From The Broomfield enterprise (Danika Worthington):
The auction room was packed with bidders, but only 13 — including the City and County of Broomfield — emerged from the Larimer County Fairgrounds with a piece of the Reynolds portfolio. Municipalities, developers and farmers all grabbed some units of Colorado-Big Thompson water, while developers and growers signed deals for land.
The auction was of high interest, given the land’s location in the path of northern Front Range development and the large amount of water attached to it.
Although the numbers are still preliminary, Hall and Hall Auctions partner Scott Shuman said 276 CB-T units brought in the largest chunk of money, about $7.6 million or an average of $27,356 each. The CB-T units, already trading for high sums, were expected to be the most pricey given their scarcity and the ability to use the water for uses such as agriculture, development and industrial processes, including oil and gas extraction.
According to Pat Soderberg, finance director for Broomfield, the city and county placed a bid for 120 shares at $26,000 per share, plus a 4 percent processing fee.
That puts Broomfield’s purchase at $3.24 million, with a 10 percent down-payment of $324,480. The balance will be paid at closing, Soderberg said.
But on a per-share basis, the 15.75 Highland Ditch shares stole the show, averaging $148,900 each for an estimated total of $2.3 million. All the shares were sold to farmers or investors.
Although CB-T water got most of the attention prior to the auction, Shuman said the ditch shares provide more acre-feet of water than CB-T and are not limited to a specific geography. CB-T water, which is conveyed from the headwaters of the Colorado River near Grand Lake, can be used only within the boundaries of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.