A recent story about the Southern Delivery System water pipeline prompted a local man to call The Gazette and question whether Colorado Springs Utilities is employing “illegal aliens” to work on the project.
The man left the following message on voicemail:
“I can’t help but wonder how many illegal aliens might be working on that pipeline. I would think to assume that Colorado Springs might not be interested in hiring illegal aliens to work on the SDS would be kind of unrealistic because they’re trying to get it done as cheap as they can and the illegal aliens will work for about one-third the price. I think as a good investigative reporter that that might be an avenue you might want to look at. I realize you’re probably limited on time yourself, but you certainly have more resources available to you than the average citizen does. I’ve been concerned about this for some time. I’ve discussed by email this with Mayor Bach before he was elected as mayor and he said he would support any legislation or any other means to prevent illegal aliens working for the city or any kind of city-funded projects,” the man said.
SDS spokesman Janet Rummel sent via email the “standard compliance language in all Colorado Springs Utilities contracts” that prohibits contractors from hiring “illegal aliens.”
“We have measures in place to prevent that kind of issue from occurring, and it’s addressed in all the contracts that we enter into,” she said in a telephone interview. “Not only do our contractors have to comply with that, but they have to make sure that anybody they subcontract with complies with that.”
How does Utilities ensure that its contractors aren’t hiring “illegal aliens.”
“Colorado Springs Utilities and MWH project managers (overseeing the SDS project) are on our construction sites daily managing and inspecting the work of our contractors and crews,” Rummel said in an email.
“If someone has a specific concern that he or she has observed at a Colorado Springs Utilities worksite, we encourage them to bring that to our attention so that we can address the issue with the contractor immediately.”