For more than a year now, officials with the City of Thornton, Colorado have been talking about building a $450 million pumping facility and underground water pipeline.
That 75 mile-long project, upon completion, would move water through 48-inch diameter pipelines from the Poudre River on the western side of Fort Collins to the Larimer-Weld county line before taking a turn due south, heading for Thornton.
Thornton officials have said that the project, which would take an estimated 14 months to complete, is needed to provide water for a city whose population has increased from 55,000 some two decades ago to nearly 137,000 today.
Members of the Larimer County Board of Commission, however, have expressed doubts about the project and several times put off making a decision on it one way or the other.
Two different proposed routes for the pipeline have met with criticism, especially from county residents concerned about the potential environmental impact of the project and the fact that it would have to slice through a certain amount of private property.
Three months ago the Larimer Board, maintaining that the City of Thornton had failed to address those issues, unanimously declared its opposition to the project.
Now Thornton is petitioning the Larimer County District Court to overturn the commission vote.
In a statement, a Thornton spokesperson said the city was taking the action in order to “represent the interest and property rights of their constituents.”
The Thornton suit additionally contends that in rejecting the pipeline project, the Larimer County Commission exceeded its jurisdiction and acted in an “arbitrary and capricious manner and outside of their authority.”
It is not known when the county court will issue a ruling in the matter.
By Garry Boulard
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