From the Tri-Lakes Tribune (Lisa Collacott):
During the Oct. 17 meeting board members voted unanimously to purchase the ranch east of Fountain Creek. It is estimated that the cost of the ranch’s decreed water rights — 3,500 acre-feet annually — will range between $25 and $31 million. More than 100 residents attended the meeting and many were in opposition to the purchase of the ranch.
Woodmoor resident Bob Gountanis agrees that the water district needs to look at renewable water but is opposed to this particular decision. “I think the idea is OK, but the way they went about it is not,” he said. Gountanis said there is not a contract to convert the water from agricultural use to commercial use and there are no estimates on how much it will cost to deliver the water up to Woodmoor.
The water district hosted three public meeting — Sept. 27, 29 and Oct. 8 — to discuss the need for renewable water and the impact it will have on customer’s water bills. Jessie Shaffer, general manager for the water district, said the expected cost for the ranch is expected to be between $25 and $31 million but that is dependent on the water rights that are still to be determined in water court. The cost of delivery is estimated to be between $30 and $100 million.
The water district is looking at a 25-year revenue bond to pay for the purchase of the ranch. The average homeowner will see a $48.50 water investment fee beginning in January 2012 which comes out to an increase of $600 per year. Gountanis said an extra $600 a year may not seem like a lot to some people, however it is a lot for families who are having a tough time because of the economy.