Palisade’s Board of Trustees was treated to a field trip to the new wastewater lift station, built this spring at the east end of Riverbend Park near the lagoon ponds. On Monday afternoon, May 27, trustees met at the new facility for a tour before their regular biweekly meeting. The facility will be able to pre-treat the town’s wastewater before it enters the ponds, making the process more environmentally friendly, and also easier to maintain the ponds. Public Works Director Frank Watt took the group through the treatment process, starting at the point that the wastewater enters the facility from town into a new ‘wet well,’ which will help resolve some blocked or sluggish flow issues. Explaining that wastewater is actually about 99% clear water and only about 1% solid waste, Watt showed trustees how the wastewater is moved from the intake into the facility by means of a cam-activated ‘lift’. Since mechanical removal of the solids is the primary function of the new lift station, two pumps have been installed to move the water from the intake ‘wet well’ into the treatment building. There, solids are screened and organic material is treated before the wastewater ever enters the lagoon ponds for final filtering. According to Watt, “The lagoons provide both air and time; time to settle things out, and air to support biological activity, which gobbles up the organic wastes.” Solid removal within the new facility will allow the town staff to then test the wastewater before it ever enters the lagoon ponds, giving more control over the condition of the ponds themselves, as well as improved wastewater treatment. The wastewater from the lagoon ponds then enters a recently installed diffuser system, from which it empties into the Colorado River. The diffuser serves to spread the input into the river over a larger area than a solitary pipe output. Watt also pointed out some of the safety features of the new facility, as well as some still to come, like security fencing and methane monitors.

Housing Resources

Adjourning to the meeting room at the Civic Center for the remainder of the meeting, trustees then got to work on the evening’s agenda. Special commendation was given to Housing Resources of Western Colorado for their work providing owner-built home programs to lower income citizens. The first through the second Saturdays in June have been proclaimed to be ‘NeighborWorks Week’, celebrating the efforts to create healthy, involved communities. A community garden for the Wine Valley subdivision of Housing Resource homes in Palisade will be ready for visitors this Saturday, June 14, as part of the celebration.

The month of June was officially designated as Bike Month, and Palisade joins the nationwide effort to promote cycling as a fun and healthy, family friendly activity, as well as an environmentally friendly method of transportation to work, school and around town. Wednesday, June 25, Bike to Work Day, will be celebrated in Palisade with a breakfast in our Town Plaza from 6:30 – 9 a.m. Details will follow, keep watching the Peach Town News for information.

Police Chief Tony Erickson congratulated Officer Pat Smith on his recent retirement, then moved to an explanation of the function of the Western Slope Center for Children, an advocacy center for childrens’ rights. They have requested support from the Town of Palisade for their current programs, as well as future development. Erickson explained how important the work of the center is in making sure that juvenile victims are well cared for once within the justice system.

He also updated the town staff on safety procedures at town hall, related to recent national events involving citizens and gun violence. Town Administrator Rich Sales offered assistance to the Town of Collbran after the recent mudslide, and enlightened trustees on the possible consequences to those of us who are ‘downstream.’

Trustee Penny Prinster reported on installation of a new light for the flagpole at the Fire Station. The old light fixture was tearing the flag, which will also be replaced when the fixture is upgraded.

Reports on the continuing upgrade of the Skate Park at Memorial Park were updated by Frank Watt and Trustee Cody Butters. Reconstruction is proceeding, although not quite as quickly as originally hoped.

Mayor Roger Granat reminded everyone that more floats are needed for the town’s Fourth of July parade. The theme is Palisade’s Cen-Ten, our centennial plus ten, as the town was incorporated in 1904.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the public meetings of the Board of Trustees, held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center meeting room.