Town of Firestone Water Project Updates
This communication is intended to provide the Firestone community an update on the various water projects occurring in the Town of Firestone. Town Staff and the Board of Trustees are aware that misinformation has been shared on social media that has caused some confusion. This message will provide you with clarification and a better understanding of the water projects.
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Much like many other communities along the Front Range, the Town of Firestone has had to think creatively to ensure that the demands of raw water and treated water can be met over the next 30+ years. This year alone, the Board of Trustees has taken a few major steps to assure the Town of Firestone is on a path to water independence, diversify our water portfolio, and also open the doors for growth. Below are a few updates on the Water Action Plan, the Water Enterprise Revenue Bonds that were issued in July of this year, and the St. Vrain Water Treatment Facility.
Water Action Plan
Since 2008 the Town of Firestone has been increasing water rates for the general purposes of financing water acquisition, infrastructure improvements, and the development of a water treatment and distribution system. One of the biggest milestones was the adoption of the Water Action Plan in March of this year. This Water Action Plan is a big step toward greater control of the Town's water destiny and security. It expands our raw water portfolio, provides some backup and redundancy as part of a distribution network, enhances raw water storage, implements an augmentation plan (which allows the Town to fully realize the benefits of previous Windy Gap water shares purchased), and generally puts the Town on a path toward greater water autonomy. Timeline & Notable Dates:
- The Board of Trustees approved the purchase of Firestone Reservoir No. 1 on October 12, 2016.
- The Board of Trustees approved the purchase option to acquire Firestone Reservoir No. 2 (the Brooks Pit) on January 11, 2017.
- The Board of Trustees approved the Agreement for the design of pump station and inlet infrastructure on October 10, 2018. The design phase is complete and the construction contract has been awarded.
- The Board of Trustees approved the Gould Annexation on December 12, 2018. This is the parcel of land on which the treatment plant, well-field, and injection well will be located.
- The Board of Trustees approved the Agreements and Contracts for design of the St. Vrain Water Treatment Plant on December 12, 2018 and December 11, 2019.
- The Board of Trustees approved the creation of and appointed 4 Board members to the St. Vrain Water Authority on April 24, 2019.
- The Board of Trustees approved the selection of the St. Vrain Water Treatment Plant Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) contractor on June 26, 2019.
- The Board of Trustees approved the Agreements related to the EPA Class Injection Well Permit on August 28, 2019 and the approved the Agreement with New IPT, Inc. for design of the injection well on March 11, 2020.
- April 28, 2020 the CDPHE approved the water treatment plans and specifications for construction.
At the end of May, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 973, to authorize the issuance and sale of Town of Firestone Water Enterprise Revenue Bonds for the construction of the future Water Treatment Facility. This action is one of the first steps of the Water Action Plan. The first couple years of activity will be focused on the construction of the St. Vrain Water Treatment Plant, water distribution infrastructure, and water storage. These improvements will serve current and future Firestone residents for generations to come.
During the bond process, the Town received an "A" rating from S&P and was recognized for the actions taken so far. The ratings report from S&P noted, "we believe that the town board actions relating to the system's future financial plan to meet projected capital needs and cost-of-service will establish a clear trajectory for future financial performance." Additionally, as part of this debt issuance, the Town was able to pay off debt from 2017, when the Town borrowed money from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to finance some of the early steps in this overall plan.
Water Treatment Facility
The Gould property, located at the northeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Zinnia Avenue (WCR 26), was purchased in November of 2017. The property was purchased for the sole purpose of serving as the site for the St. Vrain Water Treatment Facility, which broke ground this summer. The plant will have an initial capacity of 1.5 million gallons per day (MGD), with plans for expansion to 5 MGD. The plant will contain pre-treatment, filtration, reverse osmosis and disinfection technologies and it is anticipated to be fully operational in 2022.