Tree Haus district seeks referendum to improve sewer line |

Tree Haus district seeks referendum to improve sewer line

— A referendum on the local ballot next week will ask the residents of Steamboat’s Tree Haus Metropolitan District to approve an increase in their mill levy to help pay off the cost of improving its sewer system.

Referendum 5A will ask the affected voters to increase their annual taxes by $13,225 across the district to help pay off a $100,000 debt the district will use to improve the sewer siphoning system that moves sewer water under the Yampa River basin and pumps it into the city’s main line.

The updates are proactive and don’t represent any major problems with the current system, according to Tree Haus Metropolitan District President Jim Kohler.

“The lines are in good shape,” Kohler said. “But there’s better technologies out there now. We want to change that sewer siphon and update it.”

Kohler said there are about 100 houses in the district, which sits just west of the Mount Werner Road interchange of U.S. Highway 40.

The district was organized as the Tree Haus Water and Sanitation District in 1972 and became a metro district in 1982 when it gained ownership of its own streets.

The referendum is expected to pass, Kohler said.

The current sewer system for the district collects sewer water in a siphon at the northeast boundary of the subdivision between River Road and the Yampa River and moves it in a pipeline that passes underneath the river. Kohler said the pipeline is regularly monitored with camera lines to make sure that it is in working order and doesn’t have any leaks.

The line meets up with sewer lines from the mountain area of Steamboat and then travels to the wastewater treatment plant on Routt County Road 33.

The $100,000 to update the system will be generated through a low-interest rate loan from the state specifically created for projects of this type and through reserves from the metro district.

The repayment cost for the debt is expected to be $133,225.

If the referendum passes, work updating the line is expected to take place sometime in 2015, based on when levels of spring runoff are low enough for crews to work in the river basin, Kohler said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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