By Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor
Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen (a.k.a. the “Turd Herder,” more on that later) had several items of good news at Thursday’s community update meeting at the LifeBridge Church.
The first was that a significant portion of Lyons (the Business District, Old Town, and the North Higher Elevations) will have their utilities
(electricity, gas, water, sewer, and phone/internet) up and running by this weekend (Saturday, October 26, and Sunday, October 27).
There will be dozens of Xcel service technicians throughout the town to assist residents in lighting the pilot lights on their gas appliances (i.e., stove, water heater, furnace, fireplace, and clothes dryer). Speaking of technicians to help with the move back into town, CenturyLink will have someone at the Lyons Recovery Center, in the gym at the Lyons Elementary School, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from noon to 3 p.m., and Saturdays, fro 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (flood related hotline 1 (877) 908-9661).
The second item is that the St. Vrain Valley School District has announced that they plan on having the students back at the Lyons Elementary, Middle, and High Schools right after the Thanksgiving weekend break (Monday, December 2). This of course is dependent on the progress and status of the temporary “broad” (bridge/road) in the McConnell Bridge area. The School District will hold a update meeting on Wednesday, November 6, at a location to be determined (probably at the Main Street School in Longmont), and there will be increased school bus service to and from Lyons (leaving and arriving at LES). Contact the SVVSD for details about the schedule.
The third bit of good news was that from now on, the Board of Trustees meetings will be held in Lyons, at a site yet to be determined, on the usual schedule (the first and third Mondays of the month), as will the Thursday night community update meetings (there will not be one this coming Thursday, since it is Halloween).
Now for the “not so good news.” The Post Office, because of some I.T. issues at the federal level, may not be able to relocate to Lyons for another month. This means you may still have to drive over to the main Longmont branch to pick up your mail for a while yet. The Town’s utility bills for August 20, to September 11, have gone out, and if you have a problem with the total, or making the payment, please stop in at the Temporary Town Hall (LES) and the Town Staff will work with you. Also, if your account is on “auto-pay” you will need to pay in person (either check or cash) for the next few billing cycles until the Staff can get the system back up and running. This will also lessen the chance that you get an over draft fee from your bank if a “catch-up” bill is a whopper! As of Monday, October 28, the daytime checkpoint will come down. The nighttime checkpoint will still be in effect (at least for one more week), with one deputy.
The rest of the BoCo Sheriff’s resources will be concentrated on patrolling the various unoccupied neighborhoods. Simonsen was hoping to announce that the Lyons Valley Park area (around the high school), would be able to move back in this weekend too, unfortunately, earlier that afternoon the water test results for that area came back with a “positive” for Ecoli bacteria. A chlorine flush was instituted, and a second test was conducted. If those results come back “negative,” (maybe as early as Saturday morning, October 26) those residents in Lyons Valley Park may be able to move in over the weekend. Simonsen said the Town would send out an E-blast update as soon as they know the results. The other sections of town (Stone Canyon, West of 5th, River North, Eagle Canyon, and the Confluence) will be a little longer (go to the Town’s website, www.townoflyons.com, for the latest schedule).
Town of Lyons Recovery Coordinator/Liaison Ed Kean again named and thanked the myriad of outside volunteer groups that have been so helpful in the Lyons cleanup and recovery efforts. He and Jeremy Matsen (Lyons Volunteer Coordinator) and Rebecca Louzan have formed a Lyons Volunteer Team to help clean up and rebuild Lyons. They will be meeting this Saturday, October 26, at 8 a.m., in front of Rogers Hall. If you would like to sign up for different tasks, or get more information about the group, just show up, or go to www.lyonsvolunteers.org., and click on “become a volunteer.” These volunteer hours will also go toward the Town’s FEMA match.
Now, as promised, more about the “Turd Herder.” Simonsen wore a hat given to her by Bob Alberts, the Town’s wastewater contractor, before he passed away that read, “Turd Herder, Your #2 is our #1,” which she never thought she would have occasion to wear. But, Thursday night’s meeting seemed appropriate since Simonsen had to go over the new rules about flushing. Yes that’s right; if you live in one of the areas that has been brought back on line this weekend, you can flush! BUT (no pun intended) only number two. The “bugs” (microbes) have been reintroduced to the wastewater plant’s system, and they need “food” to grow and multiply. That means “poop, kaka, dootie, uh-oh, #2,” etc. But no oils, soaps, chemicals, etc., and a minimum of water and urine, at least for a few days until the little bugs have gotten a chance to multiply and get a foothold, so to speak. If the microbes over overwhelmed, and unable to keep up with the supply of “non-food” then the wastewater treatment system will have to be shut down, and we will have to start all over again with new “bugs.” So the old adage, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it on down.” definitely applies for this coming week.