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Water work session reveals optimism

Information provided by the Castle Pines North Metropolitan District

The Castle Pines North Metro District (CPNMD) and Parker Water & Sanitation District (PWSD) boards of directors and district managers met last month for a joint work session to answer two primary questions: In some form or fashion, should CPNMD and PWSD merge their respective water and wastewater services? To what degree would doing so benefit residents, commercial property owners and small businesses of both districts?

The introductory meeting brought the leadership teams of both jurisdictions together to become better acquainted, exchange notes, hear from staff, and build momentum toward the release of much-anticipated study results. From the CPNMD perspective, much optimism was shared:

“Three months ago, during our February Metro District board meeting, I recommended that we intensify a collaborative water and wastewater service-integration feasibility study with the Parker Water & Sanitation District (PWSD),” said CPNMD District Manager Jim Worley. “Our board unanimously embraced that recommendation … Our respective staff/consultant teams are in ‘data-collection mode’ and by all accounts are moving forward as expeditiously, methodically and responsibly as possible.”

Citing the complex nature of the study, CPNMD President David McEntire sought to manage expectations. “Analyzing rate-structure differentials and assessing the value of our water rights, water infrastructure, water storage and sewage-treatment capacities are among the data collection and analysis challenges we are tackling. Many other finance, engineering, and legal questions require attention as well. I’m pleased that the study is progressing as planned,” he said. “If all goes well these next couple of months, I think we can reasonably expect the staff/consultant team’s preliminary analysis as early as July of this year, with recommendations to follow in August.”

“I left our joint work session with two overriding impressions,” said CPNMD Director Denise Crew. “First, the group dynamics and comradery between everyone present suggest that the relationship between our two districts is collaborative, constructive, and strong at every level. Second, the work session reaffirmed my personal opinion that integrating our water and wastewater systems with Parker’s could help reinforce the fabric of our city.”

PWSD is the water and wastewater service provider for what will soon be the other half of the City of Castle Pines, east of I-25. “From my perspective,” continued Crew, “If the study reveals improved economies of scale and cost controls for the people of both Castle Pines and Parker, then why wouldn’t we take advantage of that opportunity?”

CPNMD Director Christopher Lewis added, “Theoretically, the opportunity to spread the cost of buying water and renewable water, and the cost of designing, building, operating, maintaining, and financing water-related infrastructure over thousands more rooftops should lower the cost-escalation trajectory of monthly water bills in both jurisdictions,” he said. “Though cautiously optimistic, as an analytical person, I will be eager to review the final study, and apply my own critical-thinking skills to evaluate staff’s methodology, underlying assumptions, and conclusions.”

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