Glenwood Springs attorney is sole finalist for Water District

Andrew Mueller

A Glenwood Springs natural-resources attorney is the sole finalist to take over as chief of the Colorado Water Conservation District in 2018.

Andrew A. Mueller served on the 15-member River District board representing Ouray County for eight years, including terms as vice president and president.

Mueller was selected this week after a nationwide search for a replacement for Eric Kuhn, who retires as general manager of the district at the end of the year after 36 years of service.

The River District is funded by a property tax from each of 15 Western Slope counties and takes the lead in representing Western Slope water interests across the state and region.

“We recognize that a thriving economy in Denver is important to the rest of the state,” Mueller said. “But the Front Range needs to recognize that a thriving economy and healthy environment on the Western Slope is essential for the state as well.”

The state water plan contains “some really good ideas” for making sure the state has the water it needs, while preserving the economies and environments of the basins of origin, Mueller said.

James Eklund, who guided the development of the water plan as executive director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, praised the selection.

“Andy is sharp, knows his stuff, and will bring a statewide perspective to this important position. He follows in the steps of a state treasure in Eric Kuhn,” Eklund said.

“I look forward to working with Andy in my capacity as Colorado’s representative” on the Upper Colorado River Commission,” he said.

The general manager of the River District heads a 25-member staff that Mueller described as “amazingly talented.”

Kuhn has headed the district since 1996 and is retiring at the end of the year with a salary of $191,717. The salary range for the general manager is $147,075 to $216,199.

Under state law, no offer of employment can be made until two weeks after the announcement of a finalist for the post.

The river district serves Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, Ouray, Saguache and Summit counties.


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