Southern Delivery System update

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Colorado Springs City Council last week approved closing on one home and 24 easements in Pueblo West for more than $250,000. That was added to 18 properties at more than $750,000 earlier this year. Colorado Springs, as part of Pueblo County 1041 negotiations, agreed to use eminent domain only as a last resort…

Colorado Springs plans to begin building the $1 billion-plus SDS later this year, but must first begin contract negotiations with the Bureau of Reclamation. A date for negotiations has not been set. Pueblo West would benefit from SDS by tapping into the line near Pueblo Dam. A Pueblo West company, ASI Constructors, has been chosen to build the North Outlet Works as one of the initial SDS projects. A workshop for SDS contractors is planned for 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at El Pueblo History Museum, 301 N., Union Ave.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs Utilities will have to raise rates 12% to pay for the pipeline and increasing maintenance costs. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Colorado Springs City Council Tuesday will consider approving water rate hikes of 12 percent for 2011 and 2012. Similar increases are foreseen for 2013-16, according to testimony last week at a public hearing on the rate hikes. The hikes are needed not only to pay for the bonds to finance SDS, but increasing maintenance costs. In April, for instance, a boulder damaged part of the Homestake Pipeline that brings water to Colorado Springs from Twin Lakes. Currently, the residential water bill in Colorado Springs is near the average among Front Range utilities, about $37 per month. Cities on rivers, like Pueblo and Denver, have the lowest rates, while cities with complicated water systems like Aurora, Palmer Lake and Woodmoor, are at the upper end of the scale. If the 12 percent increases are approved, that would jump to about $41 a month in 2011 and $46 a month in 2012. If the 12 percent rate hikes continue through 2016, the Colorado Springs average would be about $71.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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