Rifle takes next step toward removal of former water treatment facility

An old, inoperable water treatment plant in a Rifle residential neighborhood is now slated for asbestos removal, with the city now hoping it’s one step closer to razing the facility.

Rifle City Council on Aug. 3 approved a $39,995 asbestos abatement for the property, which has been offline since 2017. The bid was awarded to Glenwood Springs-based ECOS Environmental & Disaster Restoration.

Rifle Utilities Director Robert Burns, whose career started in the old facility at 1500 Dogwood Drive, told city council the abatement can be done within 45 days. The abatement is a minor cost considering, in May, Rifle City Manager Tommy Klein reported it would cost at least $600,000 to prepare acreage for new development.

“We have to get the asbestos (removed) prior to doing anything else,” Burns said.

The old facility went defunct after Rifle accepted a $30.5 million bid to build a new facility.

The city has looked into obtaining grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to potentially raze the property. Another alternative is taking on the cost itself then waiting to attract any prospective developers.

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