Pueblo: Stormwater rates to increase 20% in February


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Pueblo stormwater fees will increase 20 percent next month, after action earlier this month by Pueblo City Council. For most homes in Pueblo, that will mean between $2.40 and $4.20 per month. “We still aren’t up to the average rate in Colorado, which is $5 per month,” said Earl Wilkinson, Pueblo director of public works. “We haven’t had an increase in fees since they began in 2004.”

The increase will mean an additional $560,000 in revenue, on top of the $2.8 million generated each year under the existing fee structure.

Like Colorado Springs, Pueblo has a backlog of stormwater projects, but is tackling them in five­year bites focusing on projects which can be completed. They can be expensive, with whole streets torn up and rebuilt.

For example, a $1.6 million project is planned in the area near 29th Street and Baltimore Avenue. “There is continued high water in the area,” Wilkinson said. “While it hasn’t damaged any homes, there has been damage to streets and yards after heavy rains.”

The city’s stormwater fee also pays for employees and maintenance of more than 114 miles of storm sewers, 6,300 catch basins, 18 miles of storm channels and 31 detention basins. The stormwater fee also is repaying the Pueblo Board of Water Works $1 million over three years for a drainage pipeline from the St. Charles lakes to Lake Minnequa as part of a cooperative agreement that’s designed to keep more water in Minnequa as a new city park is developed.

In the future, fee increases will be more gradual, Wilkinson said. “We’re finally getting an idea of what kind of funding we’ve needed,” he said.

More infrastructure coverage here.

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