Colorado

Aug 12, 2014 12:47 AM by Kelsey Kennedy

Stormwater Task Force Reaches Agreement on IGA; City Council to vote Tuesday

Progress made at Monday's Stormwater Task Force meeting, but without the full support of Colorado Springs Mayor, Steve Bach. Mayor Bach only expressed his concerns regarding ballot language at Monday's meeting. He had previously expressed specific concerns in two letters to Colorado Springs City Council.

Regardless, the task force is moving forward with plans to put the intergovernmental agreement that would form the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority on the November ballot.

"We can continue to discuss this forever, but at some point we need to say we've given it a great shot, and we've come to these conclusions," said Merv Bennett, Colorado Springs City Council President Pro Tempore. "It's time now to move on with a sustainable solution. I think we've done that."

After several more adjustments to the intergovernmental agreement, city council is prepared to take the next step toward letting the voters decide. The biggest change at Mondays meeting is that, if passed, your stormwater fee will stay fixed.

"For the next 20 years their rate will remain fixed," said El Paso County Commissioner, Dennis Hisey. "No cost of living increase, no escalator, anything like that."

Previous drafts of the IGA allowed for an increase of no more than one percent after the first five year period. Now, new revenue will have to come from new development.

"There will be more money to work with if growth happens in the area," Hisey said. "But what is here now will never pay any more."

The proposed IGA includes an average residentIal stormwater fee of $7.70 per month. Businesses and non-profits like schools, churches and military institutions will also be charged the fee that is based on square footage of impervious surfaces.

The city is working on putting a fee calculator on their website, so voters will know their exact fee before the vote.

Another adjustment was made to ensure that Colorado Springs will maintain the majority of votes if other municipalities choose to join the regional authority in the future.

Still, Mayor Bach wants the city to handle internal affairs independently.

"Should we have to go through a regional authority that includes the mayors of Green Mountain Falls, Manitou Springs and Fountain, plus county commissioners to get permission to do some things within our own city? I think that has to be worked out."

City council will only be voting on the intergovernmental agreement at Tuesday's meeting.

The Stormwater Task Force is still working on transparent ballot language to propose the creation of the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority to the voters.

 

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