The Terry Ranch Project is anticipated to cost $318 million to meet Greeley’s demands over the next 50 years (if built today).Wingfoot will pay the city of Greeley $125 million of this cost, which will reduce Greeley’s portion to $193 million. Wingfoot also will transfer all of the water and the assets at Terry Ranch.
Hear Adam Prior, water and sewer engineer, discuss the costs behind the Terry Ranch Project:
Comparatively, the originally planned Milton Seaman Reservoir expansion (48,000 acre-feet) is anticipated to cost $476 million. It is important to note that unlike Milton Seaman, Terry Ranch can be built in stages. For example, Greeley will be able to add new wells just as water needs increase. Building Terry Ranch slowly over time will help keep water rates down. Terry Ranch will also have lower water acquisition costs and permitting costs than other surface reservoir alternatives.
Terry Ranch will be more expensive to operate than Greeley's other treatment plants. However, Terry Ranch will not be operated all the time -- only during times of drought. Higher operating costs will not be realized every year.
The Terry Ranch water project will affect water rates, but it has been determined it will be the most affordable option for residents. Above is a chart describing how base water rates will be affected for the next 10 years with existing planned projects, Terry Ranch and the cost that would have been necessary under a previously planned reservoir expansion project.
Since Terry Ranch has been determined to be the more environmentally friendly of Greeley's water expansion options, the formerly planned enlargement of Milton Seaman Reservoir will no longer be considered through the federal permitting process. As a part of that permitting process, the city was required to look for less environmentally damaging alternatives, and Terry Ranch emerged as the best option.
The city is using an innovative, low-risk purchase arrangement to acquire this water and storage from Wingfoot Water Resources. Rather than paying money upfront, the city is issuing the seller, Wingfoot, water supply credits.
Each credit will be worth one acre-foot of water supply redeemable to meet the city's raw water dedication requirements – payments in the form of water or cash required of developers or builders to construct in the city. The water supply credits are only redeemable within the City of Greeley.
Greeley will benefit by not having to pay for the project all at once. This arrangement shares financial risks between the City of Greeley and Wingfoot, which will result in lower water rates for Greeley water customers.