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Red Gap purchase means OK for wind farm

The city of Flagstaff's purchase of a water ranch 35 miles to the east means a wind energy farm on the property can go forward.

A judge has dismissed Red Gap Ranch's lawsuit over the county's approval of wind turbines after the city finalized its purchase Dec. 21.

The city bought 8,500 acres of Red Gap Ranch, which lies near the Meteor Crater exit north of Interstate 40, and grazing rights to 15,000 acres surrounding the ranch to protect its wellfields.

The $7.9 million transaction was completed on Dec. 21. Phoenix developer David Leyvas made $4.9 million on the sale, according to his earlier testimony.

The water from this ranch alone, 10,000 to 20,000 acre-feet per year, would be enough to meet Flagstaff's current demand of 8,000 acre-feet per year.

"Maybe Flagstaff will never have to use it and that's fine, but at least we'll have somewhere to go to if we need it," city Utilities Director Ron Doba said. "We've been fairly successful in developing water around Flagstaff."

Piping, pumping and treating the water from Red Gap could cost $110 million or more by current rough estimates, and construction isn't planned for the foreseeable future.

The city is still looking to buy Bar-T-Bar Ranch, to the south in the same area, to protect its wellfields and add another water source, Doba said.

"We're still... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
A judge has dismissed Red Gap Ranch's lawsuit over the county's approval of wind turbines after the city finalized its purchase Dec. 21.

The city bought 8,500 acres of Red Gap Ranch, which lies near the Meteor Crater exit north of Interstate 40, and grazing rights to 15,000 acres surrounding the ranch to protect its wellfields.

The $7.9 million transaction was completed on Dec. 21. Phoenix developer David Leyvas made $4.9 million on the sale, according to his earlier testimony.

The water from this ranch alone, 10,000 to 20,000 acre-feet per year, would be enough to meet Flagstaff's current demand of 8,000 acre-feet per year.

"Maybe Flagstaff will never have to use it and that's fine, but at least we'll have somewhere to go to if we need it," city Utilities Director Ron Doba said. "We've been fairly successful in developing water around Flagstaff."

Piping, pumping and treating the water from Red Gap could cost $110 million or more by current rough estimates, and construction isn't planned for the foreseeable future.

The city is still looking to buy Bar-T-Bar Ranch, to the south in the same area, to protect its wellfields and add another water source, Doba said.

"We're still negotiating with Bar-T-Bar," he said. "We have not come to an agreement yet on price with Bar-T-Bar, or on conditions."

If a pipeline for Flagstaff were built from Red Gap, it could also service Williams for an additional $30 million or more, a recent Bureau of Reclamation study found. That, however, is currently illegal under state laws that prohibit moving water from one basin to another. Williams and Flagstaff lie in separate basins.

Source: http://www.azdailysun.com/n...

JAN 4 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/900-red-gap-purchase-means-ok-for-wind-farm
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