Will Ever Vail, sewer plant be neighbors?
VAIL, Colorado – Will a billion-dollar resort development be built next door to a sewer plant? The answer isn’t as obvious as it might seem.The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District’s Vail wastewater treatment plant is essentially surrounded by the eastern portion of the Ever Vail property, just west of the west end of Lionshead, at the west end of Forest Road. During Tuesday’s discussion about the project – much of which had to do with building heights and setbacks – district representative Diane Johnson presented Vail Town Council members with a letter asking the town to accommodate the district’s needs as it continues to work on the proposal.According to the six-page letter, district officials would prefer to relocate the plant to another spot in town. But Johnson told the council that finding a good option to the existing site would be difficult and costly.”When the plant was first built, it was way out there – and development has come to us,” Johnson said. Johnson also told the council that the district is asking for unequivocal language regarding access to the existing plant, using specific language requiring “legal and physical access” to its property. A mere contract, or “easement,” won’t be enough, Johnson said.The district also asked town officials to require Ever Vail to clearly state to buyers that a sewage treatment plant is nearby.But while district officials hope they can work on a new site with Vail Resorts Development Co., there’s no guarantee that will happen.Project planner Dominic Mauriello told the council that the developers don’t want relocating the plant to be a requirement.”If it works for both parties, it should be discussed,” Mauriello said. If the plant isn’t relocated, it could be there for some time.When council member Kerry Donovan asked about the life of the existing plant, Johnson said that, with upgrades, it could be at its current location “indefinitely.”The council will continue to work on the proposal into October, with the next step being completion of a “development improvement agreement.”Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.