Routt County using $80K in pandemic relief for Oak Creek water supply repairs |

Routt County using $80K in pandemic relief for Oak Creek water supply repairs

Sheriff Dam and Reservoir in November.
Brian Romig/Courtesy

Routt County will use $80,000 in American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help Oak Creek fund engineering work needed for repairs at the town’s water supply.

The 68-year-old Sheriff Reservoir and Dam in Rio Blanco County needs work to comply with state regulations, specifically ensuring the spillway is adequate. State dam officials have placed it under restriction and say it needs repair.

In a meeting last month, Oak Creek Town Manager David Torgler said engineering work needed would cost about $320,000. This work will provide a better picture of how much the final work will cost, which is currently estimated to cost about $13 million.

Routt County will receive nearly $5 million from the stimulus, and commissioners have said they will take their time and involve the community before determining how to spend it.

This is only the second item commissioners have identified on which to spend the federal pandemic relief money, with the other being a $150,000 pledged to the South Routt School District’s broadband project to put up poles in and around Oak Creek.

The county’s $80,000 contribution matches what the Oak Creek is contributing, which uses about half of the town’s ARPA dollars. Torgler said Tuesday that the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District has also agreed to contribute $80,000 to the project. Later this month, Torgler said the town will ask the Colorado River District to help fund the project, as well.

“This is going to be a long haul for us,” said Nikki Knoebel, mayor of Oak Creek. “The water supply is something that we need to move forward with.”

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