Durango

September 25, 2016--City Council OKs purchase of new snow-storage site (Durango Herald)

The city may store its snow above the Durango Tech Center this winter instead of dumping it in Cundiff Park near the Animas River. The Durango City Council unanimously agreed late Tuesday to buy 3.35 acres of open space near the end of Tech Center Drive for about $374,000. This comes as a relief to Donna Nazario, property manager and resident at Rivergate Lofts, because the snow


August 18, 2016--Sewage plant will require $62 million loan (Durango Herald)

The city plans to take out a $62 million loan this month to pay for a sewage-treatment plant remodel in Santa Rita Park. Work at the plant is expected to start in May, and it will require about two years, said consultant Bob Bolton, a vice president with Dewberry. Work on aeration basins will be accelerated to meet the February 2018 deadline to remove more nutrients such as nit


June 8, 2016--Details of sewage plant design emerge (Durango Herald)

Refined designs for the sewage-treatment plant may leave room for a basketball court in Santa Rita Park. But there is not enough space to leave room for the volleyball court that will be displaced by expansions at the plant, said Patrick Radabaugh, an engineer with Dewberry. This was one of the details about the new $60.8 million plant that emerged during a Durango City Co


April 11, 2016--City of Durango to correct river’s path near Santa Rita (Durango Herald)

The Animas River is shifting away from city intake pumps near Santa Rita Park, so the city is planning to build rock weirs to safeguard the city’s water supply. The Florida River is the city’s primary source of water, but the Animas is a secondary source the city uses throughout the summer, said Utilities Director Steve Salka. The river favored the west bank upsteam from S


April 9, 2016--City of Durango seeks feedback on sewer plant designs (Durango Herald)

Residents will have their first opportunity on Wednesday to see preliminary designs of the new administration building for the sewer treatment plant. In November, Durango voters approved $68 million in debt for sewer-related projects.


February 6, 2016--Durango, Silverton officials, governor back Superfund listing (Durango Herald)

Officials are edging closer to recommending a Superfund listing in the wake of the Gold King Mine spill after closed-door meetings Friday. Gov. John Hickenlooper met with officials from Durango, Silverton and San Juan County late Friday afternoon.


February 4, 2016--Durango sends letter to Colorado governor in support of Superfund (Durango Herald)

As Silverton and San Juan County officials continue struggling with the terms of Superfund designation, Mayor Dean Brookie said the city of Durango sent a letter this week to Gov.


January 30, 2016--Durango may move forward with Superfund support letter (Durango Herald)

Although Silverton and San Juan County officials last week delayed a decision on seeking Superfund status, Durango City Mayor Dean Brookie is considering sending a letter to Gov.


Southwest Colorado Mining History

Duane Smith, a local historian and retired Fort Lewis professor, said that even in the late 1800s, downstream communities wondered why the Animas River changed color, as mining practices of the day were unregulated. A 1899 newsclip from the Durango Democrat, indicated the early tension between Durango and Silverton: “The question that is crowding upon Durango thick and fast is one of water. The mill slimes from Silverton are now reaching us.” According to a 1932 report in the Silverton Standard & the Miner, a La Plata County farmer won a legal action against Sunnyside Mining and Milling after the company dumped mine tailings into the Animas River, damaging the farmer’s land and stock. The article does not name the terms of the settlement, but the farmer sought $25,000 in damages (about $500k in today’s dollars). In a great November 17th article by the Durango Herald, archival photos of mine tailing pits above Silverton highlight that not much has changed when it comes to complaints about mine waste since the region’s early settlement. “Ranchers and farmers who want to use water for irrigation in the lower valley have always attempted to force the mine and mill operators to keep the tailings from polluting the streams; however without much success,” the original caption for the 1940 photograph said. The mine tailing photo is especially relevant after the August 5th Gold King Mine blowout, which sent 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage down the Animas River, and reinvigorated a decades-old problem of water quality in the river’s upper basin.


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