New Belgium’s Asheville plans cause a stir

“The impact is going to be enormous. I don’t accept it. I’ll lie in the road.”

That was the declaration made by an Asheville resident addressing the city’s planning commission on the topic of New Belgium Brewing’s new brewery in the North Carolina city.

The Asheville Citizen-Times captured that sentiment in reporting on a planning commission meeting held in the first days of the new year, during which New Belgium’s plans were approved 4-2.

According to the newspaper, the city conducted a traffic study to determine how the brewery’s activities might impact the streets surrounding the $175 million facility.

After hours of discussion, the following consensus was reached:

“Big rigs making runs to and from New Belgium Brewing’s new brewery on Craven Street should use various routes and be monitored while other efforts are made to keep truck traffic on Haywood Road to a minimum,” the Citizen-Times said.

New Belgium, which has always been considered community-friendly in its hometown of Fort Collins, agreed to work with residents to address their concerns, according to the paper.

One of the two dissenting members of the planning commission urged the exploration of alternate traffic routes. In the end, however, New Belgium was granted a conditional-use permit, which will allow it to move ahead with its plans in Asheville.

Perhaps its truck drivers should hand out a few six-packs to disgruntled residents on their routes.

Berthoud Chamber issues warning over sponsorship claim

The Berthoud Chamber of Commerce early this month had to issue a warning regarding an Illinois company claiming to have secured a contract of some sort with the chamber.

Team Spirit Promotions of Rock Island, Ill., apparently contacted several Berthoud Chamber investors, soliciting sales for advertising space on an emergency contact magnet. The company told the investors that it had been “awarded a contract” by the Berthoud Chamber and the Town of Berthoud.

The Berthoud Chamber did some digging and found that the company was indeed legitimate and was selling a legitimate product, but no such contract ever existed.

The chamber asked the company to “cease and desist” to avoid confusion, as neither the town nor the chamber had sponsored or endorsed the product in any way.

Northern Water: 10 years = 1 water year

If the Windy Gap Firming Project and Northern Integrated Supply Project were completed today, Northern Colorado cities and water districts would have an additional 70,000 acre-feet of water to satiate their thirst.

That’s what Eric Wilkinson, general manager for Northern Water, told an audience of business leaders and lawmakers at a Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance luncheon earlier this month. An acre-foot is the amount of water required to fill an acre one foot deep and is enough to supply 2.5 households annually.

But reservoir projects take time, Wilkinson said. Northern Water applied to the federal government to build Windy Gap’s Chimney Hollow reservoir and NISP’s Galeton and Glade reservoirs in the early 2000s.

He shared a joke that reflects the way the water community thinks about reservoir-building.

“Years in the water community are measuring by water-years,” he said. “A water-year is about 10 normal years.”

The reservoirs will indeed take years longer to design and build even after they receive the necessary federal approvals. Northern Water has projected it will complete Chimney Hollow reservoir in 2018 and the first of the two NISP reservoirs by 2021. Northern Water hasn’t decided yet whether it will build Glade or Galeton reservoir first.

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