Reserve a DOLA tap or purchase your tap today!

The Town of Norwood is currently selling Raw Water Taps while procuring more Tap Reservations for the final step towards implementing the town-wide raw water irrigation system! The Raw Water project is an important investment in Norwood’s long term water security while providing residents access to plentiful low cost water for lawns and gardens. It’s not too late to become part of the Raw Water Project!

DOLA Tap Reservation Form CLICK HERE

2017 Raw Water Tap Reservation Tap

DOLA considers funding raw water

Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 12:00 am

The Daily Planet: Telluride, CO

Clay Wadman, president of Norwood Lawn and Garden Group, went before Norwood’s Town Board of Trustees last Wednesday to announce that Ken Charles was on his way to town.

Charles, an official from the state Department of Local Affairs, was scheduled to make a site visit the following day, Feb. 9, to look more closely at the raw water project and give an opinion on DOLA’s decision to potentially fund it.

Over the weekend, Wadman said that last Thursday’s meeting with Charles went well, and in summary, Charles seemed supportive of the project.

According to Wadman, Charles and other officials felt that raw water in Norwood could help extend the life of its existing water treatment plant. Additionally, he said the board saw raw water as something that could support a growing economy.

“He for sure thinks it’s a viable project,” Wadman said.

At this point, the Town of Norwood has sold 77 taps for raw water. About 150 are needed for the project to help pay for itself. Still, with just half of the taps sold, DOLA is still considering granting almost $700,000 to Norwood for the raw water infrastructure.

Now, Wadman said Charles wants to see provisional tap commitments. Another 70 or more people signing a commitment to purchase a raw water tap could convince the DOLA board to award the grant this spring.

Wadman said that provisional tap commitments require no money at this point. The commitment is simply a signed intention to purchase raw water service when construction gets close.

He said the commitment has an advantage. The provisional commitment price is $2,800; when construction begins, tap fees jump to $3,200. The option is available now until Wadman and other raw water officials go before the DOLA board this April. The hearing is set for April 19-21.

Still, Wadman is discussing with County Administrator Lynn Black the possibility of a payment plan for taps. He said provisional tap commitments could increase with that option, along with the town’s credit-card-payment option expected to debut sometime this year.

“The meeting went great, it was really encouraging, now the question becomes: ‘Can we show DOLA enough local support through provisional taps?’”

Wadman said that if raw water gets full funding from DOLA, then residential service likely will be available next year.

Still, Wadman would like to see a loan from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, but as Norwood Water Commission member Mike Grafmyer pointed out, a separate account must be created for that.

The commission is unable to take on debt for raw water and must conserve its resources for the town’s 45-year-old existing water infrastructure, which at some point will need work.

Typically, DOLA has roughly $30 million available each year for grant cycles. This year, due to a drop in oil and gas revenue, the total is approximately $15 million.

Wadman said three other entities in San Miguel County have applied for DOLA grants. That includes the Town of Ophir for broadband infrastructure and the Sheriff’s Office for an expansion to house those who need detoxification and mental health services.

Wadman said other organizations in Colorado are reaching out to DOLA for assistance with rec centers and ball fields.

Raw water project moving fast!

Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:00 am

The Daily Planet: Telluride, CO

Clay Wadman of Norwood Lawn and Garden Group continues to spearhead Norwood’s raw water project. His goal is to bring untreated ditch water from a reservoir to residential homes for flower and food gardens.

Yesterday he updated the Norwood Water Commission on what he said is a success in raw water tap sales. Originally, Norwood Lawn and Garden wanted to sell 50; so far 70 taps have been sold.

Tonight, he’ll share the same information at Norwood’s Town Board meeting.

Wadman said he credits the two community outreach events recently held at Indian Ridge Bakery on Grand Ave. There, Norwood residents showed up to ask their questions about the raw water project and discuss financing as well.

