UPDATE: Stormwater is a municipal government obligation. While Mayor Steve Bach has said that city staff is looking for efficiencies within the existing budget to help pay for stormwater improvements, the mayor has not laid out a specific plan on how to pay for them.
The City Council is under pressure to come up with a funding mechanism to pay for Colorado Springs’ massive stormwater needs, which the city has largely put off since voters demanded an end to the Stormwater Enterprise more than two years ago.
While the contentious issue resurfaces from time to time, City Attorney Chris Melcher warned city officials in March that stormwater required immediate attention, especially since a permit to build the Southern Delivery System water pipeline was at stake.
Melcher presented Mayor Steve Bach and council members five options, including making stormwater a responsibility of Colorado Springs Utilities, which is building the 62-mile pipeline between Pueblo and Colorado Springs, and asking voters to pass a tax.
The mayor and council agreed in March to continue the discussion in 90 days.
Since then, the Board of Pueblo County Commissioners, which issued the so-called 1041 permit to build SDS, wrote a letter asking that Colorado Springs take immediate action.
During his monthly press conference on Tuesday, the mayor stressed the importance of addressing the city’s unfunded stormwater capital needs, which are estimated at a half-billion dollars.
Here’s the video: