From The Pueblo Chieftain (Jeff Tucker):
Pueblo County commissioners Monday studied whether nearly $300,000 in interest payments for Southern Delivery System could be used to provide interim funding for the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District. Interest of an estimated $291,000 is expected to be paid by Colorado Springs Utilities on the balance of $50 million it promised to the district upon completion of the Southern Delivery System.
Under terms of Pueblo County’s 1041 land-use regulations, the interest began accruing in 2012 and will continue to add up until 2016, when SDS is expected to go online. At that time, Colorado Springs will begin making $10 million annual payments to the district. The specific amount is being negotiated, since it was not clearly defined in the 1041 conditions. The money is scheduled to go toward flood control measures that benefit Pueblo, including the construction of a dam or series of dams on Fountain Creek.
Paying the interest in advance would allow the district to use that money to leverage more grants to start work on rehabilitating the creek, said Commissioner Terry Hart.
Right now the district, which includes all of El Paso and Pueblo counties, is out of money and is relying on passing the hat among governmental entities in both counties for operating costs.
Interest payments would be credited back to Colorado Springs Utilities in 2016 when the final fee payment is made.
The commissioners took no formal action, but instructed water lawyer Ray Petros to draft a resolution.
More Fountain Creek coverage here.