COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Mayor Steve Bach released the following statement in response to the results of a public poll on stormwater.
The results of the survey were delivered today during a Regional Stormwater Task Force meeting at the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.
"The City appreciates the Task Force sharing its research data, which we understand was gathered among 400 respondents throughout El Paso County. Of note is that the findings do not address citizen concerns about our local streets and bridges, public safety and parks infrastructure. I continue to believe that the best interests of Colorado Springs and our neighbors will be served by implementing the action plan I proposed to the City Council, County Commissioners and Task Force leaders in October.
That plan is our most sensible approach to solving stormwater because a). it does not require our City to increase taxes or charge a new fee for at least the next half decade, if ever; and b). the great majority (75+/-%) of the regional stormwater improvement needs are within Colorado Springs. I have asked the Council, Commissioners, Task Force leaders as well as outlying community Mayors to meet with me again on Thursday, January 16, and hope we can reach consensus then on moving forward. It is essential that the other Mayors have a seat at the table in order for us to reach a true regional solution for stormwater."
Following are the highlights of Mayor Bach's plan:
THE MOST SENSIBLE APPROACH TO STORMWATER
I. Storm Water Hybrid (New Regional Authority, Individual Participant Funding Sources, No Overhead)
1. New Regional Authority to be formed within El Paso County boundaries by City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County and other interested municipalities. Additional municipalities may join in the future.
2. Each participant will bring its own funding source and receive commensurate spending. Colorado Springs will participate financially in stormwater projects outside our City limits where we have some joint responsibility.
3. The Authority will be led by an unpaid Board of Directors comprised of representatives of the participants. Voting will be proportional based on impervious surface/population.
4. The Authority will have no staff. Colorado Springs Executive Branch will administer the Authority based on an Inter-Governmental Agreement and as an "in kind" contribution, affording other participants the ability to maximize their spending on capital improvements and avoid overhead.
5. Projects design, construction and maintenance will be outsourced to the private sector with local vendors receiving preference wherever practical to help create local private sector jobs.
6. The Authority will formally report quarterly to the public on its progress toward reaching measurable outcomes.
II. COS Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Funding (NO NEW TAXES/FEES FOR COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTS AT LEAST 1ST HALF DECADE)
1st half decade (5 years)
Sell new bonds: without raising taxes and subject to voter approval - provides $175 million available for capital projects.
~$11.5M Roads and bridges
~$2.5M Public safety infrastructure
O&M: Dedicated General Fund line items annually
Roads and bridges $16.0M (Initially and growing as the City achieves additional efficiencies and sales tax gains).
After first half decade (Year 6+) (GROW THE ECONOMY-SALES TAX/ASK VOTERS FOR HELP)
CIP: Scale up the economy, including City for Champions, generating incremental sales tax to fund additional CIP. If organic General Fund growth is not sufficient trending into Year three of four, then ask the voters to approve additional funding via a sales/property tax increase with a Sunset provision.
O&M: Continue dedicating General Fund line items for stormwater, roads and bridges.