Grand Lake officials aim to contain invasive mussels | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Lake officials aim to contain invasive mussels

Tonya Bina
tbina@skhidailynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

Town of Grand Lake officials are currently working with state and federal agencies on how 100 percent compliance can be achieved around the Three Lakes (Granby and Shadow Mountain Reservoirs and Grand Lake) and Willow Creek Reservoir to ensure that boats are hot-power washed before leaving the vicinity.

Any lake-system containment plan could include the closing of at least one boat launch.

Both quagga and zebra mussel larvae were confirmed to be in the lakes last September. Since the mussels travel and infest other lakes by clinging to boats, washing boats will become a necessary precaution.

Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive species known to harm lake ecosystems, clog water treatment facilities and damage equipment by attaching to boat motors, metals or hard surfaces.

During an update to Grand Lake’s board of trustees on Monday, Town Manager Shane Hale questioned how the mussel spread might be contained when water from the lakes system is diverted to the Front Range by way of Adams Tunnel.

Grand Lake examines Excel franchise agreement

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The Town of Grand Lake set a public hearing for Feb. 23 for a franchise agreement with Excel Energy to provide natural gas to town customers.

The franchise fee would remain at 3 percent for the next 20 years, which equates to an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 per year in revenue for the town.

Franchise fees, added to consumers’ utility bills within town jurisdictions, are paid to towns for a utility company’s privilege of providing service within those towns. Towns use the money to fund various services such as street maintenance, parks and general administration.

Meanwhile, Grand Lake’s franchise agreement with Mountain Parks Electric is close to being finalized. An agreement of a 2 percent franchise fee has been struck with the company, but an official settlement awaits five weeks of public notices.

The town had been operating without a franchise agreement with Mountain Parks for the past year. Negotiations stalled from failure to come to terms early in 2008 and did not resume until late 2008.

Possible affordable housing

Fifteen condominiums at Grandview Villas near the Grand Lake fire station are under the ownership of New Frontier Bank and are close to foreclosure, according to the Town of Grand Lake, which has been monitoring the 18-unit building.

The Grand Lake Board of Trustees directed Town Manager Shane Hale to contact Frontier Bank and the Grand County Housing Authority about the possibility of picking up some of the units for workforce housing in town.

Grand Camp approved

Grand Lake Town board members approved the final plat for Grand Camp on Monday.

Grand Camp, which promises 14 commercial units, is proposed to be built across from the Conoco at the entrance to Grand Lake on Highway 34.

Granby applies for

Town of Granby officials are applying for two Great Outdoors Colorado grants for town parks.

One grant is for building a new Polhamus Park pavilion where the previous one collapsed under heavy snow last spring.

The town is seeking a $97,500 grant in addition to in-kind donations and the insurance settlement to build the new pavilion. In order to acquire the grant, the town would need to supply 30 percent of the cost of the project, or a $30,000 match already budgeted.

The town possesses plans for the new pavilion drawn by Alan Carter Architects, Granby. The new pavilion is expected to be built by July.

The town also is applying for GOCO funds to do a parks master plan. A master plan would analyze the current use of parks, how to improve them and recommend whether additional land should be set aside for future parks, according to Granby Town Manager Wally Baird. The town is seeking a grant for $52,500, which equates to 75 percent. The town could use Conservation Trust Funds to match the grant with the remaining 25 percent.

Baird predicts upon having such a plan in place, the town of Granby would instigate parks projects soon after.

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