Colorado Springs Utilities
The SDS pipeline begins at Pueblo Reservoir with this outlet.
ratepayers will pick up the tab of a court award handed down recently that ordered the city-owned utility to pay the biggest developer in the region nearly $2 million for land used for its Southern Delivery System pipeline.
The project was largely conceived for the purpose of delivering water to the 18,500-acre Banning Lewis Ranch.
Utilities had maintained the 121 acres needed for SDS on the city's eastern flank were worth $117,500.
But Banning Lewis Holdings LLC, an entity controlled by David Jenkins
, chair of Nor'wood Development Group, claimed the land was worth up to $6.4 million.
The matter went to court on May 23.
Three commissioners appointed to hear the case have ruled the land is worth $1.95 million. In addition, the city, i.e., Utilities ratepayers, will pay for Jenkins' attorney fees and court expenses, as required by law. That amount isn't yet available.
The $825 million SDS project went online in late April after more than a decade of planning.
The Banning Lewis Ranch was annexed in 1988 and passed through several ownerships before Jenkins bought it in November 2014.