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The decree can be viewed here.
Thornton’s intent is that eminent domain would be used only as a last resort. While the State Constitution gives all home-rule governments in Colorado the authority to exercise eminent domain to acquire property, Thornton’s intention is to work with any landowner where an easement or access may be necessary for the water pipeline route.
No; access to properties along public streets and roads will be maintained during construction. The access might not be at the same location currently used, but access will be maintained and restored to its original location as quickly as possible.
If an easement on private property is required, the property owner would be fairly compensated for the value of the easement, the property would be restored and landscaped to its pre-construction condition, or the property owner could receive additional compensation if the property couldn’t be fully restored to pre-construction conditions.
We want to continue to be a good community neighbor and collaborate with stakeholders early in the process. In addition, it takes many years to perform the necessary studies and designs, acquire the necessary approvals and easements, and construct a 70-mile-long pipeline.
Legally, our water rights can only be used to supply our water customers. However, we are open to partnering with other communities in northern Colorado to share infrastructure.
We have one of the lowest per-person water usage rates in the state, and will continue to be a leader in water conservation, but conservation alone isn’t sufficient to meet our ongoing and future water supply needs.
We estimate that over 600 permits or approvals will be needed. We have initiated the land use permit processes in Weld and Larimer Counties, and have contacted the cities, towns and districts along the proposed pipeline route to understand their permitting requirements and processes. We plan to meet or exceed all permit requirements for the Project. We have consulted with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding Project construction, and will continue to do so as the Project progresses.
The specific location of the pipeline has not been determined for the entire pipeline alignment. We have identified a specific alignment and location for the pipeline in portions of southern Weld County, and we are working with property owners to acquire the necessary easements for the pipeline in those locations.
Yes, the pipeline will be buried with some appurtenances and access points above ground.
Thornton’s water customers will need this additional water supply by 2025. Project permitting and easement acquisition is currently underway; design started in mid-2018, and construction started in 2020.
The Thornton Water Project is a pipeline through Adams, Larimer and Weld Counties that will bring water purchased in the 1980s to Thornton customers.