Castle Pines North Metro District – An Overview of Services and Plans for the Future
President of the Castle Pines North Metro District Board of Directors, Mark Shively
by Terri Wiebold
President of the Castle Pines North Metro District (District) Board of Directors, Mark Shively, gave a presentation at the February Master Association meeting educating residents about the function of the Metro District and its vision for the future.
What Does the Metro District Do?
First and foremost, the District is the water provider to approximately 10,000 residents in CPN. It owns and operates 11 wells, which produce approximately 2,000 acre-feet of water per year – enough to service close to 4,000 homes. The water is lifted, treated, and stored for later use. Electricity to move the water is a major expense for the District, which had an estimated annual operating budget of $12 million in 2006.
The District is responsible for the collection and disposal of sewage within its service boundaries as well. It utilizes eight lift stations and supports the underground transportation of sewage to the Plum Creek Wastewater Authority for treatment and conversion to reuse water. Approximately 90 percent of the 240 acre-feet per year water demand of The Ridge golf course is met with reuse water from the plant.
The District is also involved in storm water management, from collection ponds to open space ditches. According to Shively, storm water management accounts for only $.2 million of its annual $5.3 million utility enterprise expenses, with water accounting for $3.9 million and sewer expenses $1.2 million.
The District is also responsible for maintaining community parks, medians, 14 miles of trails, and the majority of open space throughout the CPN community. This, in addition to capital expenditures and transfers to the utility enterprise, makes up the general fund of approximately $3.1 million.
Debt payment of the remaining $29 million owed on the existing infrastructure, of which the District paid $3.3 million last year, accounts for the balance of the operating budget.
What About Future Renewable Water?
Shively discussed in great detail three initiatives the District had in 2005, including its Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP), the NW Douglas County Water Conservation Plan, and the future possibilities for renewable water.
According to Shively, water conservation is definitely a focus for the future. The District hopes to reduce water consumption by an additional 10 percent or more, and raise water rates for water wasters. “In my view, we need to increase rates because it encourages conservation,” said Shively. “Rates go up and people cut back on usage, only until they get used to the new rate and then they go back to increased usage…there is a pain threshold,” he said. Another focus for the future will undoubtedly be Xeriscaping. In October, the District’s board of directors approved a $115,000 Xeriscape project for the Community Center.
And finally, there is the never-ending search for affordable, reliable and sustainable sources of renewable water. To learn more about the District’s efforts to secure renewable water or the services it provides, visit www.cpnmd.org.