Town of Kremmling expresses concerns about Windy Gap Firming Project | SkyHiNews.com

Town of Kremmling expresses concerns about Windy Gap Firming Project

KATIE LOOBY
klooby@grandcountynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

The Kremmling Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that lists the town’s concerns with the Windy Gap Firming Project.

Concerns expressed in the letter include:

– Reducing flows in July, August and September is unacceptable because flows are already too low and temperatures are too high. Low flows and high temperatures affect fish habitat, and fishing is an important economic generator in the community.

– Blue-green algae and aquatic plants are already growing, and an increase in temperature may boost their growth. Algal toxins could become a problem and need to be monitored.

– Reduced flushing flows can also exacerbate the problem.

– Water quality degradation could lead to treatment issues for communities. Small communities cannot afford increased water treatment costs.

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– The town has a U.S. Geological Survey site near Kremmling in the Colorado River. Water quality needs to be monitored and if high values are detected the pumping may need to stop or water may need to be released from Windy Gap.

– Grand County’s Stream Management Plan will help identify needs for healthy fish habitats and should be incorporated into the environmental impact statement.

Library improvements

The Grand County Library District requested a letter from the board to seek funding to make improvements to the Kremmling Library.

Part of the project would fund a new south entrance for the Kremmling Library and remodel the building’s interior. In a letter to the town board, Mary Anne Hanson-Wilcox, Grand County Library District executive director, said the current entrance is “confusing and potentially hazardous to our patrons.”

Wilcox planned to use the letter to request money from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the same agency the town is hoping to receive funds from to improve the town’s water system.

Town Manager Ted Soltis said the town doesn’t want to give the department a mixed message by stating the water is the main priority in the grant application, and also supporting improvements to the library. He also added that without a sufficient water system the town wouldn’t have a library.

Board members agreed that the water was the top concern and voted unanimously not to write the letter about the library. However, the board approved the renewal of the library building’s lease for $1 a year and gave Soltis permission to work with the library district to seek funds from other sources.

2009 budget adopted

The board also approved its expenditures and revenues for each fund, and adopted a $4.4 million budget. The board directed Soltis to apply for a $2 million Department of Local Affairs Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant application for a water distribution line replacement project.

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or klooby@grandcountynews.com.

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