COLORADO SPRINGS - Pikes Peak area county and city leaders are coming together Tuesday morning to start discussing how to fix stormwater drainage issues. The city of Colorado Springs is trying to find money in its budget to do costly repairs and keep up with maintenance.
Among the "to do" repair list on the city's agenda is a channel that's east of Centennial and north of Garden of the Gods. City Engineer Brian Kelley did a show and tell with me about this concrete channel that's eroded down to the bone in one place. There's a gaping hole the size of a small car. Kelley said, "If this is not corrected, it will continue to domino downstream. Pieces of the channel will continue to erode and we'll have a larger more expensive problem on our hands." Kelley also told me that the increased amount of water flow because of the lack of erosion, post Waldo Canyon fire will certainly add to the drainage problem.
Kelley said his department has an emergency and contingency funds for anything that goes wrong. Kelley also said, "Once those funds are exceeded, we are out of money and we have to come up with extremely creative ways to fix the infrastructure. "
Currently there are 250 miles of open drainage channels in Colorado Springs. They city also has nealry 500 miles of underground storm systems, crews have to maintain and repair. The Springs City Drainage Budget in 2009 was 4.4. million dollars with Stormwater Fee money. The 2012 budget was 1.4 million dollars. The money now only comes from City General Fund money.