Xcel to propose town water usage

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Not only are executives at Xcel Energy looking for competition from coal suppliers, but in light of rising national standards for potable water, the company is now looking for alternative water sources.

The Hayden Station Power Plant, a subsidiary of Xcel, uses 5,000 acre-feet (1.62 billion gallons) of water from the Yampa River annually, said Hayden Station Director Frank Roitsch. Of those 5,000 acre-feet, most is used in the plant's cooling towers, but 250 acre-feet (81.5 million gallons) are treated at the plant for drinking and potable water for about 100 employees.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is raising its standards for potable water quality, Roitsch said. To comply with the EPA's new standards, Roitsch said Hayden Station would need expensive new filtration equipment. Because of the high cost of complying with the new regulations, Roitsch said he and several other Xcel representatives will come before the Town Board to discuss the pros and cons for using town water.

"We're pleased to be doing this exploratory exchange on our water systems that could be a service to both of us," Roitsch said. "It is just a discussion, though."

Hayden Public Works Director Frank Fox said the town's newly updated water treatment plant probably could handle Hayden Station's needs, but then the water treatment plant would not be able to serve expected growth within the town.

"The plant was built to serve that growth, so if we are going to provide water to the power plant, we would have to expand our water treatment plant again," Fox said.

In other business:

n The Town Board will review the first reading of an ordinance to raise building height limitations from 25 feet to 30 feet. The ordinance is a proactive step proposed by the Hayden Planning Commission so builders are not forced to lower the pitch of a second story roof to meet the current limitation.

n It also will consider supporting the views of the Citizens to Save Our Public Lands, a group formed to opposed the exchange of Bureau of Land Management land for land at Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs.

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