AVON, Colorado - It looks like Nottingham Lake in Avon will be at least mostly full for two big summer events before work starts to replace the lake's liner.
The liner is original equipment on the lake, which was built in 1979. That liner now has deteriorated to the point that it's hard to keep the lake full. The leak led to closing the lake for skating this winter.
Original plans called for letting the lake drain out over the winter, then starting work in the spring. But that meant the lake wouldn't be full for either the town's annual Salute to the USA Fourth of July celebration or the Xterra triathlon later that month.
With cost estimates climbing for the original plan, council members Tuesday decided to patch the liner in the spring and refill it with runoff water. The lake would then be drained immediately after the Xterra event. The liner replacement work would then stretch into early fall. Since that's when water is in short supply, that schedule could prevent the lake from re-filling until the 2014 spring runoff.
While the option to drain the lake in mid-summer isn't the least expensive, council members said it was the best balance between cost and keeping the lake open for a pair of big summer events.
Town recreation director John Curutchet said the lake serves as both a good backdrop and a natural crowd barrier for Salute to the USA. And Tim Baker, executive director of the Beaver Creek Resort Co., said the lake is a key part of the Xterra race, adding that it might be hard to get the race to return to the Vail Valley if it had to leave this year.
"It's really a great community asset," Baker said.
While draining the lake in mid-summer was the council's preferred option, town resident Kathy Ryan was alarmed by the prospect.
When the lake is empty, "there's a terrific aroma," Ryan said. "Why do this for two financial events and make us live with the stench?"
Council member Chris Evans said the schedule to re-line and re-fill the lake is "the lesser of all the evils there are."