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In a press conference Tuesday at the Larimer County building in Fort Collins, Douglas Road area residents opposed to a proposed Thornton Pipeline from the Poudre River, called a press conference to share information. Residents shared information in several statements to create greater public awareness about the issue.
North Forty News (NFN) recorded several videos at the press conference, one of which was with Douglas Road resident R Warren Lemerick. He shared concerns about transparency and removal of water from the Poudre river.
As a service to the public and an attempt to share both sides of the story, NFN chose one video to share. We then requested response from the City of Thornton.
Todd Barnes, Communications Director, from the City of Thornton has prepared responses by time in the video. Watch the video and read the city’s response as the video continues.
More information from both sides of the issue is available at – https://nopipedream.com/ and http://www.thorntonwaterproject.com/
Discuss and share concerns about the issue in the comments section below. NFN will share them with the City of Thornton and the Larimer County Commissioners.
City of Thornton Response
Todd Barnes, Communications Director, City of Thornton
Thornton has had many community meetings in Larimer County and input from local residents was extremely influential in the decision making process. As an example, Thornton attended a meeting held by residents of Eagle Lakes. These residents voiced their concerns to Larimer County regarding the initial direction given to Thornton to avoid County right-of-way and to go across private property. The voices of these residents changed the direction of Larimer County and now Thornton is proposing to construct the pipeline within the Douglas Road right-of-way between Bayshore Road and Turnberry Road, instead of crossing private property.
Thornton’s community outreach has in fact exceeded all requirements from Larimer County: Thornton has held several small meetings directly with HOA’s, groups or residents that have asked to speak with us, and have had phone calls with individual residents, as well. The majority of these meetings were listening sessions where Thornton asked attendees for input and recorded that input. Thornton did give a public presentation at an HOA-requested meeting but the majority of the meeting consisted of a question and answer session.
The water that Thornton owns and will be putting into its pipeline has not traveled down the Poudre River through Fort Collins for about 120 years. This water has been diverted into a canal north of Fort Collins that is used by farmers in Larimer and Weld Counties. If the Thornton Water Project went away, it would not result in more water flowing through Fort Collins and to say that more impact will be felt in regards to water flow and levels when the pipeline is in operation is simply false.
Thornton chose this water source for its quality. Fort Collins and Greeley take their water out upstream (farther upstream of where Thornton is even proposing) to preserve water quality. Thornton needs to divert the water before it travels past a number of wastewater treatment plant and industrial discharges, as well as urban and agricultural runoff. Thornton also does not have the legal right to divert its water south of Fort Collins.
People can learn factual information about the Thornton Water Project at thorntonwaterproject.com
The city of Thorton met with Eagle Lake residents back in April 2017 before promoting their route as the preferred route. Of course they received major pushback. Thornton went with the residents’ suggestion to place the pipeline under Douglas Road, rather than basing their decision on science. Originally, the county said no matter what, stay away from our county roads. Likely, because national guidelines advise against roadways as heavy vibrations can break the sealant used on pipes. Once the decision was made, that was the end of it. Thornton did not meet with neighbors along Douglas road or in nearby neighborhoods before naming Douglas Road the preferred route. Also Thornton will be taking private property on Douglas- 2 acres of Dick Brauch’s land for the pump station.
Why deem Douglas Road a pipeline Corridor, Thornton, if you don’t plan to put additional pipelines down Douglas Road in the future? And what about the NISP pipeline? Cora requests show communication with northern water indicates the county strongly suggests they will require them to put their pipeline on the same route.
1:06. Thornton has not adequately explored leaving water on the Poudre. Our sources show doing so would increase flows by 20%.
Thornton bought the rights to the water, they did not buy a certain quality of water, or a route to get it to them. They need to do what’s best for Larimer County citizens, even if it means spending more money. LC gets no benefit from this pipeline.