City will sell water to district for new school at Steamboat II site | SteamboatToday.com

City will sell water to district for new school at Steamboat II site

The Steamboat Springs School District will be annexed in to Steamboat II Metro District

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The city of Steamboat Springs will sell water to the Steamboat Springs School District to serve a new school west of city limits.

The school district plans to construct a kindergarten through eighth-grade school at its Barber property adjacent to the Steamboat II neighborhood.

The Steamboat II Metro District provides water and wastewater service to Steamboat II, Silver Spur and Heritage Park subdivisions. It will soon add the new school campus to that list.

The metro district agreed to annex the school district property under the condition that the city approve a request to sell additional water to the metro district to serve the school. Steamboat II also required confirmation that the city’s wastewater treatment facility had the capacity to treat additional toilet flushes from the new school.

“We looked at other options to do this,” Steamboat School District Superintendent Brad Meeks told Steamboat Springs City Council. “We thought the annexation with the metro district was the best.”

Among those options were tapping directly into city water lines or the school constructing its own water and wastewater systems on-site.

Council member Heather Sloop asked Public Works Director Jon Snyder if the city had enough water to meet the needs of existing demands, the new school and an additional school planned for West Steamboat Neighborhoods.

The city would supply about 13,570 gallons of water per day to the school in the winter months, 17,770 gallons per day if school is in session and landscaping is irrigated and 5,360 gallons per day in the summer, according to a water demand analysis commissioned by the school and included in a presentation from Snyder. This represents about 1% of existing water demands in city limits.

“City staff has reviewed the water demand analysis and concurs with the analysis’ findings,” according to a memo presented in Tuesday night’s meeting. “Staff is confident that the city has sufficient supplies to sell additional water to the Metro District to serve the school, even when including anticipated additional demands from infill development and West Steamboat Neighborhoods.”

In the meeting, Snyder said this includes homes, an additional school and commercial properties planned for West Steamboat Neighborhoods. The future of that development is uncertain at this point. 

City Council agreed to pursue the metro district annexation under the following terms:

  • The city will provide additional wastewater service with the same tap fees and charges it uses for wholesale wastewater customers.
  • The city will sell the additional water for the school at the city’s commercial rate. That additional water cannot exceed the amount requested under a demand analysis prepared to consider the water needs of the new school.
  • Water tap fees will be charged at a rate of 50% of the water tap fee paid by properties in city limits under a 1993 agreement with the school district.
  • A sunset provision will limit these changes should closure or “substantive change” occur at the school property.

City Council also instructed staff to include language imposing a consequence should the school use more water than anticipated by the demand analysis and requiring water conservation, such as implementing watering restrictions at the new school, when the city restricts water use.

Tap fees for both water and wastewater will contribute to capital projects to expand the city’s water supply and capacity to treat water and wastewater, Snyder said.

Steamboat II also asked council to consider selling the metro district additional water, beyond what is needed for the school. City Council opted to have that conversation at a later date.

The metro district can currently purchase up to 150,000 gallons per day from the city.

Steamboat II District Manager Chase Baker said the metro district has three wells, one of which has degraded water quality due to construction impacts that occurred after the Heritage Christian School, now the Montessori School, and adjacent soccer fields were built. That well is no longer in use. Because of the hydrology, Baker said Heritage Park mostly receives well water and is most impacted by water quality.

Baker said water use doubles or triples in the summertime.

“We’re running at maximum capacity 24/7,” he said. “For instance, my wells, over a six-month period, rested for a total of, I believe, 72 hours this last summer. That’s where the request for additional water stems from. … It’s just something that’s come up as the school board was looking to annex in and expand the district’s boundaries, and more than anything (Steamboat II is) looking to increase the quality of water within the metro district.”

To view the City Council’s discussion on this topic and documents presented at the meeting, visit steamboatsprings.net/agendas.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.


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