Council stalls stormwater resolution

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Council: Bring on the delays.
As reported in our news story today, Mayor Steve Bach seems to prefer that Council delay many important decisions until a new Council is seated in April.

Tuesday's City Council meeting, which occurred after the Indy's deadline, reenforced that point. Council was scheduled to vote on a joint resolution with El Paso County to work regionally on stormwater issues. Bach opposed the resolution, saying it should be tabled.

City Councilor Bernie Herpin opened yesterday's meeting with the following statement:

This Council recognizes how critical addressing the issue of stormwater is. It was the City Council that took what some consider the unpopular step of forming the Stormwater Enterprise and instituting a fee on our property owners to address our stormwater needs.

When the citizens voted to discontinue the Stormwater Enterprise, we were faced with how to deal with these needs at a time when the economy forced Council to be reducing services.

To be truly effective, we also recognize that we cannot solve the entire stormwater issue alone, and that regional cooperation is a necessity. We applaud the El Paso County Commissioners for passing a resolution addressing cooperation on stormwater issues as a regional need.

This City Council is committed to addressing stormwater needs, working with our mayor, city staff, the county, and other entities in seeking solutions to this very real and important issue, especially because of the real threat we may face over the next few years due to the effects of the Waldo Canyon fire.

To ensure that we have agreement between our city administration and Council moving forward, I move that we postpone action on this proposed joint resolution with the County until the March 12 Council meeting to give us time to review the resolution and to meet with the mayor and his staff.

The motion passed 7-0, with Councilors Lisa Czelatdko and Val Snider excused.

Meanwhile, the county is moving forward with its regional plan. The first meeting of a regional task force is tomorrow:

Public Invited to Kick-Off Meeting for Phase II of Regional Flood Control and Stormwater Effort

El Paso County, CO (February 27, 2013) — All interested residents are invited to attend a kick-off meeting to establish an official Stormwater Steering Committee to assist in finalizing a list of needed capital projects and make recommendations for sustainable funding to address critical flood control and stormwater management in our area. The kick-off meeting will be held this Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:00 8:30 a.m. in Public Hearing Room at the Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle in Colorado Springs.

The Board of County Commissioners approved unanimously a Joint Resolution on Regional Flood Control and Stormwater Management which calls for the establishment of Stormwater Steering Committee. This resolution is tentatively scheduled for consideration by the Colorado Springs City Council next month. It envisions El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs as the initial “parties” in the Joint Resolution but other entities including cities and towns and water districts will also be encouraged to sign on as Community Partners in the Resolution and participate in the Steering Committee efforts to “examine all potential stormwater program funding options including the identification of efficiencies in current programs and reallocation of existing resources.”

County Engineer Andre Brackin says, “This is an important next step. Flood control and stormwater management are big challenges. The initial work of the Stormwater Task Force has given us a good listing of what is needed. The Steering Committee will assist in prioritizing projects; examine all of the available funding options make recommendations to help solve the critical flood control and stormwater management issues facing the entire region.”

“We’ve had great participation from citizens groups, neighborhood organizations and our business community working alongside City, County and Colorado Springs Utilities, Fountain, Manitou and special districts staffs to update our projects list and identify areas most vulnerable to flood damage,” said Commissioner Amy Lathen. “Our hope is that even more citizens will become involved in Phase II and help us to set the priorities and identify sustainable, efficient and effective solutions.”

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