RED CLIFF — On the other side of the mountains that shelter Eagle County’s first town, Vail can spend $200,000 on its streetlight program. Here, money’s harder to come by.
Red Cliff, which has three sales tax-producing businesses and an annual budget of less than $250,000, recently received about $200,000 in the form of a pair of grants — one from Eagle County, the other from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The money will help the town make further repairs to its water system. The grant money will purchase a new emergency generator, some improvements to the town’s water storage tank and improvements to the heating system.
SAVING THE TOWN MONEY
Mayor Scott Burgess said the heating system improvements will save the town a good bit of money in coming years. The propane bill for the old system could reach $20,000 per year, Burgess said. The new system will cut the propane use about 90 percent.
Burgess said the town’s water system didn’t experience any freeze-ups this winter. That’s a welcome change from the winter of 2011-12, when the system froze tight for a couple of weeks, due at least in part to lack of snow cover over water lines that weren’t buried deeply enough originally to withstand a snowless winter without freezing.
This year’s ample snowfall has helped, Burgess said, but so has a 2013 grant that paid for a “mixer” for the water tank. In past years, the tank would end up with an ice cap several inches thick on top of the water. The mixer has kept the ice cap from forming, and the warmer water flows even when it’s cold.