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Mayor and task force hold back no words in stormwater plan

Mayor and committee differ in storm water solutions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - El Paso County commissioners and Colorado Springs city council are blasting Mayor Steve Bach.

He's coming right back at them.

The members in favor of an intergovernmental agency tasked with relegating storm water efforts said their plan would stop damage that happens when creeks flood.

But the mayor said the plan will hurt Colorado Springs.

"I do not support this, it is not in the best interest of the citizens of Colorado Springs, period," Mayor Steve Bach said.

When it comes to fixing the problem, the mayor and committee members stand on completely opposite sides.

"For the mayor to say otherwise, is simply absurd," said Ray Munger, co-chair of Regional Stormwater Task Force.

That task force has a plan to collect $37 million to fix storm water problems throughout the county, costing residents about $8 per month.

"It will have a new tax, called a fee," Bach said. "It's a tax, except you won't be able to deduct it."

"There is nothing in the IGA that says the county will be collecting this money," said Dennis Hisey, El Paso County Commission chair.  "The new regional board will make the decision about who is collecting. They'll use the most cost-effective mechanism possible."

Both sides accuse each other of misinformation and misleading the voters.

Bach said a proposed stormwater agency is not in the city's best interest.

"We're not going to be able to take immediate action or be in charge of stormwater," he said.

City council and commissioners said that's simply false.

"We'd make sure that if the city had the infrastructure or member entities had the structure and staff in place, they could manage their own stormwater operations and maintenance," said Joel Miller, Colorado Springs city councilman.

Pueblo city officials are watching the debate closely.

Pueblo County agreed to let the Southern Delivery System Pipeline come through the county, bringing water to Colorado Springs, but only if the Springs fixed its stormwater problems.

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