From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
A move by Front Range water providers to protect fish in the Colorado River will add about $1 million to the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s 2013 budget.
Finance manager Tina White walked the district’s board through the $18 million budget at a public hearing Thursday. The board will vote on adoption of the budget at its December meeting.
Southeastern is joining other water providers to buy the Red Top Ranch near Granby for water rights that will be used to protect endangered fish in the Colorado River. This year, it will cost the district $1.09 million. The district also will spend about $600,000 toward a plan to add hydroelectric generation at Pueblo Dam. Both are multiyear projects that involve other partners, and were financed through reserves.
The district expects to generate $16.2 million in revenues through its general fund and enterprise. The money comes from a 9.35mill property tax over a ninecounty area, enterprise fee collection and grants. Most of the money will go toward repaying federal contracts for the FryingpanArkansas Project to the Bureau of Reclamation — $6.5 million to repay the agricultural share of the project and $5.3 million for the Fountain Valley Conduit (paid only in El Paso County). The municipalindustrial portion of the FryArk Project was paid off first because it carried interest, while the agricultural share does not. About $42.4 million is still owed. The largest operating expenses in the budget are $2.2 million for human resource, personnel and overhead, and $1.2 million for outside services, studies or partnerships.
The budget also includes about $500,000 for continued work on the master lease contract, Arkansas Valley Conduit and outlet interconnection at Pueblo Dam.
More Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District coverage here.