Here’s the release from the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District (Diane Johnson):
A settlement reached between water users on the Upper Eagle River has ended years of legal battles over water rights in the Minturn area, and set the stage for future cooperation on water quality and water supply issues in the Eagle River Basin.
Four cases, filed between 2005 and 2007, were settled between several of the major parties earlier this year, which eventually resulted in final decrees that secure water rights for the town of Minturn and the Battle Mountain Project.
“The settlement protects existing water rights and the water quality of the Eagle River, while providing for the development of new water rights to serve the future growth of Minturn and a more limited proposed Battle Mountain development project,” said Bob Warner, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District board chairman.
The settlement and decrees also provide Minturn with the ability to serve the future growth of the Town which occurs outside of the Battle Mountain Project using portions of its historic senior water rights, its junior water rights, and existing storage water in the Eagle River basin. The Battle Mountain Project will be served with new water rights.
Signatories to the settlement include the Town of Minturn, Battle Mountain, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority, Vail Associates, Inc., Eagle Park Reservoir Company, and the Arrowhead, Beaver Creek, Berry Creek, Eagle-Vail, Edwards, Holland Creek, and Red Sky Ranch Metropolitan Districts.
“We believe the water quality and water use interests of the Upper Eagle River basin are best served when there is cooperation between all the users of this natural resource,” said Warner. He added that it is his desire that “the agreement reached between the parties will signal a new era of joint cooperation toward effective use and protection of Eagle River water.”
The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District has also agreed to make available to Minturn up to 50 acre-feet of the District’s storage water in either Eagle Park Reservoir or Homestake Reservoir, both of which are upstream of Minturn. “This water will be available to serve growth within Minturn’s original, pre-2008 water service area,” said Warner.
Water for the future Battle Mountain Project will come from proposed junior water rights stored in a proposed 1,210 acre-foot reservoir at Bolts Lake, south of the existing town of Minturn.
The settlement allows Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Eagle Park Reservoir Company, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority, and Vail Associates to monitor the design, remediation, and monitoring systems proposed for the Bolts Lake area. “This cooperative effort will ensure that water quality of the Eagle River is protected from historic activities conducted at the Eagle Mine, south of Minturn,” said Tom Leonhardt, Authority board chairman.
“In signing the settlement, the Minturn Town Council showed great vision and leadership,” said Dave Kleinkopf, a principal in Crave Real Estate and general partner of Battle Mountain. “In addition to achieving a very significant first step in making the Battle Mountain project a reality, the Council also secured the water future for the town.”
For more information, contact Minturn Town Manager, Jim White, at (970) 824-5645 or ERWSD General Manager, Dennis Gelvin, at (970) 476-7480 or visit http://erwsd.org