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The future of Buena Vista’s water infrastructure will be discussed when the town’s board of trustees next meets on July 23.

A work session to be held before the board’s regularly scheduled meeting will have town staff bring forward a number of potential projects that would expand the town’s water system, which town administrator Phillip Puckett said can currently handle about half of the water that can be procured from Buena Vista’s water rights.

“Our infrastructure is going to be the main blocker to the buildout of the town,” Puckett said.

The proposal brought forward at Tuesday’s work session will be the product of at least 6 months of research between town staff and the water advisory board, Puckett said, as well as years of data collection on how much water the town is currently using and calculations of its “obligated water” – how much water the town would be using if its empty residential lots were occupied with homes.

The completion of the project would still be about 3-4 years away and would cost roughly $3.5 million, he said.

Also on the agenda for the board’s regular meeting, Chaffee County Office of Housing director Becky Gray is scheduled to give the board an update on the state’s Health Disparities Grant program.

The Health Disparities Grant Program is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and funded by revenue from the state tobacco tax. The grant seeks to target under-represented populations that may be at a higher risk for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular or pulmonary disease due to factors tied to their socioeconomic status.

“There are good funds from the state on halt that relates back to housing,” Puckett said.

Chaffee County was recommended for funding in the grant’s Fiscal 2020-2021 cycle. The grant recommended $450,970 for a project by the Chaffee County Public Health and Environmental Health department to “provide the community with engagement, education, and analysis that will change the regulatory plans and policies to decrease the cost of housing production and include affordability,” according to the CDPHE’s summary of grant recommendations.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday is an opportunity for the board to further discuss the broad concept of partnering with private businesses to fund changes to town property.

The discussion would continue from the board’s last meeting, when it voted to instruct town staff to work with Monarch Mountain ski area to design a new “Welcome to Buena Vista” sign on the ridge facing Highway 24.

The sign would be paid for by Monarch Mountain and would incorporate some Monarch branding, including the ski area’s butterfly logo and the tagline “welcome to Monarch Country.”

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