From The Trinidad Times (Steve Block):
The Arkansas Basin Roundtable filed a $739,000 request for funds derived from a mineral severance tax levied to enhance the state’s ability to bring water to urban areas. The roundtable will contribute $50,000 to the project.
The state engineer’s office recently mandated the water level in the lake, Trinidad’s primary water source, be reduced by five feet to relieve pressure on the dam 30 miles west of the city.
Jim Fernandez, city utility superintendent and roundtable board member said the dam has been leaking for several years and that the board’s approval for a grant request was a lengthy process. “We’re making progress and that’s always a good thing,” Fernandez said. “It took a long time before this request came before the board…
The existing dam will be reinforced with massive amounts of soil from a nearby borrow pit and the spillway will also be rebuilt. The city has spent $847,000 to design and build a new concrete outlet works and drain system and committed $389,000 to the project. Trinidad has applied for a low-interest construction loan of $739,000 with the state water conservancy board.
Using the dam to produce hydroelectric power is under consideration by the city engineering department. Fernandez said there isn’t much water flow at the lake in the winter, making consistent power generation a potential problem.
More Arkansas River basin coverage here.