Cops, Denver Water iron out details on Dam Road closure
February 27, 2008
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Summit County Sheriff John Minor said Tuesday’s sit-down with members of the Denver Water Board “went really well,” as the the agencies discussed communication, safety and security related to the Dillon Dam Road.
“Obviously these are issues we will still need to work on as we try to develop this relationship and, like any relationship, it will take time,” said Sheriff John Minor.
Denver Water and local law enforcement have recently been subjected to public scrutiny after the Denver Water closed the Dillon Dam Road for nine days in January due to a potential Homeland Security threat.
The lack of information made available to the public left many residents feeling frustrated, confused and out of the loop.
“We recognized that we didn’t have optimum inter-agency communication protocols in place to react to unexpected events,” said Brian Good, Denver Water’s director of operations and maintenance. “We all agreed that this is the perfect opportunity to improve our communication process and establish better procedures for deciding when and how to close Dillon Dam Road.”
An agreement drafted in 1974 allows Denver Water, who owns most of water rights in Dillon Reservoir, to halt traffic on the road during an emergency. Sheriff Minor acknowledged that the wording of this agreement has become somewhat confusing in today’s context, and says it may be the topic of future meetings.
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“I think through resolving these communication issues we should be able to address the problems with this agreement,” said Minor. “Hopefully our lawyers and their lawyer will hammer out an amendment and clearly define what our roles are in this relationship.”
In addition to better inter-agency communication, officials also acknowledged the need for improved communications with the public, and developed a variety of ways to carry out the messages, and to put more information into the hands of the public who use Dillon Dam Road.
The group also discussed potential security measures for the Dam, which autorities did not disclose, citing sensitive nature of those considerations.
According to Sheriff Minor, the two parties plan to sit down again this spring.
“Our goal is to keep Dillon Dam Road open as much as possible while at the same time protecting the dam’s critical infrastructure,” said Minor.