Water line replacement will begin on W. Third Ave later this year.

The Yuma City Council approved the purchase of the necessary material during its regular meeting, which was moved up one day to this past Monday night due Tuesday, April 3, being election day.

The purchase of materials for the water line replacement was from Dana Kepner out of Denver for $23,216.12. City Manager Scott Moore explained that the city expects significant savings by purchasing the materials itself, then bidding out the labor.

An increase to the water rate earlier this year is paying for at least two blocks of old water line being replaced each year, starting in 2018. (A wastewater rate increase will pay for doing the same with old sewer lines. However, one half of the rate increase was done this year, with the other half due for approval next year, so that project will not begin until 2019.)

Moore said the city will replace at least two blocks of water line this year. However, he told the council there might be enough savings to do three blocks. The city has ordered enough materials to do three blocks if possible. Moore said it will probably be put out the call for bids next week, and the project’s start date will “probably be sooner rather than later.”

First up is the oldest water lines in town, on W. Third Ave. going east from S. Main St. Moore said the hope is to get to Buffalo St. in 2018, if three blocks can be done.

Another project likely to be done soon if the weather cooperates is the installation of stop lights at the intersection of S. Main and W. Second Ave. in downtown Yuma. Crews began installation of the arms two weeks ago, when it became clear there was a mis-measurement of the poles by one-half inch. Therefore the brackets for the stop light arms were taken to a machinist company in Sterling to be re-curved. They are now ready to install, Moore told the council, and will go up soon.

The Main St. Project of 2016 also was discussed in an executive session, in order to discuss specific legal questions with City Attorney Kathryn Sellars. After the council returned to open meeting, it voted 6-1 to extend the contract of engineering firm SEH. Councilman Jim Haag cast the dissenting vote.

Moore and other city officials walked S. Main St. with a rather large group of people Monday, inspecting problem areas that have held up the “final completion” of the project.

Awareness month

The council approved a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Paula Bragg of SARA Inc., which opened a location in Yuma City Hall last fall, addressed the council. SARA, which has operated a location in Fort Morgan for more than a decade, provides forensic interviewing and examinations of children who have possibly been abused, providing the service to all seven counties in the 13th Judicial District.

She noted that April also is Child Abuse Awareness Month, so it all fits in with the services provided by SARA House. Bragg said her organization is doing presentations throughout the seven counties during April, as well as providing newspaper articles (see inside this edition) and radio interviews.

She said she has a special speaker coming to Yuma on April 21, who will do a faith-based presentation with churches during the day, and then a community presentation in the evening. There also will be a “Take Back the Night” event in late April.

During discussion with the council, Bragg said SARA is seeing eight to 10 victims per week, and more cases than ever are going to the District Attorney’s office as SARA provides a comforting environment which allows youth to open up about the abuse they have endured.

Mayor Joe Harper noted SARA is hosting a fund-raising golf tournament in Fort Morgan in the summer. He suggested the council use $500 out of its contingency fund to sponsor a hole. The council approved the donation on a 7-0 vote, as well as the proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

More meeting

• The council unanimously approved a special events permit for the West Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, paving the way for a beer garden in the Bank of Colorado parking lot for the 5:10 to Yuma 5K/10K walk/run on June 16.

• An agenda action item labeled “Charlotte’s Minor Subdivision” was tabled because the city had not received all of the documentation yet.

• An expenditure not to exceed $10,000 for directional drilling to bury wires was approved. The work will be done by KCI.

• Police Chief Jon Lynch said his department will be going to Denver later this month as part of an effort to secure a $25,000 grant to purchase new handheld radios for all the officers. He also reported that the purchase of a new K9 dog from Germany fell through, but he might have a line on another police dog.

• Councilman Dan Baucke briefly explained during Council Reports that he has built a mechanical “predator” that could solve the city’s goose problem at Lake Yuma and Pioneer Lake. (Look for more on this at a later date.)

• The council approved canceling its regular meeting date of April 3. Its next meeting will be Tuesday, April 17. The election results will be officially final by then, at which point Ryan Saffer and incumbents Ron Swehla, Steve Hoch and Luke Goeglein will be sworn-in to new terms, and Jim Haag will leave the council.