by Pam Zubeck
Springs Utilities will ask the City Council next week to give it permission to move ahead with condemning 15 properties in the pathway of the Southern Delivery System owned by people who aren't willing to negotiate a deal.
In a memo to Council, Utilities CEO says Utilities has reached agreement with 118 of the 133 property interests required for construction in Pueblo West.
Last fall, the Council authorized the use of eminent domain to acquire properties or property interests based on earlier actions that rules the pipeline project benefits the public health, safety and welfare and that it's needed for an essential public water system.
The memo says some landowners aren't cooperating for unknown reasons, but some don't want to sell because they oppose the project. One landowner demanded triple the land property value, another asked for 350 percent of the value. Still another demanded 1,200 percent of fair market value.
The Southern Delivery System, which will bring water from Pueblo Reservoir, will eventually increase the city's water supply by a third, but the initial delivery will increase it by only 25 percent.
Condemnation can be a lengthy process because landowners are allowed to obtain their own appraisals. It's unclear how much time this will add to a project the city has said would be in service by 2016.
Here are the property owners at issue: