The Times-Independent

Castle Valley Town council reveled in record short meeting

Castle Valley Comments

It might have been a record if such record exists, but the monthly virtual meeting of the Castle Valley Town Council lasted only 35 minutes.

Ron Drake

There was no new business and, except for the payment of bills, there was only one unfinished business item that nobody wanted to revive. The council just basically heard from some of the department heads or read their executive reports.

Water Manager John Groo said he is still gathering information about the possibility of a town non-potable water delivery service to the residents who do not have their own water well or a well with poor quality or quantity of water.

Many residents who live on the cliff-side of the valley have either poor quality water from their wells or didn’t bother to drill a well at all because of the prospect of poor or no water. Many of them installed cisterns and have water delivered.

Groo met with the Castle Valley Fire District commissioners in November to discuss the idea of using the well on Lot 13 for a source of non-potable water that could be delivered by town personnel to lots that use cisterns, most of which are up on Porcupine Rim. At the time, the fire commissioners and town council members voted to approve the idea in principle until further research has been done and a detailed proposal is presented to the town and fire district.

Groo’s next step is to obtain a water sample from the well. He said that he found several other small towns that have a similar water system for their residents and gave Naturita, Colorado as an example.

Castle Valley. File photo

The road department met with officials of Emery Telcom about repairing some of the roads that were damaged by the contractor when they were installing the underground fiber cable. They said that they would bring in some gravel to spread on some of the damaged roads. At least five roads needed major repairs with upper Cliffview Lane being the worst where the road recently received new layer of gravel, which was destroyed by the construction. The repairs will take place during the next few months.

Ed Weeks, Castle Valley’s representative to the Grand County Emergency Medical Special Service District, sent a report of their bi-monthly meeting, which was held the day before. His report stated that GCEMS responded to 1,675 medical calls during the Year 2021, which is up 18% from the previous year. At that meeting the current officers were re-elected, which included Liz Tubbs, chair; Jason Taylor, vice chair; Rarni Schultz, treasurer.

It was not mentioned in his report, but Grand County EMS has responded to Castle Valley twice so far this year. A Castle Valley woman suffered a laceration on her head from a ground-level fall Jan. 8 and a local man was reported to be in and out of consciousness Jan. 17. His condition prompted EMS to call for a helicopter, which landed in the church parking lot but the EMS crew stabilized him in the ambulance and the helicopter was not needed. Both patients were transported to Moab Regional Hospital.

The Castle Valley Fire District discussed the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado as part of their training meeting Jan. 18, The subject of the traffic jam the evacuees encountered was part of the discussion. Council member Harry Holland was at the training meeting and that prompted him to ask during the town council meeting if Castle Valley has an evacuation plan.

Mayor Jazmine Duncan replied that the town is currently working on an evacuation plan for the town and that Castle Valley Drive and Shafer Lane are the two designated emergency exits out of the town. Either of those routes would be used depending on the situation. The evacuation plan will be specific to each street in the valley but, again, that would depend on what the emergency is and where the emergency is located.

Town officials are also working on cleaning up the town website and making it “more user friendly.” They will be updating some of the information, checking the links, and generally going through it to make it better. There was a time when the website got high marks from an organization that grades websites but that was years ago and an upgrade is needed now. This upgrade was prompted by Mayor Duncan when she was looking for a premise occupation application form and finally found it where it didn’t belong.