Obama’s signature brings money for Red Cliff water upgrades | VailDaily.com

Obama’s signature brings money for Red Cliff water upgrades

Dustin Racioppi
Red Cliff, CO Colorado

RED CLIFF, Colorado ” Red Cliff’s water worries became a little lighter Wednesday as President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, which will grant the tiny mountain town $800,000 to make repairs to its water system.

The money will go toward repairing the town’s collection system, Mayor Ramon Montoya said. The cost of an overhauled or new water system has been estimated at $4 million. But Eagle County Facilities Management Director Tom Johnson said this money will go a long way toward mending the water system’s problems.

“The collection system has many, many years on it, and it’s got a lot of leaks. The water is causing the plant to work way harder than it has to,” he said. “This money would fix all the bad stuff.”

A press release from Sen. Michael Bennet said in order to protect the water downstream of Red Cliff “-which is much of Eagle County ” upgrading the water system is “vital.”

“The city of Red Cliff is in dire need of funding,” said Michael Amodeo, spokesman for Bennet. “This is good stuff. We’re happy about it.”

On Wednesday, Montoya said he was wary of believing the funding would come through. Red Cliff was told in 2006 it would get $1 million through that year’s federal funding package, but that money was diverted to aid the war in Iraq.

News from Bennet’s office that Obama signed the bill provided a sense of relief to Montoya.

“If he says it’s a done deal, it’s a done deal. That’s great news,” he said. “We’ll put it to use this summer.”

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