Pipeline from Bailey to Conifer: 1041 permit slowing project

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From The Fairplay Flume:

The plans were delayed due to the company needing a Park County Special Use 1041 permit, according to Conifer Water LLC Managing Partner John McMichael. McMichael told the Center of Colorado Water Conservancy District board members at their July meeting that construction of the pipeline will begin in November if the company obtains the Park County 1041 permit by then. The Park County 1041 permit application has been completed but not yet filed with Park County. McMichael said obtaining additional funding partners should be completed in July. Then the application and the $25,000 fee would be submitted.

The company plans on taking 3.9 cubic feet per second of water out of the North Fork of the South Platte at a diversion point in Bailey. That water is not part of Bailey Water and Sanitation District’s decreed water rights.

McMichael said the company is negotiating with the Bailey Water and Sanitation District to become a wastewater customer. The tap fee would be enough for the district to build a new state of the art treatment facility to process wastewater, similar to the one at the new Safeway-anchored Conifer Town Center, McMichael said.

He estimated a new facility would cost about $3.5 million to treat 500,000 gallons of wastewater per day…

At the Center of Colorado Water Conservancy District meeting, McMichael said that Conifer Water did not plan to obtain water rights but would use its customers’ water rights and augmentation plans. The company would only service water and sanitation districts as customers. McMichael said the goal is to get districts off water wells as a source of water and use surface water instead. Each district would remove solids from the wastewater, and any final treatment needed would be accomplished at the new Bailey wastewater treatment plant…

McMichael said the company would need to construct a water storage tank somewhere along the 13.3-mile route as well as lift stations for eight-inch diameter water and sewer pipelines. The company is currently considering land on Richmond Hill for a storage tank. A construction permit would be needed from Jefferson County for the storage tank. Burke McHugh, chief executive officer for Conifer Water, said the initial money needed for the project was estimated at $24 million. Of that, $18 million would be obtained through debt and $6 million from the company. He did not say whether the money would be obtained through loans, bonds or certificates of participation (a type of municipal bond often used to finance capital improvement projects or equipment). McHugh said the project was a 15- to 30-year plan. “In the long run, it will be better than adding new wells (to serve developments),” McHugh said…

Will-O-Wisp Metro District President Rick Angelica said the district had told McMichael that it was not interested for several reasons. First the district had plenty of water, including surface water. The district had no interest in spending money to change its water source, discharge point and water augmentation plan in water court. It has no intention of giving the control of its water rights and augmentation plan to a for-profit company. Lastly, the contract Conifer Water offered the district would increase the cost of providing water and sewer to district customers six to ten times over Will-O-Wisp’s current cost. “I told them ‘You’re about five years too late’,” Angelica told The Flume.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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