From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
Plans for flood risk management on Fountain Creek through Pueblo have gained more federal support. U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, and Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers last week to support any federal efforts to remediate levee conditions on Fountain Creek through the East Side. The letter supports the Pueblo County commissioners’ request for a $3.5 million Army Corps project that could be applied to the levee for strengthening banks, planting native vegetation, improving wetlands and creating riparian buffer zones.
The project would stretch from Eighth Street to the confluence of Fountain Creek.
“Ironically, where we had a fire a few days ago could be turned into a beautiful riverside community park,” said Commissioner Sal Pace. “It’s about time Pueblo got its fair share.”
Vegetation on Fountain Creek near the East Fourth Street bridge caught fire Tuesday. The lower section of Fountain Creek is occasionally subject to flooding as well when rainfall upstream in the watershed is heavy.
The project was given high priority in a Corps study of Fountain Creek needs in 2009.
In January, commissioners requested congressional support for the project, also mentioning projects in El Paso County that could benefit Pueblo County as well. The letter highlighted cooperative efforts of the two counties through the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District.
A local match of 35 percent would be required for the project. Local money for the project is $1.225 million, which would come out of the remaining $1.9 million Colorado Springs Utilities paid to Pueblo County for dredging Fountain Creek under the 1041 permit for Southern Delivery System. Another $300,000 of those funds was spent earlier on a Fountain Creek demonstration project for side detention ponds and in-stream dredging.
More Fountain Creek coverage here.