The scholarship awards for senior citizens have been granted. The town has given $883 to Jacquelyn Franklin, Vivian Annotik, John Houser, Donna Renn, Louise Thompson and Georgia Sutherland. Wadman said the money gives seniors a discounted rate of $1,600 for a raw water tap. Still, he’d like to see the senior taps subsidized even further.

The recent county grant possibly could help, and county meetings are scheduled to determine how that donation will be best used.

The county has pledged $25,000 for Norwood’s raw water system. The Town of Norwood has also budgeted $25,000.

That’s on top of the $175,000 grant from the Southwest Water Conservation District.

And, tap sales have generated $172,500.

Wadman said other funds are in the works. He thinks it’s highly likely that Norwood’s raw water will get a $50,000 grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board Roundtable in March, and possibly a $250,000 loan from them too— if the Town of Norwood agrees to the latter.

In total, Wadman estimates the projects net funds to be approximately $650,000 by spring.

If all goes as planned, the final engineering work should be ready for the state Department of Local Affairs grant application deadline later this month. Then, the town will request $500,000, and Wadman thinks raw water stands a chance of receiving it.

DOLA’s final hearing is in April, and should raw water win the award, residential service for taps can begin.

Construction could start in 2017, with residential taps available in 2018.

Wadman wants the Norwood Water Commission to be ready for service. He is requesting that the three-year leases on Farmer’s Water be reserved now for 2018.

So far, the Town of Norwood has paid $47,000 for the feasibility study that happened two years ago. Now, they’re ready to write a check for the $30,000 in final engineering. Wadman said it’s safe to say that already $80,000 has been spent on making raw water possible.

Wadman said he’s pleased with the progress.

“Water projects in the West take a while to develop infrastructure,” he said. “We are doing really good. Things are moving fast.”

For 2017, he said there is potential in working with the upcoming broadband initiative. Raw water could possibly share 7,000 feet of trenching with the broadband project. In this way, additional funds could be saved.

Also in the works is a traveling 750-gallon tank and trailer. Norwood Lawn and Garden Group is in the process of making that purchase. Wadman said his group could deliver raw water to those with remote taps and help those waiting for residential service during the construction phase.

He said he wants to work with low-income families. He is now working on five-year low-interest loans for those who need greater support.

Town sells raw water taps now at $2,500

Town sells raw water taps now at $2,500

Raw water project receives $10k grant.

The Town of Norwood is now selling discounted residential raw water taps at $2,500. The water is for irrigation purposes for lawns and gardens and has not been treated with chemicals. Anyone interested in purchasing a tap should visit Town Hall.

As the raw water project begins, all water taps will be considered remote. That means users will visit the town’s future water shack, a filling station.

Now, the Town of Norwood and Norwood Water Commission are in the processing of applying for and receiving grants. As funding is received, phasing of the project will begin, and a waterline will service taps at town residences.

Still, Clay Wadman of Norwood Lawn and Garden Group said that some taps will always remain remote as the project cannot serve those outside of town limits.

Recently the Father Syl Hermitage Fund donated $10,000 to the project. Half of that money is being used for operating expenses, including outreach efforts and grant-writing costs. The Town of Norwood and Norwood Water Commission have also each donated $2,500 to the operating account. Any of those monies that are left unused will be placed into the senior scholarship account.

The senior scholarship account contains the remaining $5,000 of the recent grant award. Those monies are on reserve for senior citizens who might need financial assistance in purchasing a raw water tap.

The public is invited to donate to the senior tap fund.

On Oct. 11, representatives from Norwood Water Commission will go before the Southwest Water Conservation District board with a $175,000 grant request.

If received, the funds could support the town’s efforts in raising $500,000 to then go before the Department of Local Affairs for a match grant that would total $1 million.

Approximately $1 million, Wadman said, is what it will take to establish Phase 1 of the project, or raw water service to residential homes in Norwood’s core.

DOLA hears grant requests in December and April, and distributes funds approximately five months thereafter. The Town of Norwood is working on the engineering details, and that will determine with the town petitions DOLA.

