From The Broomfield Enterprise (Jennifer Rios):
Director of Public Works David Allen explained that Larimer County will sell Broomfield 115 Colorado Big Thompson water units for $25,550 each and share 80 more units that service the farm.
The outright sale of Colorado-Big Thompson units would save Broomfield $109,250 compared to if the city and county bought them at open-market value.
It also includes an “Alternate Transfer Mechanism,” or ATM, that gives Broomfield the right to use 80 C-BT units a minimum of three out of 10 years — a drought-protection effort that could be increased to five out of 10 years in extreme drought years. That period will be a rolling 10 years, meaning once Broomfield pulls water, the clock starts.
The those 80 units will cost $10,400 per unit, again a fraction of what Broomfield would pay outright for units…
Broomfield is buying the 115 C-BT units at a lower price because they are attached to the 80 units Broomfield with share with Larimer County. Currently water rights holders “use it or lose it” under the existing water plan. As communities like Broomfield grow, and rural communities shrink, this plan is a good way to keep farms active, but still use that same water for growing populations in dry periods…
Last year, Larimer County bought an irrigated farm just southwest of Berthoud and the intent is to maintain irrigated agriculture. It also got several shares of local ditch water. Currently, it has more water than needed to keep the farm operating, which prompted Open Land officials to reach out to Broomfield proposing the sale and shared 80 units.
If Larimer County decides to sell the 80 units, Broomfield would have the first right of refusal to purchase those. If not, Broomfield would get 40 percent of the sale price.
Now the plan will go before Larimer’s Open Lands Advisory Board Thursday, and before Larimer County Commissioners Tuesday.
The plan will still need final approval from Northern Water…
If everything is approved, municipalities will hope to have an intergovernmental agreement in place early by 2018. The outright sale of the 115 units will happen this year.