Silverthorne backs reservoir expansion |

Silverthorne backs reservoir expansion

Harriet Hamilton
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. ” The Silverthorne Town Council has decided to continue the town’s financial support for enlargement of the Old Dillon Reservoir.

As the partner with the smallest stake in the intergovernmental project, the town is committed to $53,400 ” or 10.68 percent ” of the maximum cost ($500,000) for the second phase of the expansion. Summit County and the Town of Dillon have already authorized their more substantial contributions.

Phase 2 of the project encompasses final design, engineering and permitting, town utility manager Zach Margolis told the council last week. The Old Dillon Reservoir is a small body of water, built 69 years ago, located between the large Dillon Reservoir and Interstate 70.

Basic feasibility studies found no roadblocks to the project; the next step is formal approval and permitting by relevant agencies: the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Summit County.

Actual construction ” at an estimated total cost of around $8.5 million ” will take place during the project’s third phase, and could start as early as this summer.

With the county and Dillon as major stakeholders, Silverthorne chose to participate in the joint agreement in order to diversify its water portfolio. An ongoing assessment of the cost/benefit relationship involved in the expansion will continue to be a priority for the town, Mayor Dave Koop emphasized.

“I want to keep an eye on the value of the water,” he said.

Councilmember Kevin McDonald and Koop both expressed a hope that the enlarged reservoir will still be a venue for recreational activities.

“With Homeland Security, I’d hate to see a fence go around what’s now an amenity,” Koop said.