Eagle moving forward with new water plant, river park in 2018 budget | VailDaily.com

Eagle moving forward with new water plant, river park in 2018 budget

EAGLE — Eagle will spend a little more money next year, while sticking a little more in its savings account, and launching two huge projects.

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, the Eagle Town Board took a final look at its 2018 budget, which included the first round of funding for the town's new water treatment plant. The board is expected to approve next year's budget at its December meeting.

"All the department heads have worked together. I could not be more proud of the staff we have," said Tom Boni, acting town manager.

Water plant

The town will borrow $16.7 million to launch the water treatment plant's three-year construction schedule. Of that, $6.7 million will be spent in 2018. All in, the new plant will cost $26 million.

To pay for it, Eagle's approximately 2,600 water account holders will pay a monthly surcharge of around $30 each. That surcharge will go up or down, depending on the final cost to build the plant, explained Jill Ewing, Eagle's finance director.

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That surcharge will also end when the plant is paid for.

On top of the surcharge, Eagle residents will also pay more for the water they use, based on a sliding scale. The more water they use, the higher their rate will be.

The town has been stacking up money since 2012 to help pay for the plant and is bringing around $10 million in cash to the deal, Ewing said.

The new plant will have a 2.5 million-gallon-per-day capacity and is projected to serve Eagle's needs over the next 20 years.

Water park

The water treatment plant is the biggest project Eagle is doing in the foreseeable future. The river park is a distant second at $5.5 million.

To help push the park along, $48,000 will be transferred in 2018 into the water park fund from other funds.

The town spent $677,000 for its share of the Hardscrabble Ranch open space purchase. The 1,540-acre ranch on the south side of Eagle was purchased by a consortium of entities for $15.5 million and will be preserved as open space.

At the other end of the budget spectrum, several department heads asked for additional staff. The budget adds four and a half employees.

The town contributed $200,000 for Eagle Valley trails funding to the county.

At the same time, the town's reserve account will increase $200,000 to $1,425,000, approximately 20 percent of the town's annual operating expenses.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@ vaildaily.com.

Eagle budget at a glance

$24 million: Total 2018 budget

$14 million: Total 2017 budget

The increase is from 2018 spending on the water treatment plant ($27 million) and the river park ($5.5 million).