Copper prepares to expand wastewater treatment facility |

Copper prepares to expand wastewater treatment facility

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Copper Mountain Consolidated Metropolitan District officials are preparing to sign a contract for more than $7 million in improvements, repairs and expansion of the resort’s wastewater treatment facility.

District officials received three bids for the project with prices ranging from $7,055,000 to just under $8 million. They agreed to offer a contract to the lowest bidder, Southwest Contracting Inc., based in Cortez.

If officials approve the contract Aug. 29 as planned, Southwest can begin work on the facility by mid-September, said Mike Koenig, director of the wastewater operations. Contractors plan to install some infrastructure before winter and resume building in April.

“Their intent is to work through the winter of (2004-05) and have the entire project wrapped up by the end of 2005,” Koenig said.

The updated and expanded wastewater treatment plant will have the capacity to process Copper’s sewage through buildout, including Intrawest’s proposed development currently being reviewed by county officials.

The current plant treats 700,000 million gallons per day (mgd), while the new facility will have the capacity for 1.1 mgd, Koenig said.

District officials already have about 70 percent of the cost of the project in the bank, which was collected from user tap fees over the past five to seven years, much of it from Intrawest’s first phase of development that created the New Village.

The district is exploring how to finance the remainder of the bill and how to distribute the debt among homeowners.

Officials said they likely will have to differentiate fees between old and new homeowners but aren’t sure how long a resident would have to be in Copper in order to qualify as a “new” homeowner .

“How we’re going to distribute the debt really is the question,” Koenig said.

In case the district needs to go the property tax route for debt financing, a spot has been reserved on the Nov. 4 ballot. Voters would have to approve any tax increases, as required by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment to the state Constitution.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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