2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Springs Chief of Staff to make Mayor’s case for Capital Improvement Program

Published: June 5, 2014, 5:01 pm, by Monica Mendoza

Colorado Springs Chief of Staff Steve Cox will make a case to City Council Monday for the Mayor’s Capital Improvement Program, which includes funding for stormwater projects.

Mayor Steve Bach is pushing what he calls a “holistic, one-step approach” to solving the city’s CIP backlog, including streets, parks, public safety, information technology and stormwater. 

“The much-publicized separate stormwater funding initiative brought forward this year will only solve a part of a much bigger critical infrastructure problem facing the city of Colorado Springs,” Bach said in a statement released Thursday.

Bach does not support a stormwater funding program being advanced by a Stormwater Task Force that would ask voters in November for an annual stormwater fee to pay for millions of stormwater projects across the region.

A citizen’s stormwater advisory group is preparing a ballot question that it will bring to the El Paso County Commissioners for consideration on the November ballot. The group says that an $8 to $12 monthly fee could raise about $50 million a year for 20 to 30 years to pay for drainage and flood control projects and ongoing maintenance. It would ask voters to create a stormwater authority with member cities that could include Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls, Monument and Palmer Lake.

Bach said in his statement that he supports, in principle, a regional stormwater solution whereby municipalities in the region and El Paso County collaborate on joint jurisdiction stormwater projects. However, addressing the stormwater needs with a separate fee cannot come at the expense of addressing our overall infrastructure, the statement says. 

Bach’s funding approach is to issue $192.8 million in new sales tax revenues bonds, without raising taxes, which would pay for $175 million in projects.