Avon, sewer district still at odds | VailDaily.com

Avon, sewer district still at odds

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON , Colorado ” The town of Avon, Colorado and the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District have still not yet reached a deal on heating town street with heat from a wastewater plant.

The project, known as the Community Heat Recovery Project, would take heat from the Avon Wastewater Treatment Plant to heat town streets and the Avon Recreation Center. The town received a state grant for $1.5 million, contingent on the town partnering with another agency to build the project and also on getting designs finished by October. The grant is part of a state program encouraging energy efficiency.

The sanitation district’s original contribution was going to be $740,000, said Jenny Strehler, Avon’s public works director. The district now wants to contribute $332,400 instead, leaving the town with the bill for the rest. Strehler said the town agreed to cover that amount, bringing its total contribution to about $2.5 million, because the project is so important.

But the district voted to approve the agreement between the two agencies with a few changes at its meeting last week ” the most important being a change in the length of the agreement. It voted for 20 years, but the town wants 40 years.

Strehler said at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting that 20 years just isn’t realistic because the standard life span of all the infrastructure that would be built is 40 to 60 years.

The town council voted to approve the agreement with a 40-year term at its Tuesday meeting, meaning now it has to go back to the sanitation district again for another vote at that agency’s May 28 meeting. S

The sanitation district only said that a 40-year term seemed excessive in its reasoning for lowering the term, Strehler said. The town staff and council hopes that because four of the district’s seven-member board of directors were at the meeting, there’s hope the district could still approve a 40-year term after hearing more explanation from the town on why that term is so important.

The council won’t go for a shorter term, so if the sanitation district doesn’t agree to go longer, the project dies and the town would have to give back the $1.5 million state grant.

A representative of the district couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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