Littleton City Council Meeting Minutes – March 11, 2008

 Littleton City Council Special Meeting

March 11, 2008

Jim Taylor and Jose Trujillo were absent. 

Bi Cities Treatment Plant and Environmental Controls/Regulations for Water Quality

There were several representatives from the Littleton Englewood Waste Water Treatment Plant (L/EWWTP) in attendance.  The discussion concerned the designation given to Segment 14 of the South Platte River – the section of the river that the L/EWWTP discharges water into upon completion of the treatment process.

This section of the river will be under review in the near future.  The designation of the river may be changed which would require stricter water quality requirements on the plant that can equate to over $200 million to treat the water for each of the contaminants listed in the regulations.  The council was told that the water quality coming from the L/EWWTP is not damaging the environment hence the statement, quoted below, that the new guidelines could create additional treatment requirements and capital costs with little or no environmental benefits.

Quoting from Impacts of Antidegradation on Segment 14 of the Sout Platte River Littleton’Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant, dated February 13, 2008

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a system for classifying bodies of water based on their actual or expected uses.  In Colorado, the basic beneficial uses are recreation, aquatic life, agricultural and water supply.  Stream segments are classified based on the level of water quality protection necessary to protect designated beneficial uses.  To protect these uses, Colorado’s Water Quality Control Division (Division) classifies each water body as “Outstanding,” “Use-Protected” or “Reviewable.”

The section of the South Platte that the L/EWWTP discharges into is Segment 14 which is designated as “Reviewable” and

“because of this classification is subject to an anti-degradation review with any new or increased water quality impacts, such as the current L/EWWTP expansion.  (emphasis added)  In “Reviewable” waters, if no reasonable alternatives are available degradation is allowed only if it is necessary to accommodate important economic or social development.  It is a complicated regulatory issue; with the Division determining if a treatment facility is justified in varying from the anti-degradation constraints (lower effluent limits) placed on them through the anti-degradation guideline.  The intention of the requirement sounds reasonable; however, upon evaluating specific parameters per the guideline may cause additional treatment and capital costs for L/EWWTP with minimal or no environmental benefits.”

The question before council is to determine if they should request a “Use-Protected” designation as opposed to a “Reviewable” designation.  It will cost Littleton 50% of $150,000 to go through a public hearing process.  The process will take at least a year and there is no guarantee that the designation change will be granted. 

Council will be making a decision as to whether they want to spend the money or not.  In a closing comment it was stated that taxpayers are all for cleaner water but they seldom know what the financial impact will be to meet the higher standards.

 Amendments to Building Code including Solar Rebates and energy conservation

The Building Codes need to be reviewed and updated periodically for changes and clarity.  The majority of the discussion was centered on providing rebates to home owners for installing solar energy components to their homes by eliminating the permit fees and use fees.

Clark moved to waive all city fees and taxes for solar hot water, wind, and solar electrical for both commercial and residential property owners.  (This may not be the exact wording of the motion but it is close.)  Brinkman seconded and motion passed 5/0.

There was a short discussion on incentives provided to encourage citizens to upgrade to energy efficient appliances.  There was a concern about providing incentives negatively impacting the budget.  Clark said if the incentives were that great in number then it was unlikely that the incentive program was needed.  There will be more on this subject discussed at a future meeting.

Fire Rescue Study    The following is taken from the Council communication o the subject.

The purpose of this study session item is to discuss with city council the possibility of moving forward with an operational efficiency study for Littleton Fire Rescue (LFR) and to obtain permission to talk to Highlands Ranch and Littleton Fire Protection District governing boards regarding participation in the study.

The City of Littleton management believes this study would serve the three governing boards in better defining expectations and determining efficient and effective service delivery to the community they represent. Management also believes this study is very timely given past discussions regarding response times to the Trailmark Subdivision and the entire service area for the Littleton Fire Rescue, recent budget requests by the LFR, and ongoing interests of the fire union in adopting national staffing standards.

The process will be inclusive with committee representatives drafting a Request for Proposal, selecting a consulting firm to complete the proposed operational efficiency study, and implementing recommendations. The committee would consist of representatives from the City Manager’s Office, Littleton Fire Chief, City Council members, district board members and a few key fire personnel.

The cost of a study is estimated to be roughly $25,000 to $38,000 depending on the scope of work and level of detail anticipated. The study would require an amendment to the budget for LFR and approval from the governing boards.

 

Clark made a motion to direct John Ostermiller to talk to the fire partners about contracting an operational study.  Motion passed 5/0.

  

 

 


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