Colorado Springs City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on June 3 for Flying Horse Pond 1 Retrofit, a retention pond noted as a potential violation of the Clean Water Act in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 lawsuit against the city.
The deadline for proposals is July 8.
The EPA lawsuit has since been settled and the city is expected to pay up to $ 45 million for additional projects to satisfy the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. City council has increased stormwater rates, which go into effect July 1, to fund the settlement.
The scope of work for the Flying Horse Pond is stated in the RFP as follows: “Rebuild the existing retention pond with new concrete installations that include head sediment ponds and an outlet structure. Construct rip-rap soil runoff channels and overflow weir, maintenance / access roads, MSE retaining walls, a permanent aesthetic boulder-lined pond, and extensive tall and riparian plantings.
In a 2013 audit of the city’s stormwater system, federal regulators identified the pond as one of “at least two water quality control structures that had been placed in the state waters at the Flying Horse Pond Filing 26 and the First and Main Town Center developments. None of these developments provided for the treatment of stormwater before it was discharged into state waters, ”the EPA lawsuit said.
But how much does this project cost and who pays for it?
Stormwater manager Rich Mulledy said by email that this pond project cited in the RFP is, in effect, the same pond referenced in the lawsuit.
The project budget is $ 2,541,419, he says. The design will cost $ 284,878 and construction costs are estimated at $ 2,256,541.
But the city’s Stormwater Enterprise will only pay for the design. Construction is resumed with a grant the city received, he said.
“The developer is not responsible for contributing for several reasons,” says Mulledy.
“First, the City reviewed and accepted the facility as it was designed and built when it was built. The City believed then and now believes that the facility was designed and constructed correctly and in accordance with our criteria at the time, ”he says.
Mulledy points out that the pond issue was never decided by the court as to whether it was in fact a violation of the water quality regulation.
The city settled the case before that happened.
Mulledy continued, “The main reasons we are rebuilding the facility are to facilitate maintenance and eliminate any potential water rights issues with the permanent water pool. We are also in the process of redesigning the facility to accommodate future traffic from Powers Boulevard. extension.”
Rainwater charges generate $ 16 million to $ 17 million a year, which will grow by several million dollars thanks to the rate hike set by a February 23 city council vote that goes into effect next month.
Residential rates will rise to $ 7 this year, $ 7.50 next year, and $ 8 in 2023, a cumulative increase of 60%. Non-residential rates will rise to $ 40.50 an acre this year, $ 43 in 2022 and $ 45 in 2023, an overall increase of 50%.