On a happier note, Roy Vaughan of the Bureau of Reclamation brought some good news. The last snow did a lot of good, and the snowpack is at 88 percent of normal. Turquoise Lake is at 108 percent, Twin Lakes is at 106 percent, and Pueblo Reservoir is at 126 percent of average. Asked why Pueblo is higher than the other lakes, Vaughan said, “We have had a very bad couple of years.”
The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy Board ran out of patience with Colorado Springs at last Wednesday’s monthly public meeting. Merv Bennett, brother to the late Alan Bennett of La Junta, came to present the case for Colorado Springs. Although the Storm Water Enterprise did not pass, he expressed the hope that the 48 percent of the vote it gathered portends a change in the vote next fall. He said many storm control projects have been undertaken in the city, developing holding ponds to take out the ash from the forest fires and control future flooding. A measure has passed whereby all new subdivisions must add no runoff to the present conditions.
Attorney Melissa Esquibel led off the barrage of non-acceptance of Bennett’s reasoning that conciliatory methods would be much better than litigation. Regarding Bennett’s mention of the $50 million to support the Southern Deliver System might be harder to produce, Esquibel said, “$50 million is not enough to hold us hostage.”
Bennett’s argument that internal methods could accomplish flood control without a storm water enterprise was questioned by board members Leroy Mauch, Lynden Gill, Reeves Brown and Manager Jay Winner. The Board passed a motion to instruct Attorney Peter Nichols to send a letter of intent to sue Colorado Springs under the Clean Water Act. Many expressed the hope that Pueblo would follow suit. The letter of intent had already been prepared.