Organization and Description
The St. Charles Mesa Water District is a quasi-municipal corporation and a political subdivision of the State created pursuant to the Special District Act for the purpose of providing a complete domestic water system for the District and its inhabitants. The District was formed in 1988 pursuant to an order and decree entered by the District Court in and for Pueblo County; prior to the District’s formation, St. Charles Mesa Water Association, a non-profit entity, provided water facilities and services to area inhabitants from 1964 to 1987. Organization of the District was preceded by the filing of, and Pueblo County’s subsequent approval of, a service plan consisting of a financial plan, including proposed funding therefore, and a preliminary engineering survey detailing the proposed improvements within the District; the filing of a petition for organization and the subsequent hearing thereon and approval of such petition; the adoption by the District of a resolution approving the formation of the District; and, approval of the District’s formation by the qualified electors of the proposed District at an election held for that purpose.
The District currently encompasses approximately 64 square miles located in east-central Pueblo County, adjacent to the eastern boundary of the City, and it serves a population of approximately 10,978 people.
Inclusion, Exclusion, Consolidation and Dissolution
The Special District Act provides that the boundaries of a special district may be altered by the inclusion of additional real property under certain circumstances. Upon dissolution of the Huerfano Water District ("Huerfano") in 1999, the District annexed 33 square miles (20,480 acres) of land previously located within Huerfano's boundaries and the District now serves such customers.
Source of Supply
The District utilizes ground water and surface water to supply our customer's needs. The Surface water rights are from the Arkansas River near Buena Vista, St. Charles River and shares owned in the Bessemer Irrigation Ditch Company. The water is delivered through the Bessemer Irrigation Ditch Company canal from March 15 to November 15. During the winter storage period which runs from November 16 to March 14 the District pumps water from its Diversion on the Arkansas River near the Santa Fe Bridge. The raw water is stored in reservoirs, the first is a 90 acre foot reservoir, and the second is an 1800 acre foot reservoir. The reservoirs were constructed to supply water during drought conditions and the winter months when the Bessemer Irrigation Ditch Company is in winter storage. The District’s water treatment plant can produce 5 million gallons per day currently and has capabilities of increasing to 7 million gallons per day. The ground water supply is used from April 1 to November 30. Its primary use is for peak days during the summer months.
The two water sources give the District a max daily flow of 5.6 million gallons per day. The District also has 7 steel treated water storage tanks with a capacity of 5.24 million gallons. The District operates a gravity system which means the customer’s pressure is based on the difference in elevation from the storage tanks to the residence
The rights, powers, privileges, authorities, functions and duties of the District are established by the laws of the State, particularly the Special District Act, which provides that the Board has certain powers including, but not limited to, the power: to have perpetual existence; to sue and be sued; to enter into contracts and agreements; to incur indebtedness and revenue obligations; to acquire, dispose of, and encumber real and personal property; to have the management, control, and supervision of all the business and affairs of the District and all construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of District improvements; to appoint, hire, and retain agents, employees, engineers, and attorneys; to fix and from time to time increase or decrease fees, rates, tolls, penalties or charges for services, programs or facilities furnished by or available from the District, and to pledge such revenue for the payment of any indebtedness of the District; to furnish services and facilities without the boundaries of the District and to establish fees, rates, tolls, penalties, or charges for such services and facilities; to have and exercise all rights and powers necessary or incidental to or implied from the specific powers granted to special districts by statute; to compel the owner of premises located within the boundaries of the District, whenever necessary for the protection of public health, to connect such owner’s premises to the sewer, water and sewer or water lines of the District; to establish, construct, operate and maintain works and facilities across or along any public street or highway; to assess reasonable penalties for delinquency in the payment of rates, fees, tolls or charges; to acquire water rights and construct and operate lines and facilities within and without the District; to have and exercise the power of eminent domain and dominant eminent domain both within and without the District, except for the acquisition of water rights; to fix and from time to time to increase or decrease tap fees; and to assess availability of service charges under certain conditions.
Pursuant to State law, the Board consists of seven members who must be electors of the District as defined by State law. The directors are elected to staggered four year terms of office at successive biennial elections. Vacancies on the Board are filled by appointment of the remaining directors, the appointee to serve until the next regular election, at which time the vacancy is filled by election for any remaining unexpired portion of the term. The Board schedules regular meetings on the second Wednesday of each month and holds special meetings as needed. Each director is entitled to one vote on all questions before the Board when a quorum is present.