Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District: Colorado Springs City Council ponies up some dough

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“We now have a united community along Fountain Creek that stands together as we move ahead,” Carol Baker, Colorado Springs Utilities Fountain Creek coordinator, told council. Baker explained how more than $1 million has been directed toward Fountain Creek as part of a two-year effort that resulted from an agreement between Colorado Springs and the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District. Another $10 million in funding is on the horizon, but there need to be plans in place to apply for and use the money, Baker said.

Next week, council will vote on extending the agreement, which would add the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District as a partner. Over two years, $200,000 would be provided to the district, while $400,000 would help finish the Fountain Creek Master Corridor Plan. If Pueblo County commissioners agree, the $300,000 share from Colorado Springs would count toward a $50 million payment under the county’s 1041 permit for Southern Delivery System. Colorado Springs also is obligated to pay an additional $300,000 for dam studies on Fountain Creek, but the bulk of the $50 million would not be paid until after SDS is completed in 2016.

The $100,000 a year for the Fountain Creek District would fund a manager and office expenses, and the offer appears to be the sole source of funding available to the district. While the district was created by the state Legislature, no funding was provided. The district board wants results to show before asking voters for a tax to fund the Fountain Creek district…

The [demonstration project] furthest along are the Clear Springs Ranch project south of Fountain and the Confluence Park in Pueblo. “We’ve already lined up $750,000 worth of work for Clear Springs,” Baker said. That project will look at techniques to improve water quality and reduce erosion and sedimentation while building a fish passage around an 8-foot-high diversion structure. It would also improve public access for wildlife viewing.

About $525,000 has been lined up for the Confluence Park, including a $225,000 grant approved Tuesday by the Colorado Water Conservation Board for a streamside sediment removal system. Another $200,000 is available through federal water quality grants, $80,000.

More Fountain Creek coverage here and here.

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