From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
A district formed to fix Fountain Creek plans to line up more projects next year as it prepares to ask voters for a mill levy at some point in the future. The Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District board agreed Friday to use up to $25,000 of its $240,000 budget for 2013 to leverage other grants for projects to improve stream banks, reduce sediment or make other improvements along the creek.
Projects are being developed in cooperation with the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District and Colorado Springs Utilities. “It’s a great opportunity to do some things to make the district more visible,” said El Paso County Commissioner Dennis Hisey.
Executive Director Larry Small said up to nine locations along Fountain Creek have been identified for potential work. Many grants require just a 5 percent match, and communities along Fountain Creek have shouldered the bulk of matching funds in the past. Grants could come from either federal or state sources, explained Carol Baker of Colorado Springs Utilities.
Board member Jane Rhodes of Pueblo County, who represents landowners along Fountain Creek, said projects are needed. The district played a role in getting Great Outdoors Colorado grants for trails in Pueblo and parts of El Paso County this year. It also helped the city of Pueblo in a demonstration project aimed at flood control and sediment removal. But landowners have seen further damage from relatively minor flooding.
“I just feel it’s time to look up and down Fountain Creek and get something done for us,” Rhodes said.
The district, formed in 2009 and encompassing all of El Paso and Pueblo counties, has not set a timetable for when it would ask voters to approve a mill levy or decided how much the mill levy would be. State legislation forming the district authorizes it to ask for up to 5 mills.