From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Colson):
Town Administrator Pamela Woods said the money would come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which offers funding in its Rural Utilities Service and Rural Development programs.
The town Board of Trustees gave its approval for the grant application on Oct. 24.
According to Woods, the improvements include replacement of old water lines along Grand and Orchard avenues. The existing four-inch lines, made of deteriorating concrete and asbestos, are to be replaced by six-inch or eight-inch PVC lines, she said.
In addition, the town hopes to build a redundant pipeline underneath I-70, adjacent to the existing water line that serves customers between the interstate and the river. The extra line is needed, she said, in case the existing line were to fail for some reason.
The town also hopes to do some upgrades to the water treatment plant, “so we don’t have to use as much chemicals to keep down the TTHM,” Woods explained, referring to the contaminant total trihalomethanes.
The district Friday reviewed the progress of the newly completed Fountain Creek Corridor Master Plan and an El Paso County stormwater study. In addition, the district suggested areawide flood plain regulations developed by Colorado Springs and reviewed a U.S. Geological Survey study of the impact of building a dam or a series of dams on Fountain Creek. It also looked at a more immediate plan by communities throughout the watershed to apply for a $7.5 Great Outdoors Colorado grant that would support 20 separate projects. The district is still developing the application.
While the master plan is done, the others are at various stages of development and acceptance in communities throughout the watershed. And, although those in the district have been involved for years with the creation of plans, there are worries that the communities they represent know little about the work they have been doing. For instance, a recent press release about the completion of the master plan was published by only The Pueblo Chieftain, and some members of the public weren’t sure how it fits in…
In presenting the master plan, Kevin Shanks of THK Associates said it is heavy on demonstration projects that bring people to Fountain Creek rather than treat it simply as a polluted waterway prone to flooding. “If people can come out and enjoy it, they will be more receptive to a mill levy later on,” Shanks said. “I have a strong feeling that people need to be out there now.”
The district has delayed asking for a mill levy — the 2009 legislation that created it allows for up to 5 mills, but initially would look at much less than that — because of the economy. Voters would have to approve the tax, and the board wants something to show before asking for a tax…
Not everyone was happy about the discussion of only small flood control projects and recreational improvements, particularly landowners whose property was damaged during last month’s flooding. “Someday, someone has got to do something to keep the water from flooding and doing us all in,” said Jane Rhodes, who owns farmland on Fountain Creek in Pueblo County. “Every time, it’s everywhere else but us. There are no detention ponds or reservoirs.”
Meanwhile, the Union Pacific Railroad has removed the deck of an abandoned trestle across the creek near Pueblo but the piers remain. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:
The Union Pacific Railroad hired contractors to remove iron deck supports from the bridge. The job was completed last week. “The railroad did not commit to removing the piers, but the trusses were a flood issue,” said Scott Hobson, assistant city manager for community development. “It would look better with the piers removed, but we need to look at options to remove them. For the short term, we were able to take the trusses down.”
The piers are 50-60 feet apart and collected piles of trees and debris during last month’s elevated creek levels — the U.S. Geological Survey called it a 10-year flood event. Large logs moved through the openings under the bridge, but there is still potential for large amounts of material to collect during a heavier flood, Hobson acknowledged.