Southern Delivery System: Colorado Springs city council approves water rate hikes

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Eileen Welsome):

“We recognize the sacrifice that our citizen-owners are making, but we also recognize that SDS is the very best cost alternative for our future,” he said in a brief interview after the vote.

Councilor Tom Gallagher and several witnesses who spoke during the hearing urged councilmembers to postpone a vote until further information could be obtained.

But William Cherrier, the utility’s chief planning and finance officer, told council members that up to $49 million — or $1 million a year — could be saved over the life of the project if the utility was able to take advantage now of historically low interest rates and special bonds available through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

More coverage from From the article:

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Tom Gallagher was the only vote in opposition to the hike. He asked council to postpone the vote to do more research on the project. “There will be no second chance and I believe we have just gone down a road that future generations will look back and curse this council,” said Gallagher.

More coverage from Fox21 (Rachel Welte). From the article:

“I think it is the right thing to do for our community, it is going to secure our water supply for at least 40 years,” Mayor Lionel Rivera said. Mayor Rivera said the city has done numerous studies dating back to 1997 on the project. He said in the long run it is going to benefit more than just the residents of Colorado Springs. “We are going to be developing regional partnerships to provide water for some of our neighbors who rely on ground water,” Rivera said.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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