Regional stormwater task force hits a snag — The Colorado Springs Gazette

Flooding in Colorado Springs June 6, 2012
Flooding in Colorado Springs June 6, 2012

From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Monica Mendoza):

Members of a regional stormwater task force have been hopeful that the towns of Monument, Palmer Lake, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls and Fountain would join El Paso County and Colorado Springs to form a regional stormwater authority that would collect fees and plan for stormwater projects together, but the Town of Monument is not sold on the idea, its mayor said Monday.

“The biggest objection I have is we do not care for adding another layer of bureaucracy on top of everything we do,” said Mayor Rafael Dominguez. “We have a water fund, as part of a mill levy, and some of that money goes to stormwater.”

Monument, north of Colorado Springs, has a population of about 5,700. Dominguez estimates stormwater needs are about $10 million. Those projects could get lost in the hundreds of millions of dollars in projects needed throughout the Fountain Creek Watershed, a 927-square mile area bordered by the Palmer Divide to the north, Pikes Peak to the west and a minor divide 20 miles east of Colorado Springs.

“One of the biggest things that stood out in this plan is that an emergency in another municipality will become an emergency in Monument,” he said. “We don’t want to get bogged down with other problems – Manitou Springs, God bless them, they got issues.”

Palmer Lake also might bow out of a regional stormwater effort, while Fountain and Manitou Springs officials say they still must review the plan and intergovernmental agreements before signing off…

Task force leaders say if voters approve a stormwater fee in November, the estimated $50 million collected annually would be in addition to what cities and the county already spend on stormwater projects. Each entity would get what it put in over a five-year rolling average, organizers have said.

Green Mountain Falls and Palmer Lake mayors could not be reached Monday for comment.

Manitou Springs already has a stormwater enterprise fee and collects about $280,000 a year, said Mayor Marc Snyder. He wants to ensure that if Manitou Springs joins a regional group that his town, where flooding was disastrous last year, would receive at least what it already spends…

Fountain does not collect a stormwater fee, said Mayor Gabriel Ortega. The town had discussed creating a stormwater enterprise fee but first wanted to wait for the regional task force plan…

Munger said a stormwater authority could be formed with fewer than the original seven entities. The intergovernmental agreements would allow any of the neighboring towns to join any time, he said.

More stormwater coverage here.

Leave a Reply