The town of De Beque is exploring its funding options as it looks to replace its aging water plant.
De Beque Town Manager Caré McInnis said officials are looking at a number of funding sources from the state, local and federal levels to help pay for the project.
McInnis said they are still refining the project, but that it likely would replace the plant rather than upgrade its current facility.
“We’ve put out bids, we have an engineering firm on board, we’re seeking funding from anywhere we can find it,” McInnis said. “We produce good water. We produce safe water, but just like our cars or cellphones, there comes a point in time where we need to update.”
Like other cities and towns in Mesa County, De Beque receives funding from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act.
However, McInnis said the amount allocated to the town is not enough to pay for the plant on its own. The federal money will also come with some restrictions on how it can be spent, which have not been released yet.
“Ours is $110,000 over two payments,” McInnis said. “So not a lot to work with for a water plant. So we are seeking funding from any source that we can.”
The town is waiting to hear this month if it received a $400,000 grant to go toward the project. The total cost of the project is still being determined, McInnis said, but it will likely be about $800,000.
“So $800,000 is our best ballpark (estimate),” McInnis said. “Our engineering firm is trying to help us narrow and develop that project.”
While the timeline for the project will depend on funding, McInnis said the intent is to pursue the project as quickly as possible.
However, she did say the current plant will be able to serve the community’s needs until a new plant is constructed.
“We want it. It’s time for us to update that facility,” McInnis said. “You bet we’d love to have a new water plant today but, in the meantime, we’re doing fine with what we have.”
Last September, the town notified residents that the water system had violated Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulations for trihalomethanes. The town had exceeded the running annual average for the chemical in its system.
However, McInnis said the town worked with health department to rectify the situation and that its annual rolling average should soon be below the limit of 80 parts per billion.
The violation was not an emergency situation, McInnis said, and residents did not have to boil water.
In addition to the water plant, McInnis said the town is also looking to update its sewer system.