COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - It isn't hard to drive around El Paso County and Colorado Springs to find stormwater problems.
"Not a lot of forward thinking," said El Paso County Commission Chairman Dennis Hisey.
Hisey points out that stormwater funding last year in El Paso County was $3.82 per person. In the 10 most populated cities in Colorado other than Colorado Springs, that average spending jumps up to $57.38 per person.
How to make up the difference in funding and actually make a difference in stormwater infrastructure is what Hisey and the rest of the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force is looking for.
Thursday, a couple dozen residents showed up to the first "Stormwater Solutions Town Hall" at the Conservation and Environment Center. Officials sat back and let residents pick through possible solutions to come up with what they believe is most feasible.
"The solution is a regional approach," said homeowner Sharon Owen.
A regional approach and a willingness to invest in stormwater infrastructure were shared by those in attendance.
"This is what happens when you don't invest," said homeowner Bruce Fogarty. "It's going to be expensive but it's something that absolutely needs to be done."
After nearly an hour of residents brainstorming and presenting their ideas, task force members say they plan on taking the ideas brought forward here and at two more town halls to come up with what they hope is a final solution.
"If you don't plan it, if you don't do it right you're wasting your time and energy," Hisey said.
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has his own ideas on how the stormwater problem should be approached. Bach believes capital improvement bonds should be used to improve not only stormwater but also roads and bridges.
There will be two more town halls put on by the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force the next two Wednesdays.
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Leon Young Service Center, 1521 S. Hancock Expressway
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 W. Cheyenne Road