Colorado

Feb 26, 2013 8:57 PM by Andy Koen

Storm water stirs debate at council

COLORADO SPRINGS - Plans to form regional body to upgrade the crumbling storm water system in Colorado Springs and El Paso county have been put on hold. Colorado Springs Council delayed a vote Tuesday on a joint resolution with El Paso County Commissioners on storm water until next month.

The decision came just hours after mayor Steve Bach said in a news conference that he would not support the idea, particularly because the resolution leaves open the possibility for city and county leaders to ask for new taxes to pay for all the work.

The mayor also criticized the findings of a joint task force that increased the price tag on the city's storm water needs from $500 million to $800 million.

"That's a 60 percent increase and a surprise to us," Bach said. "We need to fully vet that and make sure we truly understand what this requirement is."

Bach plans to issue a request for proposal to get a second opinion on the city's storm water needs.

Disgraced former lawmaker Douglas Bruce engaged in a heated exchange with council president Scott Hente during his public comments asking the board not to transfer roughly $15 million in assets from the old Stormwater Enterprise to the city.

Bruce authored ballot issue 300 which voters approved in 2009. It eliminated the Stormwater Enterprise and requires the money to be refunded to taxpayers.

"Since it can't go back to the enterprise and it can't go to the city it should go to the citizens," Bruce said.

Council disagreed and voted unanimously to transfer ownership of the 15 million dollars worth of trucks and equipment to the city.

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