Letter: Effects of South Service project would be disastrous
March 11, 2014
To the Editor:
We have recently been Informed about the proposed new water treatment facility for properties south of the Fraser River by the Granby/SilverCreek Water/Wastewater Board Authority and the plan to Issue revenue bonds that likely would raise our water costs by more than 170 percent. We are shocked that such a proposal would come forward without adequate thought to alternatives and assessment of the impact to those of us who have invested In the area.
We were further distressed to learn the Authority is likely to issue a design and engineering contract without competitive bid to a company connected to an Authority Board Member.
From discussions we have had with other owners, the facility being proposed vastly exceeds current and future needs unless the expectation is that it will be used for snow-making machinery. That makes little sense. Similarly, we question whether alternatives have been explored similar to those developed by YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. We know of no research that has been undertaken on how other municipalities throughout Colorado have addressed these Issues and what "best practices" exist to reduce costs and still meet future demand.
Finally, when the Authority came Into the Town of Granby it brought with it $2 million in reserve funds. We would expect that a reasonable amount of these reserve funds go toward looking for alternatives. If alternatives are not explored, we would insist that a fee structure be designed to reflect actual demand for a treatment facility expected to handle peak demand of 1,500 gallons of water per minute when the residential demand South of the Fraser River ranges from 150 to 350 g.p.m. To place the burden of such a treatment plant on residential properties that is four- or five-times the actual demand is unfair.
Such action would constitute an "economic taking" by government of private property because it will result in costs that are so high that the vacation and rental uses of property will significantly decline, the ability to sell property decline and the economic burden on current owners and residents will be disastrous.
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B.J. Reed, Chair
Mountainside Homeowners Association