January 25, 2024

Partner communities approve new water-treatment authority

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District has yet to turn a shovel of dirt on the Northern Integrated Supply Project, which will deliver 40,000 acre feet of water to 15 participating entities, but four of those partners have taken steps to build a treatment plant to handle their shares.

This week, the town boards for Windsor and Severance both voted unanimously to approve an agreement to form the Cobb Lake Regional Water Treatment Authority, which will be headquartered at Windsor City Hall, and be charged with building a treatment plant and treating NISP shares belonging to those towns plus the Fort Collins/Loveland Water District and the town of Eaton.

Eaton and the FCLWD had previously approved the intergovernmental agreement.

The 15 participants in NISP jointly began to determine how to treat the 13 billion gallons of water — enough for about 80,000 families — that the project will produce. Most found their own solutions, but the four northerly participants decided to join forces, as described in materials provided to the Windsor Town Board. Windsor will have 8.25% of the NISP project.

The four entities searched for a site for a joint water-treatment plant and in 2020 bought 144 acres just east of Cobb Lake in Weld County. The site is near the intersection of Weld County Roads 13 and 90.

They paid $1 million for the site, each sharing equally in that cost.

The newly created authority will issue bonds to pay for the treatment facility and repay those bonds with revenues from the plant. Each community or district will pay based upon their share of usage, according to the agreement.

The board will be composed of town or district managers or their designated representatives, with a fifth at-large representative serving a one-year term appointed by the member communities. Severance will appoint the first at-large representative, according to the agreement.

FCLWD will take the lead in designing and building the facility.

Severance board member Dave Bruen noted in his remarks how important this project is to Severance, which has had a moratorium on new construction. “We can’t get our own water treated,” he said, referring to issues two years ago when the town and the North Weld County Water District butted heads over water treatment when the district ran out of capacity to treat water. A moratorium on construction resulted.

“This is the long-term solution for Severance to maintain its own destiny,” said Mayor Matt Fries. “It builds in future flexibility for our water users and other participants.”

That sentiment was echoed in Windsor, where board member Ken Bennett said that “this is one of those generational things. This is a really big deal. It gives us redundancy in water treatment.”

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District has yet to turn a shovel of dirt on the Northern Integrated Supply Project, which will deliver 40,000 acre feet of water to 15 participating entities, but four of those partners have taken steps to build a treatment plant to handle their shares.

This week, the town boards for Windsor and Severance both voted unanimously to approve an agreement to form the Cobb Lake Regional Water Treatment Authority, which will be headquartered at Windsor City Hall, and be charged with building a treatment plant and treating NISP shares belonging to those towns plus the…

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.
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