City, CSU to spend millions on stormwater drainage improvements

The city of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities will spend more than $27.7 million on stormwater improvements next year.

The money will go toward capital projects, pre-disaster mitigation, staffing, operations and maintenance. It also includes $7 million in stormwater expenses to address effects of the Waldo Canyon fire.

The money will be spent on:

- $ 2 million in capital projects funding, including the Mirage channel near Rampart High School and Cottonwood creek grade-control structures between Academy and Union.

- $2.09 million transferred from the now-defunct Springs Ranch General Improvement District. The money will be used for two detention ponds north of Woodmen Road.

- $3 millionfrom a pre-disaster mitigation grant for the Greencrest Channel. The project will stabilize the channel in order to allow the Austin Bluffs project to move forward. Widening Austin Bluffs west of Academy will be paid for through money from the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority.

- $3 million pre-disaster mitigation grant for Cottonwood Creek at Vincent Drive. The project will stabilize the creek, protecting the Vincent Drive bridge upgrade.

- $509,500 for street division operations and maintenance.

- $980,000 for salaries and benefits for the public works and city engineer’s stormwater staff.

$592,315 for public works and city engineering stormwater operations, including expenses.

In addition, the city will use money from grants related to the Waldo Canyon fire to mitigate stormwater issues in the burned area:

- $461,547 National Resources Conservation Service – Emergency Watershed Protection Program grant for Navigators.

- $75,000 National Resources Conservation Service – Emergency Watershed Protection Program grant for Flying W Ranch.

- $30,000 2012 fire relief fund grant for debris racks south Douglas Creek.

- $25,000 2012 fire relief fund grant for the spillway at Autism Pond.

- $24,795 Colorado Post – Wildfire Flooding Early Warning Grant (Camp Creek).

Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) proposed 2013 budget items related to Stormwater Management:

- $6.2 million for storm runoff mitigation for fire impacts.

- $2.7 million to protect utilities infrastructure.

- $1.5 million for proactive watershed management.