Town of Firestone Approves Important Water Agreements
In the Spring of 2020, the Board of Trustees approved the 2020-2050 Water Action Plan, which set in motion the first concrete plans to fully diversify the Town’s raw water portfolio, become less reliant upon a single Central Weld County Water District source, build a water treatment plant, develop and expand raw water reservoir storage, drill an alluvial well field, and generally embark on a water course that affords the Town greater independence and control.
During the Regular Board of Trustees meeting on November 10, 2021, the Board of Trustees approved two separate agreements related to water dedication for the future Cottonwood Hollows residential development, located off of Sable Avenue between Birch Street and the East I-25 Frontage Road. As important as the water agreements are for Cottonwood Hollow and Firestone’s plans for continued growth, they represent the first tangible examples of the Water Action Plan’s implementation and the Town requiring growth and development to pay its way; in this case, with more than $11 million in new revenue.
“Knowing the importance of growth to Firestone’s future, it was important to the Board that the Water Action Plan create additional development opportunities while also generating revenue,” said Firestone Mayor Bobbi Sindelar. “With these first two agreements, we’re seeing the Plan’s implementation do both.”
Mayor Pro Tem Frank Jimenez commented during the meeting about the quick return on investment being realized, thanked Firestone’s Water Team for their efforts, and that noted that Firestone is quickly becoming a regional leader in water security.
As part of the Water Action Plan, Town staff and consultants worked with the Board of Trustees to develop the policy framework to accept dedication of native water sources. This greatly diversifies the Town’s water portfolio and requires developer contributions to the future infrastructure buildout. For the Cottonwood Hollow agreement approved on November 10, 2021, the developer is paying the Town $200,000 to examine the native water being dedicated and quantify the total volume of water available. Once that volume is determined the developer will pay the Town a Storage and Infrastructure fee of $17,500 per acre foot of water. This money will be used to build critical future water infrastructure. For the Cottonwood Hollow development, that may mean a payment of up to $5.25 million.
For the second agreement, the Board approved the sale of native water credits. By approving the sale of more than $5.8 million, the Town has now started converting native water shares to revenue to support the Town’s Water enterprise.
Combined, these two agreements give residents their first glimpse of how the Water Action Plan generates revenue for the Town and shifts costs for future infrastructure to growth and development.
For more information on the Water Action Plan and other water initiatives, visit https://www.firestoneco.gov/617/Water-Initiatives-Partnerships.