After a 50-year push to develop the Animas Valley just north of city limits in an area now known as Riverside, city councilors voted Tuesday night to extend water and sewage services to the 64-unit subdivision-to-be.
Developer Wessman Holdings LLC will renew its contract with the city to continue with the original Utility Service Agreement, which expired in July 2010.
A few years ago, it was smart to do, and its smart to do it tonight, Councilor Doug Lyon said.
The lag in real estate during the sour economy is responsible for the stalled development, said Gregg Boysen, city engineer.
City Planner Greg Hoch said the city has no intentions of annexing Riverside, and the citys primary reason for extending its services is to avoid placing septic tanks along the Animas River.
Hoch said 64 septic tanks lined up just off the bank of the Animas would be a hazard to a portion of the citys drinking water, which is drawn only a few miles south of the development at 29th street.
The developer also agreed to reserve 78 acres for open space in exchange for the Utility Service Agreement.
The area will not be public, Hoch said, and will be set aside for use only by residents of the new subdivision.
City councilors also voted to extend water and sewage services to another developing subdivision The Oaks formerly known as Lyons Flats just east of Three Springs Boulevard.
The Oaks has failed to meet city standards since 2006, barring the subdivision from getting city water.
I would anticipate that in coming years and in coming decades, the city will see a lot of requests for water service out in the Grandview area, Lyon said.
City councilors also authorized Mayor Michael Rendon to move forward with La Plata County in funding Wilson Gulch Road, another Grandview project, which will split the $500,000 design cost between the city and county.
The road will provide faster emergency access to Mercy Regional Medical Center, as well as retail opportunities that can spur the local economy and prevent city and county revenue leakages to Farmington and Albuquerque, Boysen said.
Theres an economic incentive for us to do this, he said. The estimates are up to $2 million per year that we would share between the city and the county.
email@example.com. Gavin Wisdom is an intern at The Durango Herald.