Subdivision sewage plant plan hits current of opposition
There’s rough water downstream for a wastewater treatment plant proposed by developers of the Rapids on the Colorado subdivision.
The town of New Castle and Garfield County’s planning staff have recommended denial of the project, and the town of Silt suggested further negotiations. The final decision will be made by state officials.
The Rapids Development Corp. is proposing a 45,000-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant to serve a 121-lot subdivision on the south bank of the river, about a mile west of Apple Tree Mobile Home Park.
Building the plant would allow developers to boost density on the 92-acre parcel from the approved 33 lots, which remain undeveloped, to a proposed 121 lots. It would also serve an adjacent 64 acres southeast of the subdivision that could be developed.
The 33-lot plan, approved by Garfield County in 1997, called for residences to be served by septic tanks and leach fields.
The plant is called a sequencing batch reactor treatment facility. Treated wastes would be discharged into the Colorado River downstream from the housing development.
In comments prepared for the Garfield County Commissioners, county planning director Mark Bean said the proposed wastewater treatment plant contradicts the county’s efforts to consolidate sewage treatment systems.
“These types of systems should be strongly discouraged,” Bean wrote.
Bean noted that the developers have not shown any real need to switch from septic tanks to a wastewater facility beyond wanting to increase density.
“Normally we discourage private water and sewer systems because we prefer to consolidate. These guys have said they would consider it if other users were interested in connecting or hooking in, but so far no one has shown interest,” said Bean.
The developers, meanwhile, say it would cost more than $2 million to connect the Rapids subdivision to the wastewater treatment system being built for the new Coal Ridge High School between New Castle and Silt.
The estimated cost of the proposed wastewater facility is $616,400 with an annual operating cost of $72,740, resulting in monthly sewer bills for residents of $31.
The applicants propose to rezone the area from Residential/Rural Density to Planned Unit Development to boost the density of lots to be served by the plant.
The application for approval will go before the Garfield County Commissioners on Monday, May 3. However, the county government has no ability to approve or deny the plant. It can only recommend approval or denial, and the final decision will be made by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
” Freelance writer Danyelle Rigli contributed to this report.
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