From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):
The Guard’s 947th Engineering Company will repair and improve the old earthen dam that holds back snowmelt until it can be turned to use on the fields and pastures down below.
The mission, though, is to do more than revive the old reservoir. The project also will help Fruita preserve its rights to the water stored there and could one day pave the way for a park in the high country overlooking the Grand Valley, Fruita Mayor Ken Henry said…
Work is to be complete by Aug. 9, and the reservoir will be off-limits to the public until the job is done. Soldiers from Grand Junction, Durango and Fort Carson will work to complete the job that officials said would otherwise cost Fruita an estimated $1 million. The job will be done with two complements of 50 or so soldiers each. For one three-day period midway through the project, there will be as many as 110 soldiers working at the site and staying in a bivouac a few hundred yards downstream in the woods. The National Guard will spend about $350,000 on the repair. That’s the same amount it would cost for any training exercise, which the company does once a year anyway, officials said.
At completion, the narrow, sharply sloped dam will be restored and improved with the extension of the back side into a flatter, more stable support structure holding back the reservoir, which can hold back about 140 acre feet of water.
Fruita needed to act soon because it was in danger of losing its water right for failure to put it to beneficial use, Henry said. Fruita, however, had no money to rebuild the dam until the National Guard came along. “We don’t want to compete against contractors for work,” Brock said, so officials chose to work with other government agencies or nonprofit organizations.
More Coyote Gulch coverage here.