Friday, July 10, 2020

Town ready to strike easement deal for future water insurance

Trapper’s lot will get town water in exchange

By Mark Reaman

The Crested Butte Town Council will hold a public hearing on January 21 that will basically complete the puzzle of getting water from the Slate River to the town water treatment plant in the future. The move will in essence be a sort of water insurance policy for the town.

An easement agreement is in the works between the town and the owner of a Trapper’s Crossing lot that is being sold. The agreement will require Crested Butte to provide town potable water to the Trapper’s lot in exchange for an easement for a future pipeline across the property.

“It is the final piece of the puzzle to build a pipeline to move 15 cfs [cubic feet per second] of water from the Slate River to the town for domestic drinking water,” explained Crested Butte Public Works director Shea Earley at the December 16 meeting. “The easement allows for the building of the pipeline in the future. It will be an expensive project and crosses two Trapper’s Crossing lots. But it is part of a long-term plan and gives us redundancy with the town’s water source in case something like a fire impacts Coal Creek. We will have two sources of water in two separate basins. It is a really good thing to have.”

The primary town drinking water source right now is from Coal Creek that originates in Lake Irwin and fills the town reservoir near the water treatment plant adjacent to the Trapper’s subdivision.

While the deal expands town water service outside of town boundaries and waives the tap fee and availability fees in exchange for the easement, town manager Dara MacDonald encouraged council to strike the deal.

“It is very serendipitous that the easements have fallen into place,” she said. “This is a good thing for the town.”

The public hearing will take place at the next council meeting on January 21.

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