Brighton City Council amends pipeline plans for opposite side of Interstate 76

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By Crystal Nelson

    BRIGHTON – Plans for the Cherokee Natural Gas Pipeline have been amended. City Council voted unanimously to allow Xcel Energy to move their pipeline route from the west side of Interstate 76 to the east side of I-76 where it will be constructed on Colorado Department of Transportation right of way.

    Xcel Energy Area Manager Preston Gibson said the change came at the request of CDOT, which made the request after council approved conditional use for the pipeline to be constructed through the city last October.

    Community Development Director Holly Prather said the original plan was to have the pipeline move through the Bromley Industrial Subdivision from the south, cross over I-76, continue through the Bromley Park residential area, cross Bridge Street and move through Brighton East Farms.

    Prather said moving the pipeline to the east side of I-76 is beneficial as it will increase the distance from the Bromley Park residential area and the Brighton Crossing Subdivision. She said it will also affect fewer private properties and will have more flexibility with construction since the previous plan would require them to work around a pond.

    Councilman Rex Bell said moving the project to CDOT's right of way made the decision easier for him and Councilman J.W. Edwards thanked them for making the move.

    “I think it will mean a great deal for our residents,” he said.

    Gibson said the 34-mile pipeline, which starts in Fort Lupton and connects to the Cherokee Power Plant in Commerce City, is being constructed so the company can comply with the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act. He said Xcel Energy is moving from coal to natural gas and that the project is on schedule. The company is preparing for construction late this year, anticipating construction to begin early next year and expecting the project to be complete in October or September of next year.

In other business:
— Council unanimously decided to continue a public hearing for the final plat, development agreement and vested property rights for Mountain View Estates to its Sept. 17 meeting.
— Council unanimously approved a $33,000 mini grant agreement with Great Outdoors Colorado for the Benedict Park Skate Spot.
— Chris Fiedler, Superintendent of School District 27J, presented council with a handout on the district’s points of pride.
— United Power Community Affairs Representative Tom Green and Board Director James Vegessa presented council with a refund check in the amount of $35,622.17.