Minturn to crack down on water-meter violators |

Minturn to crack down on water-meter violators

Dustin Racioppi

MINTURN, Colo. ” When the air warms up and the snow turns Main Street into a gravel-bottomed river, the 2 percent of Minturnites who don’t have working water meters can expect a letter from the town.

Actually, it will be more like a notice “fix your meter, or your water’s getting shut off.

The Town Council decided to begin cracking down on the people whose meters aren’t working ” and the two who don’t have meters at all ” in an effort to help the Public Works Department keep track of the water usage in town and to put every home and business in compliance with the town’s law.

“We need to do something now,” Councilwoman Shelley Bellm said.

Of the estimated 520 water accounts in town, it’s only a handful of people whose water-reading systems aren’t up to snuff. But part of the problem is that those few don’t seem to be in a rush to get them fixed.

“A lot of it is lack of cooperation or compliance with residents,” Public Works Director Rod Cordova said.

Cordova said having unmetered systems makes it harder for his department to submit its monthly reports to the state on the town’s water usage, and inaccuracy can be costly to the town and the homeowners ” the town charges extra for those not in compliance with the town law.

“It’s an accountability issue,” Cordova said.

The council said that before it begins its crackdown, it will give people a chance to fix their problems. People could be strapped for the money to make the repairs, or they could be ignorant of their noncompliance. The council will help people who need it. However, the people who are indifferent just won’t have water.

“You’re going to get a letter saying, ‘Hey, this is the way it is, and your water may be shut off,'” Councilman Jerry Bumgarner said.

Cordova doesn’t want it to get to that point. His workers will likely be able to fix a broken meter cheaply and quickly. It’s just a matter of people coming forward.

“We’re here to help people, not harass them,” Cordova said.

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