Pueblo County (Commissioner Jeff Chostner) rattles its sabers over Colorado Springs’ stormwater policies

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“When I looked at Fountain Creek this morning, I thought, ‘Here we are about to be hit by another flood, possibly this week, and they are doing nothing,’ ” Chostner said. “We need to see a good outline of next year’s (Colorado Springs) city budget that has $15 million directed toward stormwater funding.” When commissioners approved the 1041 permit for SDS in 2009, Colorado Springs had a stormwater enterprise in place. Council voted to end the enterprise in late 2009 after voters approved a ballot issue promoted by Doug Bruce, who called the stormwater fee a “rain tax.”

More coverage from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

A Chieftain editorial Monday asked Pueblo County commissioners to insist on a surcharge to Colorado Springs water rates on water provided by the Southern Delivery System that would raise $18 million a year to address the city’s $500 million in stormwater needs. Commissioners have some control through the county’s 1041 land-use regulations.

There are practical, but not insurmountable, hurdles to implementing a stormwater fee through water bills.
Colorado Springs Utilities policies, set by the Colorado Springs City Council, do not allow for a surcharge for stormwater fees. Fees for water service have to directly affect the water system, said spokesman Steve Berry.
“Utilities would not be able to do what the editorial suggested,” he said. “Stormwater would have to be a separate service, which we are open to if our customers and board directed us to do so.”

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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