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Dam it, La Veta

LA VETA- The Colorado Water Conservation Board loaned the town of La Veta funds totaling $372,000 to repair the town’s aging reservoir system. The three percent, 30 year loan will cover 90 percent of the $410,000 project.
“Like everywhere, we have an aging infrastructure,” said Rob St. Peter, who operates the town’s water system. “It leaks, and we can’t shut it off.”
The North Lake reservoir was built in the 1940’s, and holds about 80 acre feet, and the even older South Lake reservoir, made with an earthen dam, holds 270 acre feet. The state engineer has put restrictions on North Lake that have kept it drawn down by 2 1/2 feet.
The CWCB construction loan program will have about $11 million available in the fiscal year beginning in July, along with about $2.4 million in its perpetual base fund. The board could provide about $30 million in loans this year.
Typically, the CWCB budget is much more, but since 2008, the Legislature has used about $200 million in dedicated mineral severance taxes for other purposes. About $25 million per year is being transferred.
The CWCB has approved 430 loans for $690 million in the past 40 years. Of those, 370 projects totalling $360 million in loans have been completed. The Arkansas Valley Conduit has a $60 million loan pending funding by the federal government. In the Arkansas River basin, 57 projects totalling $103 million have been funded.