2014 Colorado November election: El Paso County stormwater proposal scaled back #COpolitics

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

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

An upcoming stormwater vote in El Paso County has been slightly scaled down. Following a meeting with El Paso County commissioners last week, an intergovernmental agreement being promoted by a stormwater task force now proposes raising $39.2 million annually rather than $48 million as suggested in the first draft of the agreement.

The fee for a typical home would drop to $7.70 per month, rather than $10 per month. The fee would be levied for 20 years and the money used toward addressing a backlog of $700 million in stormwater projects and maintenance of stormwater structures.

The agreement includes Colorado Springs, Fountain, Manitou Springs and Green Mountain Falls as well, and if all agree the formation of the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority would be placed on the November ballot by commissioners.

It’s important to Pueblo because controlling flood water on Fountain Creek is one of the premises Colorado Springs used in obtaining permits for its Southern Delivery System. With its SDS permits in hand, the Colorado Springs City Council abolished its stormwater enterprise in late 2009, based on its interpretation of a vote.

The lower amount still would be sufficient, said Jay Winner, general manager of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District.

“The proof will be if they can get it passed in November,” Winner said. “It’s a lot more than they have now, so anything they do will be an improvement.”

The biggest remaining hurdle to getting the issue on the ballot is the rift between Mayor Steve Bach and the Colorado Springs City Council.

Bach last week sent a letter suggesting changes in the IGA that would allow cities to prioritize their own projects, allow non-elected officials to serve on the board, lock in the proposed rates and include nonprofits and churches in assessments.

Bach has not participated in the task force meetings that have been going on since 2012, and has suggested alternative ways of financing stormwater control.

More stormwater coverage here.

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