Routt County commissioners eager to help Oak Creek with Sheriff Reservoir repairs

January 12, 2022 Off By [email protected]_84

Sheriff Dam and Reservoir in November.
Brian Romig/Courtesy

The Routt County Board of Commissioners signaled willingness Monday to help the city of Oak Creek pay back for first types for repairs to Sheriff Dam and Reservoir, the town’s 68-calendar year-old water source.

Found in Rio Blanco County, the dam has experienced difficulties with sinkholes in current decades, but people repairs have thus considerably held up, mentioned Oak Creek city supervisor David Torgler in a assembly with commissioners. But an examination has also flagged the spillway as insufficient.

“The city has been set under recognize by the state dam engineer’s place of work that the reservoir is less than restriction (and) that it needs mend,” Torgler mentioned. “Initial investigation carried out in 2020 confirmed that the value could be between $10 (million) and $13 million.”



The city is changing the head gate this calendar year but also desires to do development engineering for the new spillway. Torgler stated, like a cost to state regulators, this engineering will charge about $320,000.

“The town simply just does not have that sum of cash,” Torgler explained. “Without this reservoir, the city of Oak Creek’s water supply will dry up every calendar year. … If we don’t have any drinking water, we’re accomplished as a town, so the city has received to do one thing.”



Sheriff Dam and Reservoir is fed by Trout Creek, but water is diverted into Oak Creek to reach the city of the very same name. In the occasion of a breach, water would move towards Milner.
City of Oak Creek/Courtesy

Oak Creek is placing $75,000 towards the engineering, employing about half of its American Rescue Prepare Act funding. Yet another $60,000 could arrive from the Higher Yampa H2o Conservancy District, Torgler reported. Other potential funding classes could be the Colorado Drinking water Conservancy Board and the Colorado River District, he mentioned.

Torgler did not talk to for a selected greenback sum from commissioners, and no formal contribution was accredited Monday, but commissioners stated they had been at ease contributing a related sum as the town itself.

Even though Sheriff Reservoir flows to the town through Oak Creek — the waterway just after which the town itself is named — it is in fact fed predominantly by Trout Creek, which flows toward Milner. In the celebration of a dam breach, it would possible choose about 4 several hours for floodwaters to achieve the unincorporated town.

Routt County Unexpected emergency Functions Director Mo DeMorat said there are some constructions, as perfectly as infrastructure like bridges and culverts, in the route of floodwaters.

The town could decide to not fill the reservoir and get its water elsewhere, but Torgler claimed possessing the Higher Yampa H2o Conservancy District transportation water to the town’s method could value even a lot more than fixing the reservoir.

“I believe substitute concepts around not correcting the dam do not make any feeling at all,” claimed Commissioner Tim Corrigan.

Torgler claimed the city has a meeting with the Higher Yampa drinking water district up coming 7 days and intends to fulfill with other opportunity funding sources in February. Engineers would commence work someday this spring, assuming the rest of the funding is recognized.

Commissioners have stated they will acquire their time to choose how to spend the county’s $5 million from the American Rescue Approach Act and are not close to making any final selections. However, Corrigan explained he would expect this undertaking to be substantial on the county’s priority record.

Once this engineering is total, Torgler said the city will have a more definite estimate of the expense of repairs and can commence wanting for funding sources to shell out for the true design.

“Oak Creek citizens are not large-income earners, so the capability to fork out on charges would have to be figured into any financial loan.” Torgler said. “Our two (U.S.) senators have both of those expressed interest in this task.”