Windsor officials reroute Poudre River Trail onto temporary path to accommodate oil and gas project | MyWindsorNow.com

Windsor officials reroute Poudre River Trail onto temporary path to accommodate oil and gas project

James Redmond
jredmond@greeleytribune.com

A proposed oil and gas project just west of Eastman Park in Windsor rerouted the Poudre River Trail onto a temporary path that could stay in place for upward of a year.

Construction is already set to begin on a road near Great Western Oil and Gas Co.'s proposed pad site, so Windsor officials Jan. 20 rerouted Poudre River Trail traffic onto the new, temporary trail.

If that oil and gas project sounds familiar, that's probably because it made a lot of headlines and fueled some contention in town over its original location on the Pace Property at the west end of Windsor a couple years ago.

However, Great Western, town of Windsor officials and local residents spent a lot of time and effort finding another solution they felt worked better for everyone.

That solution put the oil and gas pad in Water Valley developer Martin Lind's Raindance development near the site of the future Raindance National Golf Course and smack in the middle of the what was — up until Jan. 20 — the Poudre River Trail.

The oil and gas pad just started the permitting process, and according to a news release from the town of Windsor, pad construction will begin once the permitting process is complete.

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Because of that proposed work and the impending road construction, the trail needed to move.

"Great Western hopes to have all necessary permits by mid-spring, and we will commence construction of our locations at that time," said Eric Creed, surface land manager for Great Western Oil & Gas. "We hope to have the trail back open, on its new route, this summer."

For now a reroute will take Poudre River Trail users along a temporary asphalt mix path around the north side of the oil and gas site. Officials estimate the temporary trail could be in place for as long as a year.

Once the site reaches completion, the current plan is to have the final trail snake along south side of the oil and gas pad. Landscaping and a berm should break up the lines of sight between the trail and the oil and gas site, Water Valley representative Tara Sinclair told Windsor officials earlier this month.

"So trail users won't be looking down off a cliff onto the oil and gas location," she said.

However, officials from the Poudre Trail Board, the town of Windsor and Water Valley haven't worked out all the details for the final, permanent route.

Water Valley officials will return to the town board in a few months to talk about the final route, said Town Manager Kelly Arnold and until then, residents will use the temporary reroute.

"I think this a good compromise at the end of the day," said Mayor Kristie Melendez. "In the meantime, I think we have something that gives our residents access to be able to enjoy the trail."

What’s next for the oil and gas site

Windsor just received the conditional use grant application for the Great Western oil and gas pad site in the Raindance development in the last week.

“The CUG application is just beginning the staff review process, therefore, it has not yet been scheduled for any Planning Commission or Town Board meetings,” said Windsor Director of Planing Scott Ballstadt. “The applicant will be required to hold a neighborhood meeting prior to the Town scheduling formal public hearings, so those dates have not yet been determined.”

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