Colorado Springs' stormwater fee collector well known in development world


Pine Creek is one waterway that's been eroded by stormwater. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy City of Colorado Springs
  • Pine Creek is one waterway that's been eroded by stormwater.
In this week's Indy, we report on the city's stormwater fees, for which bills just went into the mail.

While residential billings are being handled by the city's Colorado Springs Utilities, which will be paid $1 million to "set up" billings, city officials say, most nonresidential bills are being mailed by a contractor, Clifton Larson Allen LLP. Those billings are based, in large degree, on impervious surface.

Clifton Larson competed for the contract with two other firms, from New York City and Woodland Hills, California.

The contract carries a first-year value up to $616,970, though the actual figure will be about $312,000, because the contract, executed on April 26, was based on an estimate of 25,000 billings, a 67-percent overshot of the actual 15,000 billings to be sent out.

The contract, with built-in payment increases for the contractor, can be renewed for four subsequent years and allows Colorado Springs mayor’s Chief of Staff Jeff Greene to increase it by up to $499,999 and Mayor John Suthers to make “unlimited” changes and amendments, which city spokesperson Kim Melchor says is “a standard provision included in all contracts.”

Among Clifton Larson's other clients are the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority and developers’ special districts, including those set up by Nor'wood Development Group, the region's biggest developer.

Melchor says despite the city paying more than $1 million from the fees to collect the fees, the city will comply with the intergovernmental agreement with Pueblo that requires the city spend $460 million on stormwater in the next 20 years, because Utilities is pitching in $3 million a year via its creek crossing program.

The stormwater fees are expected to generate $16.1 million a year.

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