Northglenn Mayor Meredith Leighty sent a letter, signed by the eight other council members, declining Westminster’s request to meet regarding bringing boating back to Standley Lake.
“Northglenn’s water in Standley Lake is irreplaceable, valued at more than $209 million dollars. There is no level of risk that our community is willing to accept when it comes to protecting our drinking water supply,” the letter reads.
That means unless Northglenn changes their minds, Westminster will have to wait until 2030 to renegotiate the Intergovernmental Agreement. According to Thornton Spokesperson Todd Barnes, the agreement needs all three cities to agree to amend it.
The move comes after Westminster held a study session on Nov. 21 discussing the possibility of reallowing boating on the lake. At the meeting, Mayor Pro Tem David DeMott, City Councilor Rich Seymour and City Councilor Lindsey Emmons said they wanted to make sure all councilors — for Northglenn and Thornton — understand the entire issue.
DeMott emphasized that the decision comes down to risk and the threshold each council is comfortable accepting. Seymour said it’s a complicated subject and takes a long time to understand.
In response to the letter, DeMott said he was disappointed.
“This is a disappointing response, and I will continue to push for discussion with our partners. As this discussion is not simply about trailered boats, it is about overall risks to Standley Lake and, as those trusted to its oversight, I am hopeful we can have a robust discussion,” he wrote in an email.
Seymour’s reaction mimicked DeMott’s.
“I hoped to have a meaningful conversation with our partners in Northglenn and Thornton regarding Standley Lake security. Discussions in the public square addressing science and facts are essential to open dialogue,” he wrote.
“While I can appreciate Northglenn's stance, it’s disappointing to see there isn't even a willingness to dialogue. I believe there is an opportunity to find viable solutions to fully utilize Standley Lake as both a drinking water resource and a recreational gem, that includes trailered boating, but this can only occur if people are willing to meet at the table," Emmons wrote.
Mayor Nancy McNally, who at the study session said she thought talking with the different councilors would be productive, wants to engage in more dialogue.
"We appreciate and welcome the thoughts of Northglenn's elected representatives. I believe this could be the start of productive conversations about our respective communities' tolerance for risk,” she wrote.