Anyone who previously expressed their interest in the project will receive a letter in the mail. Packets will be mailed Oct. 12 and contain a purchasing form, a fact sheet about the project and a letter from Norwood Mayor Kieffer Parrino.

Wadman said that a payment plan is available for those that cannot afford the $2,500 tap fee. The plan includes a down payment of $300 with monthly payments of $250.

All tap fees are non-refundable, unless the raw water project is cancelled altogether.

While DOLA funding may not be available — if at all — until 2018, raw water through Norwood’s town shack could be available as soon as next fall.

Wadman, who is spearheading support for the project, said he encourages all to sign up now as tap fees will increase to $3,200 once construction begins and $4,800 when the project is complete.

“Another reason for people to sign up early is that their address goes to water engineer,” he said. “When the first system is designed, we will take water to the first tap commitments.”

Raw water project gains traction

Raw water project gains traction
Grant awarded to community group

Jessica Kutz, The Daily Planet Contributor | Posted 4 weeks ago

The project to bring raw water irrigation to the town of Norwood is gaining traction with a recently approved grant awarded by the Hermitage Fund, a philanthropic fund advised by the Telluride Foundation.

The $10,000 grant is the first won by The Norwood Lawn & Garden group, community raw water advocates who have been in charge of advocacy efforts and community surveying for the project.

Not to be confused with grey water, raw water is untreated ground water — in this case from the Gurley Reservoir — that can be used for agricultural and home irrigation.

The raw water project has been on the radar of the town of Norwood for many years but did not become a tangible project until a grant issued to the town by the Colorado Water Conservation Board was used to conduct a $47,000 feasibility study.

After the feasibility study was presented in February, the Norwood Lawn & Garden group was formed and started distributing surveys to the community to see how many residents would be ready to give a tap commitment — a $2,500 fee for installing a tap to access the new water source — which also helps offset the initial costs of the project.

Led by Clay Wadman, the group of volunteers consists of members of the Norwood Water Commission, the Norwood Board of Trustees, the Colorado Water Commission Board and community citizens that want to see raw water from the nearby Gurley Reservoir be directed to the town of Norwood for lawn and garden irrigation purposes.

This grant is one of three that is being solicited in order to see the raw water project come to fruition. A second grant from the Southwestern Water Conservation District for $175,000 will be submitted on Friday, and a third grant will be requested from the state Department of Local Affairs in late fall of 2016.

“Our hope is that this grant from the Hermitage Fund helps spearhead additional fundraising and grant efforts for the project,” April Montgomery, programs director of the Telluride Foundation said.

According to Montgomery, the grant provided by the Hermitage Fund will be split between two areas of concentration: for a senior citizen scholarship fund, which will provide senior citizens on fixed incomes with subsidized or free taps to access the new water source, and for administrative costs associated with running the project including marketing, community outreach and grant-writing initiatives.

The Hermitage Fund was created in memory of Reverend Sylvester Schoening and gives funds to organizations “which promote the preservation and restoration of land, water, natural resources and wildlife habitat in the San Miguel region of Colorado,” according to the Telluride Foundation.

According to Wadman, 107 people have already said they would be interested in the taps (up from 80 in July) and if they could get that number to 150 and win the other two grants the project will have enough funding to begin the first phase of construction in the summer of 2017. The project needs to raise $1.1 million dollars to reach that goal.

Wadman said that for residents, the tap commitments are “a big bullet to bite” but that in the long run it will be worth it. “(People are) going to save money on water bills, water is going to be much cheaper, it is going to make their properties more valuable, and going to make their rentals more rentable.”

If Norwood were to complete the project, it would join the ranks of other Colorado towns that have adapted to a raw water system including Carbondale, Nucla, Dove Creek and Grand Junction.

For Wadman, the raw water project is an extension of the growing agricultural movement taking place in Norwood.

“Norwood is defining itself as food centric. It is gardening, it is food based … raw water supports that,” he said.

Wadman will be presenting at the Norwood Board of Trustees meeting this Wednesday where the presale of taps will be up for discussion.