Grand Lake stormwater management plan moves forward with grant provided by Windy Gap Environmental Fund |

Grand Lake stormwater management plan moves forward with grant provided by Windy Gap Environmental Fund

A map showing water flow direction and the potential area for a stormwater management plan funded by a grant from the Grand Foundation and recently awarded to the Town of Grand Lake and Three Lakes Watershed Association.
Town of Grand Lake/Courtesy image

*Editor’s note: This article has been edited for clarity.

At Grand Lake’s Feb. 13 board of trustees meeting, the board approved a memorandum of understanding between the town, Three Lakes Watershed Association and the Grand Foundation for the terms of a stormwater management grant facilitated by the foundation.

The town and Three Lakes applied for the grant together so they could hire an environmental engineering consultant to create a stormwater management plan for the western portion of Grand Lake. The grant money was awarded from the Windy Gap Environmental Fund, which is a settlement that funds projects that improve the ecosystem of the Colorado River, and are distributed through the Grand Foundation.

Community Development Manager Kim White spoke to the board about the grant, emphasizing it will pay for the creation of a plan and not its implementation.

“It’s doing baseline data collection on turbidity and other items just to see what the base is and what we can implement,” White said. “Then they will come up with an implementation plan.”

The Grand Foundation distributed the $80,000 grant to Grand Lake and Three Lakes for the plan, and will require status updates and a final report once the grant is complete. The plan will look to filter stormwater before it runs into Shadow Mountain Reservoir and, subsequently, Grand Lake.

“We have a filtration system on the east side,” Mayor Steve Kudron said. “On the west side, all the water runs into (Shadow Mountain) without any type of filtration. That’s the reason that Three Lakes agreed to be part, as the nonprofit. Their mission is to help us keep the water clean.” 

Three Lakes also applied for the grant with the town because money from the Windy Gap Fund must go to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. White said the Grand Foundation will award the money to Three Lakes, which will distribute it to the town.

Grand Foundation serves as a distributing organization for the $15 million settlement with Northern Water for water projects aimed at improving water quality, river health and fish habitat in Grand County. Northern Water — the agency constructing the Windy Gap Firming Project in northern Colorado on behalf of a municipal subdistrict of Front Range water providers — agreed to pay the settlement if the environmental coalition dropped its settlement in exchange for $15 million in funds to help mitigate the ecological effects from the project.

Other business:

  • Representatives from Northern Water, Grand County, Three Lakes Watershed, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation discussed cyanobacteria with the board.
  • Trustees discussed a possible multi-use retail and housing project on the town’s Mary Drive property.
  • The board approved a hotel and restaurant liquor license for Not-Cho Mama’s, which already had a fermented malt beverage license but wanted to expand its beverage selection.
  • Trustees approved a 2022 supplemental budget and a 2023 supplemental budget and continued a public hearing about a planned development amendment to March 13.
  • The board held an executive session regarding the town manager’s contract.
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