Water and the infrastructure necessary for ensuring community health has been a problem for Red Cliff for at least twenty-five years. The town lived under a boil order for fourteen months, one of the longest issued by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, as a protection against Giardia. That ended in May 2002 when a partially grant-funded micro-filtration water plant came on line. It replaced the old system which was overwhelmed with sediment during spring runoff. (Photo below by Len Dumph)
With a municipal budget that is one of the smallest in the state, Red Cliff then pushed on to look at its wastewater issues. Consolidating indebtedness and applying for State and Federal grants was a five-year project that culminated in a new Wastewater plant. The town received $2 million in federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $500,000 from a Department of Local Affairs Energy and Mineral Impact Grant, and $1.3 million from a Community Development Block Grant in order to make the new facility a reality.
The amount of paperwork to achieve this result was staggering, as Mayor Ramon Montoya noted during the ribbon cutting for the new facility on Friday, October 29, 2010. With approximately 50 onlookers and state and federal officials in attendance, the event was particularly celebratory. Everyone acknowledged the great cooperation between multiple entities that helped the project to completion and the cooperation of the weather after several days of snow for the ribbon cutting.
Afterwards, the taco buffet, hosted by the Town of Red Cliff, RN Civil Construction and Marcin Engineering, was provided by Mangos Restaurant, always a favorite, complete with a cake on which was a photo of the new facility.