Fremont County and Pueblo County are both holding meetings this week on Colorado Springs' proposed Southern Delivery System, according to a report from Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:
Fremont and Pueblo county commissioners will take up questions surrounding the Southern Delivery System at separate meetings...
The project looks different in each county, but could have significant impacts for Pueblo County under either scenario.
Under the Pueblo County route, there would be a large pump station added to the buildings already at the base of Pueblo Dam. The pipeline itself would cross seven miles of Pueblo West and another seven miles of Walker Ranches on the west side of Interstate 25. Flows would increase on Fountain Creek, both from more wastewater returns day-to-day and more intense floods aggravated by new development.
The Fremont County route could deplete flows in the Arkansas River above and below Lake Pueblo, while flows in Fountain Creek would increase anyway. Colorado Springs Utilities say that while the river intake would be more costly, it is a feasible way to provide the water users in El Paso County with the water they need. Pueblo West would spend more to build its own river intake below Pueblo Dam if SDS goes through Fremont County.
Fremont County commissioners will get their first look at SDS at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Fremont County Courthouse.
Pueblo County commissioners will continue a public hearing that began in December at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center...
Pueblo County commissioners accepted Colorado Springs' application for a 1041 land use permit last year, and hired consultants Banks & Gesso to help articulate concerns about the impacts to Pueblo County. The consultants have relied on information made public in the Bureau of Reclamation's environmental impact statement, but have reached different conclusions than Reclamation. While the bureau said all seven alternatives have adverse consequences, all are acceptable and the alternative from Pueblo Dam causes the least damage. County staff is arguing that further mitigation is needed to offset the worst impacts. At a hearing last month, county staff outlined mitigation needed for the construction of the pipeline itself in terms of damage to property and roads. The tougher issues of water quality, lake levels, river flows, flooding and further damage to Fountain Creek are expected to be the major topics of Wednesday's meeting.