Southern Delivery System: Colorado Springs city council review of Pueblo County stipulations

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Here’s a look ahead at the Colorado Springs city council review of the required stipulations from Pueblo County for the city’s proposed Southern Delivery System, from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

That [the Colorado Springs council] still must decide between a route from Pueblo Dam, the preferred option of Colorado Springs Utilities, or an alternate route through Fremont County that comes with fewer strings attached. “I want to caution that this doesn’t mean construction is imminent. This means we are closer to having two viable options for our management and council to analyze and decide which is in the best interest of our customers,” John Fredell, SDS project director, said this week after Pueblo commissioners approved terms and conditions.

In addition, Colorado Springs is awaiting a record of decision from the Bureau of Reclamation, expected in the near future. That would clear the way for contract talks over storage, exchange and conveyance at Lake Pueblo, to be negotiated by Colorado Springs on behalf of its partners in SDS, Security, Fountain and Pueblo West. Those negotiations won’t likely begin until a route is chosen, said Kara Lamb, Reclamation public affairs officer. If the Fremont County route is chosen, some parts of the environmental impact statement will have to be rewritten because mitigation measures cover the preferred alternative, the route from Pueblo Dam. The negotiations would be open to public comment.

In addition, Colorado Springs is awaiting a record of decision from the Bureau of Reclamation, expected in the near future. That would clear the way for contract talks over storage, exchange and conveyance at Lake Pueblo, to be negotiated by Colorado Springs on behalf of its partners in SDS, Security, Fountain and Pueblo West. Those negotiations won’t likely begin until a route is chosen, said Kara Lamb, Reclamation public affairs officer. If the Fremont County route is chosen, some parts of the environmental impact statement will have to be rewritten because mitigation measures cover the preferred alternative, the route from Pueblo Dam. The negotiations would be open to public comment.

Besides the route decision and the contract is the matter of two agencies which haven’t yet issued permits for the system, said Keith Riley, who is coordinates those permits. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is working with Colorado Springs Utilities on a mitigation plan for wildlife that would be affected during construction. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing an internal review of a Section 404 permit, which is needed before dams can be built on Williams Creek, but Colorado Springs has not made its application…

Colorado Springs still has to host at least one public hearing on the two proposed routes, as well as sort things out internally with Colorado Springs Utilities staff, Mayor Lionel Rivera said last week. The council will have to weigh the additional cost of coming through Pueblo County, primarily guarantees of $50 million in funding for Fountain Creek and $75 million in planned sewer improvements, against the relative disadvantages of coming from a river outlet in Fremont County…

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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