LAKE PUEBLO — On Thursday, people who own boats docked at the North Shore Marina on Lake Pueblo were in and out of the area all day with coolers to clean out any food that might spoil.
"A lot of it we're just going to have to throw away," said Nathan Hayes.
Hayes, his girlfriend, and her child moved to Pueblo roughly one week before this. They were staying on his parent's houseboat while their soon-to-be home was being renovated.
However, they are now living out of a hotel after the electricity at the marina was shut off on Wednesday.
"We literally had an hour, maybe two, to find a place to live at," said Hayes.
According to a statement issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), a preliminary report by an independent electrician hired to review the marina’s wiring system found that the electrical system was "dangerously" out of compliance, forcing them to turn off the power immediately.
"There were problems with the electrical work. It needed to be updated and we knew that... We just didn't have the money handy to go in and redo the whole electrical system," said Connie Black, Owner and Operator for the North Shore Marina.
Black says her late husband built the marina and died about 14 years ago, leaving the marina in her care. Her contract with the state for the marina ends at the end of 2022.
"It's pretty hard for us to gather up enough money, which is probably $1 million plus, to redo the electrical when I only have a couple months left, so it's going to be closed... I mean, no electrical... until then," said Jack.
According the CPW, the report found the marina has a lack of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protection, which "are required anywhere electric outlets are in close proximity". These circuit interrupters "protect against the mixing of electricity on boats connected to a marina or dock power supply with water in a lake" and protect swimmers from being electrocuted in the water.
Haynes parent's boat is too big for many of the marinas nearby and if they want to use it any time before the electrical services are repaired, they will need to move it.
"Something should have been done a long time ago to prevent this," said Hayes.
Black claims the state has known about electrical problems at the marina since before Wednesday. However, a spokesperson for CPW says it was not aware of these specific issues until Wednesday, and its statement reads in part:
"Before the review by the electrician, we were unaware of the lack of circuit interrupters in the electric circuits at the marina."
Regarding the future of the marina and the current lease expiring soon, CPW says, "The agency currently is in competitive negotiations regarding the marina contract, but there is nothing to announce."
CPW says the power being shut off impacts about 700 boats.
Jack says monthly dues for slip rent cost roughly $300 to $400 dollars.
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