AP NEWS

City Council to consider buying more water storage

July 31, 2016

City of Loveland staff members will ask for approval from the Loveland City Council Tuesday to buy up to an additional 3,000 acre-feet of storage space in the Windy Gap Firming Project.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the municipal building at 500 E. Third St.

The Windy Gap Firming Project is an effort between 12 water providers and the Platte River Power Authority to build a new storage reservoir at Chimney Hollow near Carter Lake. Windy Gap, a diversion dam on the Colorado River, pump plant and pipeline to Lake Granby, was built in the early 1980s and is located on the west slope near Granby, according to Northern Water.

The city of Loveland already has 7,000 acre-feet of storage committed in the project and has an immediate opportunity to buy 2,000 more, each $1,000 requiring an immediate payment of $159,851 to Northern Water, according to a council memo.

City staff members are bringing a resolution to council members to ask that they be allowed to purchase up to 3,000 acre-feet because council members previously expressed interest in bumping the city’s storage to 10,000 acre-feet, the memo stated.

“Modeling indicates that this storage acquisition would increase the City’s overall firm yield value, available during drought conditions, by 500 acre-feet,” the memo stated.

The city’s estimated costs for the 7,000 acre-feet is $32,866,434, $2,084,608 of which has already been paid, according to the memo. Adding the 2,000 acre-feet would make the city’s estimated payment costs $42,136,434. An additional 1,000 acre-feet would be another $4,635,000 in costs.

Staff members are seeking new resolutions to obtain the 10,000 acre-feet because the ones passed in 2008 were for lesser amounts.

The Loveland Utilities Commission unanimously approved the resolution being recommended to City Council.

Also slated on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting are discussions on the Water’s Edge annexation — 82.6 acres of property north of Southwest 28th Street and west of Taft Avenue and the Lakeside Terrace Subdivision to be rezoned to developing low density residential; a flexible zoning district to provide businesses with regulatory relief; Northern Colorado Regional Tourism board appointments; an update on sidewalks on north U.S. 287 near 57th Street; an overview on the city’s municipal code in relation to aircrafts within city limits; and an economic development update.

Saja Hindi: 970-699-5404, hindis@reporter-herald.com, twitter.com/BySajaHindi.