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Halligan Water Supply Project

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Dollars and Cents

North Fork of the Poudre River downstream of Halligan Reserovir


If and when the Halligan Water Supply Project is completed, it will have taken approximately 15-20 years from the official start of permitting (2006) and environmental studies through the end of construction. This doesn’t include the previous decades of pre-permitting studies that were conducted in the 1980s and 1990s. To date, $19 million has been spent on environmental studies, federal permitting and land acquisition.

Based on information known today, design and construction are anticipated to cost approximately $69 million, but that is only half of the story. The most probable cost of the project (including the $19 million already spent) is $120 million; however, costs could vary between $100 million and $150 million as the requirements, design and schedule are more clearly defined. The total cost of the project includes permitting, land acquisition, mitigation, design and construction.

This range of potential costs incorporates unknown factors and risks that may need to be addressed in the future such as fluctuations in labor and construction rates; aspects of design that are not yet complete; and federal, state and county permitting processes that will not be complete for several years. It does not include the cost of future operations and maintenance or costs related to monitoring project impacts. Total project costs will continue to be refined as permitting and design progresses and project uncertainties are reduced.  

The Halligan Water Supply Project will provide water at a cost of $15,000 per acre-foot of firm yield. This is considerably less expensive than other water supply options available to the City and other water storage projects in the region.

Water provided by Fort Collins Utilities is paid for through monthly charges (rates) and development fees. Monthly charges provide funding for operations, maintenance and renewal of existing infrastructure necessary to serve current customers. Development fees ensure that adequate water supply and infrastructure are available to serve the development’s water needs.

The Halligan Water Supply Project will be paid for primarily by development fees and the updated cost is not expected to significantly change Utilities’ water rate forecast. Future rate increases are not expected to change from the current rate adjustment strategy.

For more detailed information, view this memo to City Council.