As Eagle stands poised to grow with the new Eagle River Station and Haymeadow developments, the community now needs additional water treatment capacity to meet potential demand.
Tuesday night, the Eagle Town Board began to answer that demand by approving a special use permit for a new lower basin water treatment plant. The new plant will be built immediately east - or upstream - from the town's wastewater treatment plant located near the confluence of Brush Creek and the Eagle River. Preliminary estimates indicate it will cost around $16 million.
The new plant will have an initial capacity of 2.5 million gallons per day and is designed for expansion of up to 5 million gallons per day. It will include two buildings - one covering 32,300 square feet and one covering 1,452 square feet.
"This plant is being designed to accommodate future growth of the town based on the 2010 Eagle Area Community Plan and will be constructed in two or three phases depending on demand," stated the memo prepared by Eagle Town Planner Tom Boni.
During discussion of the plant proposal, town board member Joe Knabel asked about scheduling - specifically the length of the planning period to get the facility up and operational. Eagle Town Engineer Tom Gosoirowski said in all likelihood, the plant is on at least a 30-month schedule to address permitting, financing and 20 months of construction.
Eagle Public Works Director Dusty Walls noted that at present, during the summer, Eagle hits the 80 percent capacity mark for its water system and that's the point when the state wants towns to begin work on new treatment facilities. Mayor Yuri Kostick noted that during the summer, town residents can use up to 2.3 million gallons of water per day but during the winter the number is closer to 500,000.
"It's all about watering lawns," he noted.
The town board unanimously approved the special use permit and Town Manager Willy Powell noted the action marks the beginning of a long process.
"Its not like this is the last action (regarding the new water plant) from the town board," said Powell. He noted demand and financing will play important roles in determining when the plant construction begins, but the community wants to have a "shelf ready" project when those factors indicate it is time to proceed.
In other action the town board:
• Reviewed the Marketing and Events quarterly report presented by Meg Stepanek. She detailed how marketing dollars were spent during 2012 and highlighted proposals for 2013
• Reviewed the third-quarter sales tax data for Eagle. Overall sales tax receipts are up approximately 4 percent over last year.
• Discussed design objectives for the former Swallow Oil site recently purchased by the town. Located at the head of Broadway on the north side of U.S. Highway 6, the town views the land as a "key visual landmark" rather than an active park space. Plans for the site include using part of the ground for a Highway 6 widening project and an expansion of the ECO bike path along with preservation of view corridors through the area.