Thursday, February 20, 2014

City making progress on stormwater goals

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 7:21 PM

North Cheyenne Cañon after the September floods. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • North Cheyenne Cañon after the September floods.

The city is chipping away at high-priority stormwater projects in the wake of the Waldo Canyon Fire and last summer's devastating flood season.

Last year, the city said it would dedicate funding to major drainages impacted by the fire. It has since secured more funding and is moving those projects forward. At a press conference Tuesday, Tim Mitros, city engineering development review and stormwater manager, said he's working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure funding for more than 50 projects. Others are already in progress or will soon get underway. The city budgeted about $26 million for stormwater this year — more than last year's $20 million.

Mayor Steve Bach has run into controversy over his position on stormwater. He wants to ask voters to renew an expiring tax expiring bonds in order to fund stormwater and other city infrastructure problems. But El Paso County and City Council have been working for years to establish a regional solution to the problem.

Bach said at the press conference that he hopes compromises can be reached, especially in regard to about $12 million in multi-jurisdictional stormwater projects. He plans to meet with the Regional Stormwater Task Force — a citizens' group that is leading the regional charge with the support of the county commissioners and City Council — on Feb. 26. The mayor said he wasn't sure if the meeting would be open to the public.

The city recently issued the following release on some of the progress it's made on key projects:

City to begin emergency stormwater drainage control projects under El Paso County’s Federal Disaster Declaration

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—Exigent funding has been awarded to the City of Colorado Springs in the amount of $850,860 for emergency repair projects from September 2013 flooding. Funding comes from:

· 75% - National Resource Conservation Service Emergency Watershed Protection funds
· 12.5% - Colorado State Office of Emergency Management
· 12.5% - In-kind or matching funds from the City of Colorado Springs.

Following is information on the four funded stormwater projects. All four projects are currently under design by Matrix Engineering and will be constructed this spring. The City will contract with the Coalition of the Upper South Platte (CUSP) to manage the projects.

· Cheyenne Creek (2-projects) – East of Stratton along Scott Street (project cost $156,500) & Cheyenne Creek at Mayhurst Avenue (project cost $144,360). Two projects will make emergency repairs along Cheyenne Creek. Engineering designs are underway to restore the bank and remove debris from sections of Cheyenne Creek where flooding occurred. A neighborhood meeting is planned for residents.

· Douglas Creek – A cleanable debris basin will be constructed in North Douglas Creek on the Flying W Ranch property to allow the City’s Streets Division to remove the sediment after each storm. The five-debris catchment ponds constructed in 2013 on the Flying W were completely filled (estimate of 60,000 cubic yards) with sediment in September’s storms. A large temporary cleanable pond will be constructed to protect the downstream channel. Project cost $200,000.

· Camp Creek – A large temporary cleanable basin will be constructed in Camp Creek at the north end of Garden of the Gods to collect sediment from the Waldo Canyon burn area. This basin will be cleaned on a regular basis by the City’s Street Division. Project cost $350,000.

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