Stimulus money to help update Onahu Lodge in RMNP

From Coloradoan.com

Rocky Mountain National Park is planning to use federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money to replace part of the water system for the historic Onahu Lodge in the Kawuneeche Valley, and park staff is asking for public comment.

Go here to submit your comment.

The new water system is needed for the park to comply with state health regulations for potable water and the national fire safety code.

Built in 1945, Onahu Lodge was deemed unsafe for occupants several years ago because of mold and unsafe plumbing issues after years of use as employee housing, said park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson.

Improvements were made in 2009 to make the first floor accessible, but before the lodge can be used for housing again, the water system must be replaced.

The project calls for a new water tank to be built higher up Green Mountain than the tank for the current system in order to achieve enough water pressure to meet regulations.

An environmental assessment for the project says there will be little impact to the forest, and the system will not be built within wilderness.

Patterson said the final cost of the project has not yet been determined.

The National Park Service is looking for public comment on the project through Feb. 16.

Here’s the page on the Park Service website about the project.

A few excerpts from the page:

The National Park Service (NPS) is considering the construction of a new water system at the Green Mountain Housing Area, just west of Trail Ridge Road on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), approximately 2.2 miles from the west entrance to the park. The purpose of this action is to comply with Colorado State Department of Public Health and Environment potable water regulations which are not being met with the current outdated water system. The project is also necessary to comply with national fire safety codes which require a fire suppression sprinkler system in the newly rehabilitated Onahu Lodge dormitory. The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

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If you would like a printed copy of the Environmental Assessment, please call (970) 586-1332.

Although submitting your comments via this website is preferred, you can also submit written comments to us in other ways:
• By Mail: Superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado 80517
• By Fax: (970) 586 -1397
• By Express Delivery: Superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, Colorado 80517
• Hand Delivery: Rocky Mountain National Park Headquarters, 1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, Colorado or to Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, 16018 Highway 34, Grand Lake, Colorado

Before including your address, telephone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request that any personal information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we can do so.

All public comments will be carefully reviewed, and a determination will be made whether to approve a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or if additional environmental compliance is required. The final decision will be made by the Director, Intermountain Region of the NPS.

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