Moffat County approves Shadow Mountain loan, but residents must give the final OK
June 13, 2013
Craig — 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.