Aurora’s bid for Columbine Ditch rejected

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Aurora will not be purchasing the Columbine Ditch, according to a report from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Aurora’s bids failed to meet the minimum price criteria outlined for both the sale and the lease according to staff recommendations that the board will see at its meeting Tuesday. Instead, staff is recommending approval of two other bids to lease water at the minimum price specified in the bids and selling the Columbine Ditch to Ginn Development Co., which is developing a world-class ski area near Minturn…

Ginn bid the minimum $30.48 million for the Columbine Ditch, which brings water across the Continental Divide about 15 miles north of Leadville. Minturn is located in the Eagle River basin and Ginn would, presumably, leave the water in the watershed. Aurora bid $30.5 million for the ditch, but its payment proposal of six years did not meet the time frame of the water board, according to the staff report. Alternatively, Aurora offered $25 million immediately. Ginn, on the other hand, offered immediate payment of the entire amount. Aurora also bid only $250 per acre-foot in a 20-year long-term lease of up to 3,000 acre-feet of water. By the end of 20 years, the price would escalate to $350 per acre-foot. The water board specified minimum bids of $350 per acre-foot for up to 5,000 acre-feet of water. Bidders who met the minimum requirements were the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District and Evergreen Land Development for use on the Mount Massive Golf Course near Leadville.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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