Watch that water use
Due to persistent drought, City Council last week approved outdoor watering restrictions that limit homes to twice-per-week watering and a water-shortage tariff that charges more as consumption rises.
The goal is to use 30 percent less water this irrigation season, April through October, compared to last year. This equates to 30 gallons saved per day per person, Colorado Springs Utilities says in an outline of the restrictions.
Odd-numbered homes can water on Tuesdays and Saturdays; even-numbered, on Sundays and Wednesdays. Between May 1 and October 1, watering is limited to three hours on the designated days, and only 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Other rules to avoid waste include:
• No washing of hard surfaces.
• Vehicles may only be washed using an active positive shut-off nozzle on Saturday, Sunday or your assigned watering day, or any time at a commercial car wash.
• Water features must be recirculating and may only be run for 14 hours per day.
• Water trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens on any day, at any time, with a handheld hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle, a watering can or a drip irrigation system. Turf grass is excluded from these methods.
While the city won't be patrolling for offenders, the new restrictions will be enforced in response to complaints. Warnings will be given for first violations, but fines of $300, $400 and $500 will be imposed on water bills for second, third and fourth violations. A fifth could result in disconnection of service.
The rate changes will charge more for those who use more. To keep your water bill from rising, stay below 2,000 cubic fee of water use per month. — Pam Zubeck
Williams tops in fundraising
Candidates in six district races for Colorado Springs City Council seats have raised a total of $340,346 and spent $270,818, according campaign finance reports filed through last Friday.
By far the richest race has been for District 3, which includes the Broadmoor area, the west side and downtown, where three candidates raised $135,024 and spent $105,291. Brandy Williams, who got $43,500 from her mother, Consuelo Williams, led the way, followed by Keith King and Jim Bensberg.
Those elected Tuesday (after the Independent's deadline) take office April 16.
Amounts raised and spent:
District 1: Joe Barrera, $1,306 – $1,995; Don Knight, $10,174 – $10,150; Tim Leigh, $21,175 – $13,136; Linda Mojer, $100 – $75; Julie Naye, no reports.
District 2: Angela Dougan, $30,129 – $28,548; Joel Miller, $8,974 – $8,851.
District 3: Jim Bensberg, $19,184 – $17,113; Keith King, $56,864 – $35,172; Brandy Williams, $58,976 – $53,006.
District 4: Helen Collins, $9,159 – $8,662; Gary Flakes, $365 – $349; Deborah Hendrix, $20,055 – $7,826; Dennis Moore, $8,494 – $7,360.
District 5: Jill Gaebler, $16,942 – $12,611; Bernie Herpin, $15,472 – $7,099; Al Loma, $13,401 – $12,365; Roger McCarville, $13,512 – $13,344.
District 6: Ed Bircham, $11,000 – $10,789 (entirely self-funded); David Moore, $19,505 – $18,122; Andres Pico, $5,505 – $4,245. — Pam Zubeck
A stormwater casualty
Summit Economics, which authored a white paper on stormwater funding options, has dropped out of a process to find a permanent solution to what's been estimated as a $906 million regional problem.
Summit was assisting the citizen-led Regional Stormwater Steering Committee in finding a long-term funding source and regional governance model for stormwater infrastructure. However, the company decided against further involvement because Colorado Springs has yet to lend its support to the effort.
Colorado Springs City Council has thus far failed to approve a resolution agreeing to work with the county on the issue. Mayor Steve Bach has been a vocal critic of the effort. But County Commissioner Amy Lathen, who helped organize the Steering Committee, says the group plans to move forward.
"We are full steam ahead," she says, noting that Summit's white paper already has generated all the information the group needs. Lathen estimates that more than 200 people, including committee members and interested citizens, are taking part, with subgroups formed to explore emergency response and governance models. — J. Adrian Stanley
Bear Creek comments?
In an effort to protect the last-known home of the threatened greenback cutthroat trout, the Pikes Peak Ranger District is considering changes to the area, including alteration to the popular upper Captain Jack's trail and other recreation areas in the Bear Creek Watershed (see "Fifty shades of green," cover story, Oct. 3, 2012).
The public is invited to comment on the issue at an open house from 4 to 9 p.m., Thursday, April 4, at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expy.
Comments are also being received through April 30 by fax at 477-4233 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail is accepted at Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project, Pikes Peak Ranger District, 601 S. Weber St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903. — J. Adrian Stanley
Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte will receive $59,501.25 in incentive pay based on his job performance in 2012, the city enterprise said in a memo to the Utilities Board last week.
The incentive pay is on top of Forte's base salary of $276,750, which hasn't changed since 2007. The extra pay is doled out under two payments — one paid in April and another placed into his retirement account. The bonus is based on a complicated computation that takes into account every aspect of Utilities operations.
His payout April 19 will be $34,593.75, and his retirement account deposit will be $24,907.50. Last year, Forte received a total of $61,715.25. — Pam Zubeck