From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
The settlement agreement was worked out last month by attorneys for Pueblo County, Pueblo West and other water agencies as a way to settle a lawsuit brought by Pueblo West in District Court in April 2009.
In the lawsuit, Pueblo West claimed it would lose water over time if forced to comply with conditions in the county’s 1041 permit that would allow the Southern Delivery System to be built.
In the settlement agreement, the county, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Pueblo Board of Water Works would allow Pueblo West to maximize return flows down Wild Horse Creek through a pipeline return. In return, Pueblo West would shelve its plan for a pumpback into Lake Pueblo through a wash behind the golf course…
Commissioners acted on the resolution Monday to preserve both the Pueblo flow management program created under 2004 intergovernmental agreements and Pueblo West’s participation in the SDS, according to the resolution.
Pueblo West is expected to take up the agreement on Aug. 24, said Director Jerry Martin. “Conceptually, we’re on board with it, but we haven’t heard it at a public meeting,” Martin said. “The lawyers have been preparing it, since there are more parties involved than just Pueblo County and Pueblo West.”
Meanwhile not all property owners along the SDS right-of-way have signed agreements with Colorado Springs Utilities. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:
The Maxwells were offered $2,100 by Colorado Springs Utilities for the easement on the back of the property, a sum they consider too small when thinking about the noise and dust construction will bring. The cleanup, upkeep and taxes on the property will still be their responsibility. “They don’t want to work with us,” Helen Maxwell said. “They think $2,100 is enough for us to suffer the inconvenience.”[...]
“My concern is that there is such a vacancy of property in Pueblo West that we’re going to lose value,” said Pam Williams, who doesn’t intend to sell the easement at the price she was offered and is now being told Colorado Springs City Council could begin condemnation procedures in September. The homeowners were sent letters saying they have until Wednesday to settle or risk legal action. They feel like they’ve been picked off, since Utilities rejected the Maxwell’s suggestion for a joint meeting.
[Darlene Garcia, land acquisition manager for Colorado Springs Utilities] said condemnation through eminent domain is a last resort, but will be used if settlements can’t be reached. “We have to make our construction schedule and that requires a clear right of way for the pipeline proposal,” Garcia said.