Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Next week will bring big developments in stormwater

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

  • Courtesy City of Colorado Springs

For more than a year, local officials have been trying to figure out what to do about drainage. The long-overdue debate has centered on whether it's best for Colorado Springs to go its own way, as Mayor Steve Bach wishes, or whether all agencies in the watershed need to cooperate to tackle the problem, which by one estimate will cost nearly $1 billion.

Next week, things will come to a head when Bach unveils his long-awaited proposal, along with a report from consultant CH2MHill about whether the city's projects list alone really totals some $700 million.

Here's the agenda for Bach's to-do:

click to enlarge screen_shot_2013-10-02_at_9.36.44_am.png

Meantime, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to support a resolution calling for a regional solution, the same resolution approved last week by the Springs City Council on a vote of 6-2, with Helen Collins and Merv Bennett voting no. Andy Pico was absent.

The county's news release:

The Board of El Paso County Commissioners at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 1 confirmed its support of a regional solution to the area’s stormwater challenges. The Commissioners’ approval of a regional stormwater Resolution comes just a week after the same Resolution was approved by Colorado Springs City Council.

Councilman Val Snider, who has served for the past year, on the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force, presented the resolution to the Commissioners. “City Council is pleased to be working in partnership with the County. We are confident that after engaging the public through joint town halls that we will be able to create a solution that’s best for the entire region,” said Councilman Snider.

The Stormwater Task Force, comprised of neighborhood groups, business leaders and elected representatives and staff from the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities and adjoining communities has developed an exhaustive and all inclusive initial list of infrastructure improvements needed to improve public safety and protect property from flash flooding throughout the region as well as protect water quality and reduce erosion in the Fountain Creek watershed.

Commissioner Amy Lathen commented, “We are so grateful for all of the volunteer time committed by our citizens and business leaders who have examined the stormwater challenges facing our region. They have and brought us to a point where we can begin to prioritize the stormwater improvement projects that are critical to the entire region and begin serious discussions with our fellow citizens about how to move forward and solve this problem. In adopting this joint resolution, Colorado Springs City Council and the Board of County Commissioners endorses the hard work of our engaged citizen volunteers in this process and affirms its commitment to a sustainable regional solution that protects public safety, private property, public infrastructure and water quality for all of our citizens.”

In addition to an ongoing outside engineering review to assist in prioritization of needed stormwater control improvements, the Taskforce is also planning a legal review of organizational structure options followed by a series of public meetings to discuss its findings and recommendations. 

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