New Castle plans to put money to waste and more
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – An $8.3 million loan from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority will provide financing for a new wastewater treatment facility in New Castle.According to New Castle Public Works Director John Wenzel, the wastewater expansion project will increase the treatment capacity to handle “100 percent build-out,” or all growth on land currently annexed into the town boundaries. The project will modernize the treatment process, including a substantial improvement in the pretreatment stage, reducing significantly the amount of sludge produced. It currently costs up to $46,000 per month for sludge disposal, according to Wenzel.No date indicating when construction of the new facility could begin has been announced, however. According to Wenzel, construction needs to begin shortly due to the fact that the current wastewater facility has reached the maximum processing capacity currently permitted under state restrictions.The current plan for the new facility is expected to take 18 months until it is operational and is likely to more than double the plant’s current processing capacity, produce a cleaner discharge into the Colorado River and eliminate more odors.”The state and federal health requirements for wastewater discharge are becoming more and more stringent, and we have to meet those guidelines,” Wenzel said. “We are adding more steps to the treatment process because it will create a better final discharge.”Funding for the project will be repaid through monthly sewer fees, sewer tap fees on new construction and possible state grants.The new facility will be located just east of the current wastewater plant on land that is currently being used as the town’s maintenance yard. The maintenance department will be moved to town-owned property west of downtown.Along with plans for the new wastewater facility, locals will soon be taking advantage of a new park-and-ride facility in New Castle, as well.The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority purchased vacant land just west of the Conoco gas station, 774 Burning Mountain Ave. in New Castle, last fall to create a future facility for local commuters. The corner location would feature 60 parking spaces, bike racks and room for a potential commercial partner.The transportation facility will include two levels, with parking on the ground level and a retail location and possible affordable housing on the second level, said RFTA director Dan Blankenship.Funding for the $500,000 proposed facility is included in a $44.5 million bond package voters will decide in November, Blankenship said.Even if the RFTA bond election fails, the New Castle facility remains a priority for RFTA leaders due to growth in the area and increased bus ridership.The Grand Hogback bus service, which runs through New Castle, carried 74,810 passengers last year. Ridership experienced a 43 percent increase this May. A spring survey indicated that 168 people rode the bus either to or from New Castle on a typical day.For Grand Hogback route questions, call 928-8272.
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A coalition of northwest Colorado local governments want more say-so in the plan to reintroduce wolves in the state, especially as it relates to the Western Slope.