Water to flow at new Wal-Mart, Home Depot | VailDaily.com

Water to flow at new Wal-Mart, Home Depot

Matt Zalaznick

After some last-minute wrangling, a water deal has finally been reached among the Village at Avon’s developer, Traer Creek, the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and the town of Avon.

The agreement guarantees employees of Wal-Mart and The Home Depot being built next door will be able to wash their hands when the stores open next summer.

“It’s finally been agreed upon by us and the authority and our respective attorneys,” says Shane Bohart, Traer Creek’s director of development. “Therefore, water service will not be an issue.”

Water service had been stirring tempers between Traer Creek and the water authority. But contrary to public perception, the snag has not been that homes or stores in the Village of Avon will suck the valley dry. Traer Creek owns more than enough water to service the 650,000 square feet of commercial space and 2,400 homes it has approval to build, officials agree.

“This is not a problem, at least not in my mind. And when this was adjudicated in water court, they felt the same way,” says Larry Brooks, Avon assistant Town Manger.

Under the deal, Traer Creek will lease its rights to Avon, which will then sub-lease the rights to the water authority so the agency can provide water to the shopping and residential complex being built on both sides of Interstate 70 in east Avon.

But that was not the most complicated part of the deal. The water authority was not happy with how Traer Creek planned to use water from the Eagle Park Reservoir, a supply the agency uses only in dry, drought-stricken years.

Another cause of contention was what would happen if the water authority was unable to provide water –something only likely to happen in a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Those issues appear to have been worked out.

Caught in between the developer and the water authority was the town of Avon. The Avon Town Council has approved at least two versions of the deal.

Brooks says it’s unusual for a developer to provide its own water.

“I think everybody is concerned because of the drought. And we’re also used to thinking that everything that’s being built doesn’t have its own water,” Brooks says. “But the village is one with incredible water rights. With all 650 square feet of commercial and all 2,400 homes, they still have water left over.”

Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.

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