pit to Highway 65 at Eckert.
The county is being required by CDOT to apply for an access permit for its 18-wheel, belly-dump, semi-tractor trailer gravel trucks to use the North Road-SH65 intersection as the primary haul route.
The Orchard City Town Board received copies of the town's proposed 2016 budget of $1.91 million during its meeting on Oct. 14.
The budget's $1.91 total expenditure figure includes spending on the following individual items from the various budget funds.
Amber Jenkins has been named Orchard City's student of the month for October.
During presentation of the honor at the trustee's Oct. 14 meeting, Mayor Don Suppes noted that Amber, a senior at Cedaredge High School, has a 4.05 grade point average and is a member of National Honor Society.
Orchard City's Centennial honor wall is going to have to be rebuilt.
The structure is crumbling from a lack of adequate foundation support. Adobe soils the structure is built on are likely contributing to the problem also.
Delta Montrose Electric Association is asking local governments in Delta County for assistance in making plans for a possible decision to enter the "last mile" Internet service provider business.
The Orchard City Town Board has hit the brakes and taken a "slow down, wait and see" approach to the coordinated push to place a broadband "opt-out" measure on local November ballots.
Orchard City continues to make strides in its program of minimizing leaks that cause lost water and lost money from its sprawling domestic water utility.
Evidence of success in its efforts came from two reports presented to town trustees at their Aug. 12 meeting.
The Orchard City Town Board is hoping to get some questions answered soon about the Region 10 broadband fiberoptic cable network project. At the trustees' Aug. 12 meeting, concerns about potential pitfalls of the project were aired when supporters advised the board on allowing the town to enter the Internet service provider business.
With Delta County's events calendar abounding in fruit festivals, brews and wine festivals, music festivals and summer days festivals, Orchard City's annual town picnic could just as well be called the Friends and Family Fun Festival.
Orchard City resident R. Allen Scheetz and the town's trustees took tentative steps toward resolving a conflict during the town board's meeting on Aug. 12.
The trustee/Scheetz discussion was businesslike and at times pointed.
Orchard City's town government has been advised by a state water official that it has to revise a 2010 ordinance dealing with construction in floodplains, but town officials have questions.
Orchard City Trustees wondered whether other municipalities in the area had received the same instructions on changing their local floodplain ordinances.
The Orchard City Irrigation District (OCID) board, meeting last week, increased its water share allocation to 130 percent. The previous allocation was 80 percent.
Orchard City trustees during a special meeting on July 22 heard a positive report from an audit of its finances for the year ending 2014.
As the town's auditor had done previously reporting to another Surface Creek Valley town, Cedaredge, on its financial report for 2014, auditor Pete Blair pronounced Orchard City "better off financially in 2014 than you were in 2013."
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