Colorado Springs’ Mayor Bach includes $25 million for stormwater projects in his 2014 budget

Fountain Creek swollen by stormwater in 2011 -- photo via The Pueblo Chieftain
Fountain Creek swollen by stormwater in 2011 — photo via The Pueblo Chieftain

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach says his 2014 budget contains $25 million for stormwater projects. The amount breaks down to $9 million for new construction, $7.2 million in pending grants and $8.8 million in emergency funds related to fires. A list provided by city staff shows that $14.25 million would go to high-priority projects identified in the recent stormwater needs assessment by CH2MHill.

“The City of Colorado Springs is not standing idly by when it comes to our stormwater needs as we head into 2014. The $25 million we anticipate spending in the next year includes numerous projects identified as high priorities in the recent CH2MHill Stormwater Needs Assessment. We are finding efficiencies and repurposing dollars wherever possible to address this critical need in our city,” Bach said in a press release.

Bach is at odds with Colorado Springs City Council, El Paso County and communities on a regional task force over the approach to stormwater. The mayor wants to redirect existing funding to cover needs, while the task force wants a long-term, sustainable approach.

Pueblo County commissioners have asked Colorado Springs to identify projects that help protect Pueblo from flood impacts as part of an ongoing inquiry into conditions agreed to in a 1041 permit for the Southern Delivery System.

Meanwhile Colorado Springs Utilities is proposing rate hikes for 2014. Here’s a report from Abbie Burke writing for Fox21News.com. Here’s an excerpt:

…the rate hike for water was approved back in 2012.

“We already had approved a 10 percent increase for water services,” Bill Cherrier, Chief Planning and Finance Officer for CSU, said.

The water rate increase was approved to help pay for the Southern Delivery System.

“That is our new water system to provide more water supply and redundant water supply to the community,” Cherrier said…

“When we look at the residential bill it’s expected to go up about 4.75 percent in the next year,” Cherrier said.

For the average customer, with a $200 bill, that’s about $10. The rate increase will go before city council for approval at the end of November. A public rate hearing will be held November 12, which will be open for comments.

More stormwater coverage here.

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