Southern Delivery System update

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Here’s an in-depth look at the problems Colorado Springs Utilities faces in acquiring easements for the pipeline, from Pam Zubeck writing for the Colorado Springs Independent. From the article:

So far, Utilities has secured 126 signed agreements of the 170 needed in Pueblo County. That leaves 44, including 13 in Pueblo West, which covers nearly 50 square miles and is home to roughly 32,000 people. While 120 property owners in Pueblo West signed on the dotted line without raising a stink, Maxwell and 11 others refused — and face condemnation of their land after a stalemate in negotiations triggered Colorado Springs City Council last week to authorize court action. This isn’t the first time Springs Utilities has gone to court over SDS. Previous legal bills tally $2.7 million of the $115.5 million spent on SDS as of Dec. 31. Those costs include a dispute over Pueblo County’s ability to impose construction guidelines on the project. (Pueblo County won.)

Now Utilities will pay more legal bills for eminent domain — the public taking of private property for a public purpose, for fair compensation — though officials say they’d rather not. “Our intent is to try to find common ground without going to court,” says SDS planning and permitting manager Keith Riley…

If and when Utilities drives the line through Pueblo County, the job is only half-done. The city needs 130 parcels in El Paso County but so far has acquired only 43.

Meanwhile CSU has appointed Gary Bostrom to lead the utilities water sector. Here’s a report from the Colorado Springs Independent. From the article:

Gary Bostrom, general manager for Colorado Springs Utilities’ planning, engineering and resource management in water services, will take over as top water officer, vacated by the promotion last fall of Bruce McCormick to chief energy officer. Bostrom has spent his entire career at Springs Utilities and now takes over a water system that includes 25 reservoirs, more than 1,700 miles of distribution pipe, seven water treatment plants and a transmountain raw water system. He also oversees the city’s wastewater treatment and collection system. A Springs native, Bostrom received a 15 percent pay bump, to $224,390 a year, to assume his new role.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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