Colorado Springs to pony up $15.5 for infrastructure protection and stormwater projects in 2013

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

While Colorado Springs continues to meet with El Paso County and other communities on stormwater solutions, some of the money in its general fund and utilities budgets will be going to meet stormwater needs.

The city budget includes $2.5 million for critical stormwater projects, basically maintaining drainage systems to meet permit requirements.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs Utilities has included $13 million in its budget to protect infrastructure from flooding.

However, until the stormwater task force completes its assessment, it’s unknown how much of the funding could be applied toward the $500 million backlog in stormwater projects. “It is our understanding that the primary purpose of most of the projects that make up the city’s backlog is to improve local drainage conditions and repair and improve local infrastructure, for example, bridges, streets and culverts,” said Janet Rummel, spokeswoman for Utilities.

About $6 million of the money for stormwater projects in Utilities’ budget would go toward protecting infrastructure from runoff from the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area. Another $2.4 million would go toward realignment of Fountain Creek near Pikes Peak International Raceway, a condition of the Pueblo County SDS permit. Utilities would spend $2.7 million to fortify lines within waterways.

“Utilities does not have direct oversight for stormwater management in Colorado Springs,” Rummel said. “However, we have a history of investing in improvements along area waterways, while partnering with the city, when there is a nexus to protecting utilities infrastructure.” Mayor Steve Bach, who has proposed that Utilities could find $15 million for stormwater in its $1 billion budget. Utilities, which is governed by City Council, maintains that its services are limited to water, wastewater, gas and electric, but not stormwater.

More Colorado Springs Utilities coverage here.

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