Energy, Utilities & Water  November 2, 2021

Election 2021: Water, water anywhere? Greeley voters turn back water initiatives

Update as of Nov. 3, 8:11 a.m.:

According to the Weld County Clerk and Recorder —

Question 2G is failing, 12.309 votes or 79.5% against to 3,174 or 20.5% for, with a total of 15,483 votes.

Question 2H is failing, 12,714 votes or 81.9% against to 2,810 or 18.1% for, with a total of 15,524 votes.

Update as of 9:40 p.m.:

According to the Weld County Clerk and Recorder —

Question 2G is failing, 11,757 votes or 80% against to 2,946 or 20% for, with a total of 14,703 votes.

Question 2H is failing, 12,16 votes or 82.4% against to 2,596 or 17.6% for, with a total of 14,742 votes.

Update as of 8:50 p.m.:

According to the Weld County Clerk and Recorder —

Question 2G is failing, 11,322 votes or 80.2% against to 2,788 or 19.8% for, with a total of 14,110 votes.

Question 2H is failing, 11,692 votes or 82.6% against to 2,457 or 17.4% for, with a total of 14,149 votes.

Update as of 8:22 p.m.:

Commenting on the early results via text, Greeley’s Water and Sewer Department Director Sean Chambers said,  “We are carefully watching the results of the election, and Greeley’s long history of providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable water will carry on. 

“Under the direction of our elected officials and the Water Board experts, we will continue operating in the best interest of the Greeley community.”

Paul Wood, former water treatment and distribution operator for the city of Greeley, said of the water issues and the Terry Ranch aquifer acquisition, also via text message,  “This was not brought to the public until I got the word out … the bottom line is, only will the good citizens of Greeley truly see this horrible folly in the next 30 or so years.”

Wood is also running for an at-large City Council seat in Greeley. Early results show him receiving 3,350 votes or 27.7% of the total, running third behind Lavonna Longwell with 3,851 votes or 31.8% and Brett Payton with 4,895 votes or 40.5%.

Updated as of 7:09 p.m.:

With about 14,000 votes counted, the Weld County Clerk and Recorder shows roughly 80% of voters casting ballots against Questions 2G and 2H.

2G is failing by 11,193 votes or 80.3% to 2,741 votes or 19.7%.

2H is failing by 11,559 votes or 82.7% to 2,414 votes or 17.3%.

Voters in Greeley will decide if future water and water infrastructure questions will be put before voters each time, compared with the current approach in which elected city officials vote on such issues.

Two ballot measures arose after the city’s decision in March to buy the Terry Ranch aquifer. Division over the decision related to cost, water quality and population growth through the next decade, fueled the push to put the process of making water-related decisions to a vote.

The issues are:

  • Ballot Question 2G would amend the Greeley Home Rule Charter to restrict the city’s power to sell or lease water or infrastructure. It would require an outside engineering study before such decisions, then voter approval by a majority of registered electors, regardless of turnout, in a special election.
  • Ballot Question 2H would amend the charter to restrict the city’s purchase and use of water, requiring outside engineering analysis prior to buying, leasing or using water. Approval by most registered electors regardless of turnout in a special election would then be required.

Opponents say the measures would cost money, affect service quality and delay decision making.

Proponents say the measures give citizens more direct say in deciding water and infrastructure issues.

BizWest will be covering these ballot measures and many others throughout the evening on Tuesday. Check back early and often for updates. 

© BizWest Media LLC

Related Content