Another twist to the tale |

Another twist to the tale

Cliff Thompson

MINTURN – The complexity of issues continues. In 1998 Minturn lost some of its excess water rights in a bitter and expensive legal battle with a consortium of water users that included Vail Resorts, the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and the Eagle River Water and Sanitation Distinct.The controversy was over a lack of return flows into the river for the town’s sewers. The town’s effluent is piped to the Avon sewer plant, and “depletes” the flow of the river from Minturn to Avon that the consortium depends on for snowmaking and other uses.If a new sewer plant is built at Dowd Junction along with a $1 billion, 1,400-unit ski-and-golf course community on Battle Mountain, flows would be returned to the river far enough upstream that the town could regain the water it lost in 1998.One of the organizations that opposed Minturn in court – Eagle River Water and Sanitation – wants to partner with the town to develop a new sewer plant – and the town is willing to discuss it. Depending on size, such a plant could cost up to $20 million. The water and sewer district could use a new plant to take some of the pressure off Avon’s wastewater plant, said Dennis Gelvin of the water district.In early conversations with Battle Mountain developer Bobby Ginn, the town made it clear they want him to pay for at least part of a new sewer plant.Vail, Colorado

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