Town pumps Lakota for water help |

Town pumps Lakota for water help

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

NEW CASTLE ” The town of New Castle is one step closer to having a back-up emergency water pump station in place ” and Lakota Canyon Ranch developers are assisting with its costs.

“It’s common for new development to pay its way,” said Steve Rippy, New Castle town administrator, “so we asked them to participate in the costs of the pump.”

The pump station will draw water out of the Colorado River only in emergency situations. It will be located on the banks of the Colorado River near New Castle, and should be in place by May 2004.

Town officials decided to build the new pump station, especially with the town’s increased housing development activity generated by Lakota Canyon Ranch, a new subdivision northeast of town and adjacent to Castle Valley Ranch. Construction began last summer, and will add a total of 827 residential units to New Castle over a 20-year period. The development also includes an 18-hole golf course, which is scheduled to open next summer.

New Castle receives its town water supply from East Elk Creek, but in 2002, town officials learned first-hand that creek water is a finite source.

“After the Spring Creek Fire, we saw that mud storms can affect our water supply,” explained New Castle town administrator Steve Rippy of the slides that muddied East Elk Creek.

Added to the mud, older water rights holders called for their water, making less available to the town. New Castle owns two senior water rights that currently cover the town’s needs.

Initially, town officials requested $250,000 from Lakota Canyon Ranch to cover the development’s share of the total cost ” budgeted at $1 million. At the same time, the town applied for several state grants.

“We had no idea when we applied what we’d actually receive in the way of grant money,” Rippy said.

The town received more than originally planned ” $300,000 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and $200,000 from the Colorado Health Department ” which adjusted the amount requested from Lakota.

“In our initial agreement, we stipulated that if the town acquired more grant monies than we planned, then Lakota would give less money to the town,” Rippy said.

That makes Lakota’s adjusted amount $175,000, which is due Dec. 1, 2003.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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