Moffat County approves Shadow Mountain loan, but residents must give the final OK

— Moffat County Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a loan slated to fix water and sewer lines in the Shadow Mountain modular home development.

The entire project, which includes replacing the roads and sidewalks, will cost roughly $6.3 million and will take approximately three years to complete.

Funding for the improvements has been broken into four groups, with Moffat County paying $2.4 million, the city of Craig shelling out $1 million, the Department of Local Affairs providing $1.65 million in grant money and homeowners paying $1.23 million of the total costs.

The estimated cost for homeowners equals roughly $4,738 per house. The city and county created a Local Improvement District to help homeowners absorb that cost through financing at $19.74 a month per property owner for 20 years.

“It ain’t going to hurt me,” said Corky Covertson, who lives in Shadow Mountain. “We need those implements in Shadow Mountain. We have needed them for years. The sidewalks are so bad that you can’t even walk down the sidewalks in some places. The roads are getting holes in them. The water and sewer lines are awful.”

But before city and county officials can move forward with the construction, the residents of Shadow Mountain must approve the creation of the LID during November’s general election.

“When we looked at this, it would be really tough for homeowners out there to come up with the money,” said Roy Tipton, director of development services for Moffat County. “If we do it all together, we can finance that cost so they don’t have that out-of-pocket expense.”

Not everyone is in favor of the extra expense, including Shadow Mountain resident Phil Hawks.

“I’m in opposition of replacing my water lines,” Hawks said.

If homeowners in Shadow Mountain sell their property before the 20-year financing ends, the new property owner will have to pick up the $19.74-a-month bill. That means there’s a potential lean on properties, Hawks said.

“Can’t they just do what they’re going to do without coming to us for the money?” Hawks asked.

The quick answer is no, according to officials.

“If it’s approved (by the voters), then the whole district is a part of it. If it fails, it fails,” Tipton said, adding that the city, county and state can’t absorb the entire cost of the project. “From the county’s point of view, it’s a way to fix a bad problem with everyone working together.”

Shadow Mountain was built by Colorado Ute Electric in the 1970s as temporary housing for power plant workers and was never intended to last more than 10 years, according to the county.

“The piping used for water and sewer lines was substandard and is beginning to fail,” states a county document.

The city put a video camera down the pipes to inspect the sewer lines, which now appear to be egg shaped.

“When a pipe begins to egg, it’s a sign that the line is about to fail,” the document states.

As a result, water service lines are breaking and have decreased water pressure to the subdivision’s fire hydrants. So if a fire broke out, the fire department would have to bring a tanker to fight the fire.

“That’s one of the reasons why this is trying to get fixed,” Tipton said.

To replace the water and sewer lines, the roads and sidewalks will have to be torn up and also replaced, giving Shadow Mountain an external facelift along with fixing problems underground.

Noelle Leavitt Riley can be contacted at 970-875-1790 or nriley@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

Ray Cartwright 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks to the County and City for all the work that they have put into this project. We Mountaineers need to get out and vote to accept this Local Improvement District.

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lonelyone 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I am all for this project. However, I find it interesting that the cost to us keeps going up. First it was 4 thousand per household and 17.00 per month added onto our already higher water bills, then we get a letter in the mail that stated the cost would be 4,600 per household at 19.00 per month and now this article has it even higher. AND, the sewer portion of our water bill has already increased 3.00 a month and we were told that our rates wouldn't go up!!.......oh sorry, this rate hike doesn't count cuz the work hasn't been started yet, right? I do agree the work needs to be done, but the cost needs to stop going up or I am afraid the residents will vote it down.

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honualoalo 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I am all for this project and the improvements made to Shadow Mountain. As a resident I know how horrible the water pressure is here, even worse are the streets and the general lack of continued maintenance in our subdivision.However, I agree with Lonelyone as where do the costs stop? With a strict budget and the extra $17.00 is pushing it but now we are up to almost an extra $20.00 a month. (It may not sound like a lot but it really is to those with little money) We need a capped amount before people will vote for it. Some sort of assurance that after this project we aren't going to be getting a bigger surprise than just more water pressure. Overall, improvement is desperately needed and with the recession residents dont have overflowing pocketbooks. So Yes, Fix the county's dumb move (after all the County did originally allow the lots to be subleased/bought and sold after the "Temporary" dwelling for the mine (we are paying for their poor planning)) and get it as a fully functioning part of Moffat County! More than the improved streets I may be more excited for the idea of washing my hands and running a load of laundry at the same time!

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