Ophir: Town embarks on $1 million project for new water supply and storage

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Ben Fornell):

The project endeavors to replace Ophir’s water treatment plant, create a new source for the water, and build a 35,000-gallon storage tank. The current water-treatment plant is old, and bleeding the town’s meager coffers, as the repairs seem to never end. And a water tank, Barnes said, is a public safety necessity. “What if we had to put out a fire?” Barnes asked. “We need that kind of capacity.”

Previously, the town had relied on an archaic system that took water from Warner Springs with a simple redwood box. “You could have dropped a kid’s floaty boat in and watch it go right into our pipe,” Barnes said. The new system features a device that will run alongside a creek in Waterfall Canyon and take a bit more water with more filtration capabilities…

The project was financed with $390,000 through a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and an interest-free loan of $500,000 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Barnes said one of the town’s biggest goals was keeping the project affordable for its roughly 200 residents, and not creating a new mil levy to pay for it. As of now, the project will be financed through the town’s existing 2.9 mil debt service levy. However, the town has increased water fees by $20 per quarter to help pay for future water expenses.

More infrastructure coverage here.

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