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Basalt considering whitewater park

Staff and Wire Reports

ASPEN A group is investigating the possibility of creating a whitewater recreation park along the Roaring Fork River through Basalt.Town Manager Bill Efting said one factor is a parks compatibility with fishing. The Colorado Division of Wildlife designates the Roaring Fork as a gold medal fishery for trout.We need to make sure that, No. 1, they can coexist together, Efting said this week.Those interested in the park include Pitkin County Attorney John Ely, who said the idea is in its infancy.Were not in a Yep, were going ahead kind of mode, Ely said.County and town officials met with paddlers last week to discuss the idea.Whitewater parks are becoming popular in river towns around the nation because they lure both paddlers and spectators. Salida, on the Arkansas River, created a highly acclaimed whitewater park in 2000. Carbondale has explored creating a whitewater park, and Glenwood Springs has a committee pursuing the idea.Efting plans to consult with state wildlife officials on the compatibility issues before the exploratory group meets again in August.

DENVER Qwest Communications International Inc. is putting a 23-story Denver office tower on the market.The building is home to about 1,500 customer-service, computer, finance and archive workers, company spokesman Nick Sweers said Wednesday. They will be moved to other Qwest officesFrom a financial standpoint, it makes sense to do that, Sweers said. We believe the real-estate market is very favorable.The building, built in 1976 as the Mountain Bell Center, has 745,925 square feet of rental space, according to the CoStar Group, which tracks commercial real estate in Denver and across the country.The building was constructed when Mountain Bell, as the local telephone company was then called, was part of AT&T. A Mountain Bell logo was carved into the top of the building during construction.In 1992, Qwest sold its 52-story, 1.3 million-square-foot downtown headquarters for $238 million. It continues to occupy about two-thirds of the building under a 20-year lease.

GRAND JUNCTION An executive with Williams Cos. said western Colorados natural gas boom will last for some time and predicts the Rockies will provide 40 percent of the nations gas supply by 20025.Ralph Hill, the president of exploration and production for the Tulsa, Okla.-based company, said the Rocky Mountain region currently produces 27 percent of the nations natural gas supply but that will go up.The company expects to be operating 26 rigs in the Piceance Basin by the end of this year and that number could climb to 85 by 2009, Hill said this week. Williams plans to drill 450 to 500 new gas wells in western Colorado in each of the next three years.The energy boom will continue to propel the regional economy, Hill said. In Mesa County, the industry was responsible for more than 2,800 jobs last year more that twice the number of jobs in 2004, Hill said.Hill characterized Williams as a good corporate neighbor that is working to minimize the impacts of its work. The company uses technology to almost eliminate the flaring of gas from wells, he said, and a new type of rig that enables as many as 22 wells to be drilled from one pad.



GREELEY The new ethanol plant in Windsor is running at full capacity after supply wells initially failed to deliver as much water as expected, plant officials say.The problem caused a delay of about two weeks, said Dan Sanders, president of Front Range Energy. The plant began grinding corn June 6 and has been operating at full capacity since.Were in good shape now, Sanders said Wednesday. It was a little stressful around here over Memorial Day weekend.The three wells at the site are still not providing enough water, but Front Range Energy reached a temporary agreement with Windsor to draw water from a town hydrant. It has also applied for water from a well north of town.As the aquifer improves during the season the aquifer is probably in its worst condition because of the time of year, with the heat and everything were going to be using those wells (on site), Sanders said.The plant used as much as 200 gallons per minute during its startup testing period. Town Manager Rod Wensing said the hydrant arrangement expires June 21.Hopefully, by then theyll have their other water sources taken care of, Wensing said. We cant provide them water for production. It was never planned that way.The plant, which employs 35, will produce 40 million gallons of ethanol to boost octane in gasoline and reduce carbon monoxide emissions.Vail, Colorado


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