Southern Delivery System update: The Colorado Springs city council green-lights condemnation for property owners that won’t settle

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Dave Phillips):

The council voted 7-1 to grant the utility power to acquire four property easements in Pueblo West that are standing in the way of a nearly seven-mile stretch of pipeline scheduled for construction this summer. Councilman Tom Gallagher, a longtime SDS critic, cast the lone dissenting vote. “This is an unfortunate necessity,” said Councilman Sean Paige. “We never want to take this step if we can avoid it.” Utilities has been negotiating with 170 landowners in Pueblo County for permission to bury a 66-inch pipe since September 2009, according to Keith Riley, the head of planning and permitting for the project. So far, 120 land owners in Pueblo County gave permission in exchange for payments roughly equivalent to 90 percent the appraised value of the land. Another 12 properties had liens or judgements against them, so Utilities had to use eminent domain to clear the land titles. Another 12 property owners remain unwilling to accept Utilities’ offers, although negotiations continue. “I’m hopeful we will still reach agreement, but based on how it is going, it does not look like that will occur,” Riley told Council.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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