Ginn Development Co high bidder for Columbine Ditch

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Ginn Development Co was the high bidder for the Columbine Ditch. The Pueblo Board of Water Works gets to bank $30.48 million, according to a report from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain.

Aurora will get one more shot at the ditch. From the article:

The sale of the Columbine Ditch to a developer of a ski mountain at Minturn was approved by the Pueblo Board of Water Works on Tuesday, but Aurora still has one more chance to bid on the transmountain ditch.

Under its 1997 contract to lease water from Pueblo, Aurora has the first right of refusal until 2013 on the sale of any transmountain asset – a ditch or tunnel that brings water from the Western Slope into the Arkansas River basin. The Pueblo water board has several of those assets and wants to sell the Columbine Ditch to help pay for its purchase of Bessemer Ditch water shares.

Meanwhile the board is busy leasing water, according to a report from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Long-term leases of 200 acre-feet for $350 an acre-foot per year for 40 years went to the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District and Evergreen Land Development of Dallas. The Upper Ark will use the water in its blanket augmentation plan for users in Chaffee, Custer and Fremont counties. Evergreen will use the water at the Mount Massive Golf Course and associated development.

Aurora bid $250 per acre-foot for 1,000 acre-feet the first year, and increased the amount and the price over a 20-year period. The water board followed Purchasing Agent Kathy Stommel’s recommendation to reject the bid because it failed to meet minimum requirements.

The water board had offered up to 5,000 acre-feet of water for long-term leases.

The short-term leases are for 10,690 acre-feet for one year only and range from $25-$75 per acre-foot. Ward said the timing of the leases – many want the water delivered before June 1 – would be good for the water board because it would not have to release water it already has stored in accounts.

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