Vail Daily letter: Project finally moving forward
Vail, CO Colorado
On Tuesday in Red Cliff, we broke ground for our wastewater- treatment plant. In attendance was the executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Susan Kirkpatrick. This project is one of only three in the state of Colorado funded in part with American Rein-vestment and Recovery Act dollars for infra-structure.
This project has been more than 20 years in the making and has been a priority for more years than that. In 1995, then- Gov. Roy Romer was in Red Cliff to see what the plant looked like and to set a plan for replacement. Unfortunately, that plan never came to be.
Today, because of the support from several entities, including the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Department of Public Health and Environment, Eagle County, the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Marcin Engineer-ing, Baseline Engineering, the Red Cliff Board of Trustees, Red Cliff staff and the residents of the town of Red Cliff, we took a major step toward the protection of the future of the river, the forest and generations to come.
Most people don’t know that our sewer plant is downstream from Red Cliff. Our sewer plant has never affected the residents of the town or our drinking water.
Our drinking-water quality and taste are excel-lent! Today, we took a step to make sure water quality is better from Red Cliff down!
Funding has been very difficult, and this proj-ect almost failed several times.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture backed out at a critical juncture last fall. Engineers’ cost esti-mates have come and gone as the years went by. We saw grant dollars going toward engineering but no shovels. Some grants that were reserved for construction had time frames that were not met, so the money went away.
The timing had to be just right to make this work. We had to be “dirt ready” when the stimu-lus dollars became available, and then we had to jump through all the hoops to make sure all the engineering was completed and approved.
The bottom line is that several hundred pages of documents later, this time it is totally different! Construction began today and is scheduled for completion in August.
Wish you would have been there!
– Ramon V. Montoya, mayor, town of Red Cliff