Council adopts roadway, wastewater masterplans

Estimates for each are between $27M and $36M

MONTE VISTA — Nick Marcotte and Mike Hager from Element Engineering presented a summary of masterplans for the city’s wastewater, roadways, and water pipes system at the March 4 City Council meeting.

They began with the roadway masterplan.

“With the roadway masterplan we actually walked or drove every road in Monte Vista,” Hagar said to the council. “What we found out basically is with the help of Rob (Vance) getting some historical information as much as we could get, and then looking at what the city actually has we have 28 miles of roadway — 80% paved still about 20% gravel.”

Hagar told the council how they did a complete evaluation including sidewalks. With their evaluation they found that 85% of the roadways have curbs and gutters that are in poor condition. Hagar further sharing in his presentation that if they go to put in new water lines that will have to happen before new roadways.

“The 15% (roadways) that are still in good shape that you can maintain and should be maintaining with various things. Overlays or you know chip seals things like that, crack seal,” said Hagar later in his presentation. “The poor condition 85% which we’re recommending pretty much total replacement. Any of your maintenance stuff is not going to last very long if you put it on there. Two or three years and you’ll be right back in the same condition.”

Hagar also shared how a road can seem fine when you’re just driving on it but the condition can be worse upon further inspection.

“You drive down and it doesn’t look too bad, but then when you actually get down and visualize you start looking at it and there’s a lot of crack on the road,” he said.

Hagar said that the condition of Monte Vista’s roadways is not unusual and that many communities with roads paved in the 1970s are in the same situation.

Hagar also shared that since a lot of the gutters are in bad condition water can get under through the cracks in the roads. Once water gets under, it can penetrate clear to the middle of the road creating potholes and other problems. This is why, Hagar noted, curb and gutters are an important part of drainage that will help preserve the condition of a roadway.

During their overview of the roadway’s masterplan, they also told the council that they estimate the cost for replacing and fixing the city’s roadways will be $30 million. They also walked them through options and information on how they might be able to fund these projects as there are not many grant programs for roadways.

They also gave an overview of the masterplan for the city’s water system. The city has five municipal water wells. Each water well is disinfected per the state’s requirements. These wells also provide all the pressure into the system. The city has 30 miles of finished water pipe which is anywhere from 4 to 12 inch thin-walled steel pipe. A small portion of it is also modern PVC pipe. Some of the system is also made up of what is considered substandard pipe material, and much of the pipe is also undersized.

They also looked at the city’s water meter data.

“The water meters are old and typically when water meters get old, they read less sensitive, so they read less. That means your producing more water, you’re not gaining that revenue from the water that’s going into the home as much as you would with a new meter,” Marcotte said.

They also found during their evaluation that many of the fire hydrants are older and a lot of the fire hydrants are under 4-inch diameter or 6-inch diameter pipe. In their plan they recommend the city replace all non-PVC pipe with modern PVC, replace any pipe under 8-inch diameter, and replace hydrants and service lines in conjunction with the water main.

“These projects we intertwine the roadway, the wastewater, and the water masterplan to say OK if you replace the waterline, and the sewer line is that necessary in this area to do the roadway as well. We looked at all that in the masterplans,” said Marcotte.

They gave cost estimates for these projects with the water system — $36 million was estimated for yearly projects, doing a project each year and $27 million was the estimate for doing it all as one big project.

They also gave an overview of the wastewater system masterplan.

“You have two wastewater plants, Veterans and Henderson. The Henderson has been issued a notice of violation and the Veterans is in violation. We’re currently working with the State Health Department to move through that,” said Marcotte, explaining that the violations are related to metal limits. Currently neither of the two facilities meet these limits as they are.

As part of their masterplan, they recommend consolidating the two wastewater plants. They also plan to construct a new activated sludge plant. As these projects will be costly, they laid out different options for grant applications and other fundraising scenarios.

Marcotte and Hagar shared with the council that the wastewater masterplan is the most necessary due to compliance. According to Public Works Director Rob Vance the wastewater plant will be done in the next five years.

During their resolutions the City Council voted unanimously to adopt these masterplans. They also made plans to meet again for work sessions to go over these plans.

The City hopes to make the masterplans available in the future on its website. The entire meeting can be viewed at


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