Colorado Springs voters to decide on stormwater fee

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —  Voters are being asked to re-establish a stormwater fee that was done away with in 2009.

The proposed ordinance would charge every home $5 a month and businesses $30 per acre per month.

Mayor John Suthers said you can see the damage just about anywhere around Colorado Springs, and said stormwater has taken quite a toll on our city.

“This right now is a legal obligation. We have to spend an average of $20 million a year over the next 20 years to resolve our legal problems with Pueblo and the EPA,” Suthers said.

Suthers said without the fee, we’re sacrificing money out of our own general fund that we could be using on other things, like hiring police officers and firefighters.

Laura Carno with said that isn’t quite the truth.

“If we really need more money for police and fire, there is a public safety sales tax. Go to the voters and ask them for more money for a public safety sales tax,” said Carno.

According to Suthers, the legal obligations makes stormwater a priority.

“We have no choice but to deal with them. We’re either going to deal with them by pouring $20 million of general fund into it every year and not add any police officers or no park maintenance or anything, or we’re going to do what every other city does and have a dedicated revenue stream for stormwater,” Suthers said.

Colorado Springs residents will vote on the fee in the November 7 election.

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