Bipartisan effort brings fire relief to Springs area

When the president signed the “Continuing Resolution” to fund federal government operations for the rest of this year, it was a somewhat anticlimactic temporary truce in the ongoing Washington budget battles. But it was an important victory for a group we call the Regional Coalition for Strategic Federal Action and, more importantly, for all of us who live and work downstream from the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

The approved CR secures about $20 million total for watershed repair and flood mitigation projects in El Paso County — and without those mitigation projects we would face the threat of severe flooding with every passing thunderstorm for the next five years or even longer.

Members of the Coalition have been in regular contact with Colorado’s Congressional delegation and appropriate federal agencies since the fire. As a result, a unified message was delivered to Washington through many voices and our voices were heard. Our community came together like never before.

Our delegation pulled together in a wonderfully bipartisan way and we forged a valuable partnership with Larimer County where residents are recovering from the High Park Fire. The end result was an effective Front Range partnership for Colorado. We saw exceptional leadership from Commissioner Sallie Clark, Mayor Steve Bach, and Colorado Springs Utilities board members and Council members Brandy Williams and Val Snider in securing this badly needed funding.

The Regional Coalition for Strategic Federal Action is a group that comprises 12 private businesses and public organizations working with the Washington lobbying firm of Mehlman, Vogel & Castagnetti to address high-priority issues for our region. Its members understand the importance of working together to make sure that we are not overlooked when decisions are made in Washington, and there is little doubt Colorado would have been overlooked if we had not spoken with one voice on this issue.

We appreciate the teamwork demonstrated in this important victory and we look forward to more of the same as new issues of great importance to our region arise.

For the Regional Coalition,

Scott Bryan

Bryan Construction

 

Barb Winter

Ent Federal Credit Union