The Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise will cease to exist in less than three weeks.
But the city-owned agency created to levy fees for drainage projects is still generating controversy.
The bone of contention now revolves around the fate of 39 trucks, trailers, mowers and other pieces of equipment purchased by the enterprise since the City Council created it without voter approval in 2005.
Earlier this month, a majority of council members decided to abolish the enterprise at the end of this year in light of the Nov. 3 passage of ballot issue 300.
The ballot initiative has varying interpretations, but author and anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce told voters it would bring an end to the enterprise.
Initially, five council members voted to phase out the enterprise over two years instead of immediately, allowing it to finish projects under construction and also make improvements to the Templeton Gap Floodway.
But after two weeks of sleepless nights and a lot of prayer, Councilman Bernie Herpin changed his mind, and the council voted 5-4 to end the enterprise on Dec. 31.
While that decision was finally resolved, it was unclear what would happen to all the vehicles and equipment owned by the enterprise.
The answer arrived today.
Since the enterprise still has money and is billing through December, “these vehicles (and equipment) will be used in 2010 during the phase out of the program,” city spokeswoman Mary Scott said in an e-mail after being contacted by The Gazette last week.
“We will be doing a reduced maintenance program, so we will be using the equipment required to perform the maintenance, we will also be working on the in-progress and pending CIP projects, etc,” she said.
“We have not yet identified what will happen with the vehicles (and equipment) in late 2010,” she added.
Bruce was chafed by the news.
“They appear to be blatantly violating the council’s directive to end the program,” he said.
“Do they not understand the meaning of issue 300 and the council vote to end it Dec. 31, this year, 2009?” Bruce asked.
Scott said the enterprise is doing what the council asked.
“In accordance with the direction from City Council, we will be using the SWENT 2009 fund balance to perform a reduced stormwater program in 2010,” she said.
To do that, the vehicles and equipment are needed, she said.
Scott could not immediately provide the value of the vehicles and equipment, but many are only a few years old.
Bruce said the enterprise needs to sell them immediately and return the money to property owners.
“They bought all these toys with our money, and I’ve been saying that for three years,” he said. “It’s about them driving around in shiny new trucks to build their self-esteem. It isn’t about actually solving a drainage problem.”
Here’s the list of the enterprise-owned vehicles and equipment:
|E1134||2008 CAT 924H||ENTERPRISE|
|E1309M||2007 FRONTIER RC1072||ENTERPRISE|
|E1532M||2007 US EX60HD||ENTERPRISE|
|E1665||1996 VERMEER V1150||ENTERPRISE|
|E177||1994 CHEVROLET CT10506||ENTERPRISE|
|E301||1999 FORD RANGER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17000||2008 FORD ESCAPE||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17001||2007 FORD EXPLORER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17213||2008 FORD RANGER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17214||2008 FORD RANGER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17215||2001 CHEVROLET CT10653||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17216||2000 CHEVROLET CT10653||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17217||2008 FORD F150||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17500||2008 FORD F250||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17600||2008 FORD F350||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17601||2008 FORD F350||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17701||2009 INTERNAT 7400||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17701CM||2008 STONE CEMENT MIXER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17701G||2008 ONAN GENSET||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17806||2008 INTERNAT 7600||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17900||2004 CAT 325CL||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17901||2009 BOBCAT S70||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17905||2008 CAT 330DL||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17910||2008 CAT 277C||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17911||2009 CAT 279C||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17911M||2009 CAT BR172 72″||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17915||2009 CAT 279C||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17917||2007 CAT 430E||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17920||2008 CLEMENT TRAILER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17921||2008 EAGLE TRAILER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17922||2008 EAGLE TRAILER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17923||2008 TOWMASTER TRAILER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17950||2007 VERMEER BC1000XL||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17950R||2007 VERMEER 11266-0022||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17951||2007 JOHN DEERE MOWER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17951M||2007 JOHN DEERE MOWER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17952||2007 JOHN DEERE MOWER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17952M||2007 JOHN DEERE MOWER||ENTERPRISE|
|ST17953M||2008 CAT MOWER||ENTERPRISE|