Four candidates vie for three seats on water district board

Election day Friday, May 2

Turning on the faucet to get running water is a one-person job, but controlling the water supply and sewer needs for thousands of citizens takes the efforts of more than a dozen people, including a five-person board of directors that oversees monthly operations of the Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District.



An election for the Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District board of directors will take place on Tuesday, May 6 at the district’s offices, located at the entrance to Mt. Crested Butte.
The Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District serves approximately 1,500 customers, including the entire town of Mt. Crested Butte and the Meridian Lake subdivision. The district provides sewer service and water supply tap fees for homes and buildings, and is responsible for treating wastewater before it is discharged into Woods Creek, which feeds into the Slate River.
The district’s board of directors, who serve four-year terms and attend regular monthly meetings, currently includes William Cavanaugh, David Eleeson, Sandra Mabry, Chuck McGinnis and Bill Racek. Eleeson, McGinnis and Cavanaugh’s terms will be up in May, and all three have chosen to run for re-election.
Meridian Lake resident Melanie Rees is also a candidate for the district election this year.
Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District finance and office manager Nettie Gruber says the district has not conducted a full election since 2000, due to a lack of candidates.
She says any resident or property owner within the district’s boundaries is eligible to vote.
Eleeson, who joined the board last summer, says the district board has been working on several important topics lately, including the installation of new sewage monitoring sensors to prevent overflows, improvements to the infrastructure at Meridian Lake, and the pre-planning for a large water supply reservoir for the entire town.
Eleeson, who also serves on the Mt. Crested Butte Planning Commission, says, “I see things coming down the road that are going to affect the water supply… Those things help me make a better decision for the water board.”
Rees first got interested in serving on the board last July during a Meridian Lake Homeowners Association meeting, where she learned that the subdivision’s reservoir needs critical improvements for water supply needs and fire suppression capabilities.
Rees has been a business owner for 18 years and specializes in finance. “I’m analytical by nature and good with budgets, “ she says.
She says, “I think it’s important to realize that water and sanitation are integral features to our growth…  It’s hard to think about the possibility of drought and the need for a reservoir with the snowpack we have today. We need to face the reality—water is not always available, and it costs money to bring it out of our taps. “
Cavanaugh and McGinnis were unavailable for comment for this story. Cavanaugh has a part time residence in Mt. Crested Butte. He has served on the District board since August of 2003 and is running for his second full term.  
McGinnis lives in the Meridian Lake subdivision, and is also running for his second term, after joining the District in April of 2004.  
The district election will be held on Tuesday, May 6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the district’s main office, 100 Gothic Road at the entrance to Mt. Crested Butte.

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