Pueblo Chieftain Publisher Bob Rawlings has opposed Colorado Springs’ Southern Delivery System water pipeline project since it was first proposed a decade ago.
He’s written, or approved, scores of editorials excoriating the Springs as a treacherous partner and attacking Colorado Springs Utilities as a bunch of double-dealing, stream-polluting, sewage-dumping, reservoir-draining scoundrels who care little for the well-being of their city’s southern neighbor.
Thanks in part to Rawlings, the Pueblo County Board of Commissioners, who have the power to issue or deny a land use permit for the “preferred option,” an SDS pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir, have hammered out an agreement with CSU that promises many benefits for Pueblo, and for Colorado Springs.
But having, in effect, won the battle, Rawlings is admitting defeat. In an editorial today, the magnificent old warrior conceded that the permit is likely to be granted when the commissioners meet this evening at 6.
Here’s an excerpt from The Chieftain:
“Pueblo County land-use planners and their expert consultants under the circumstances seem to have squeezed about as many concessions as possible from Colorado Springs Utilities officials over their plan to build a giant new pipeline out of Lake Pueblo for export north to Colorado Springs.
“The major recommendation of the staff report is payment of $50 million for projects to protect Fountain Creek, which would be overseen either by a special district that the Legislature may form or by a new foundation that would be formed by Pueblo County and the partners in the pipeline.
“Other recommendations include a slightly better guarantee of minimum flows in the Arkansas River.
“Which brings us to the main point: It appears Colorado Springs sadly will get its permit. That means Pueblo County officials – current and in the future – must be assiduous in seeing that Colorado Springs’ feet are held to the fire of scrutiny on their part of the bargain.
“Colorado Springs officials have a long history of promising the moon while sharpening their knives to exact changes to their benefit. So the byword for all Pueblo officials who have or will have a part in this deal is: “assiduosity.’”
Bob, Bob, Bob – you won! We all won! The war between the cities might finally be over, and a new era of mutual cooperation might be dawning!
Celebrate, don’t mourn!
And next time I’m in Pueblo with my pretty lady – whom I know you want to meet – I’ll buy you a drink, and lift a glass to you, to Pueblo and to a bright future!
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