Southern Delivery System: Did Colorado Springs violate their federal permit when they abolished their stormwater enterprise?


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

A district formed to protect water in the Lower Arkansas Valley instructed its water attorney to investigate whether Colorado Springs violated a federal permit when it abolished its stormwater enterprise. “This is irresponsible behavior by Colorado Springs. They owe the rest of the area a service,” said Melissa Esquibel, who represents Pueblo County on the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board. “It’s unconscionable.”[…]

The board approved Esquibel’s motion to have Peter Nichols investigate whether Colorado Springs is in violation of a record of decision by the federal Bureau of Reclamation for SDS. The federal permit makes the assumption that Colorado Springs would have a certain level of funding annually under the former enterprise. Instead, Colorado Springs has spent about $1.2 million annually since voters instructed City Council to disband it in 2009. Stormwater funding is listed at $1.9 million this year, according to a budget comparison of Front Range cities distributed at the meeting. Colorado Springs spends $4.63 per capita on stormwater funding, less than 10 percent of the Front Range average. Pueblo is at half the average, at $25.81 per capita…

Last month, Colorado Springs Attorney Chris Melcher said Colorado Springs is obligated to spend $13 million-$15 million annually for stormwater improvements. At a Fountain Creek meeting last month, Councilwoman Brandy Williams said the council is working on a plan of how to come up with the money.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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