Denver: Steep hike in storm and sanitary rates

Storm drain and open channel improvements between the East Rail Line (38th & Blake Station) and the South Platte River (Globeville Landing Outfall), Stormwater detention/conveyance between the East Rail Line (38th & Blake Station) and Colorado Blvd, (Montclair Basin) Stormwater detention/ conveyance immediately east of Colorado Blvd. (Park Hill Basin).
Storm drain and open channel improvements between the East Rail Line (38th & Blake Station) and the South Platte River (Globeville Landing Outfall), Stormwater detention/conveyance between the East Rail Line (38th & Blake Station) and Colorado Blvd, (Montclair Basin)
Stormwater detention/ conveyance immediately east of Colorado Blvd. (Park Hill Basin).

From The Denver Post (Carlos Illescas):

Storm and sewer fees will pay for the Platte to Park Hill flood control plan and other projects in the city. On average, a homeowner will see increases in fees totaling $116 over the next five years. The Platte to Park Hill project could cost up to $298 million…

The measure passed on an 8-3 vote, with councilmen Kevin Flynn, Rafael Espinoza and Paul Kashmann voting against the measure. Councilwomen Robin Kniech and Debbie Ortega did not attend the meeting. A motion to postpone the vote until Aug. 29 failed…

Platte to Park Hill would reduce flooding in some parts of the Lower Montclair Basin by improving storm drainage in north and northeast Denver. A detention area would be created at City Park Golf Course. That has been the project’s most contentious issue. The golf course would have to be closed for about 16 months.

Platte to Park Hill would reduce flooding in some parts of the Lower Montclair Basin by improving storm drainage in north and northeast Denver. A detention area would be created at City Park Golf Course. That has been the project’s most contentious issue. The golf course would have to be closed for about 16 months…

Meanwhile, a lawsuit was announced Monday against Denver’s plan, claiming that a detention pond at the golf course goes against the city’s charter and zoning codes. It was filed by former Colorado Attorney General J.D. Macfarlane…

David Broadwell of the Denver City Attorney’s Office said he believes the city is in good standing on using the golf course for water detention.

From The North Denver Tribune:

For the last few years, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been hard at work to expand I-70 as it goes east-west across north Denver. Their plan is to not only increase the number of lanes from six to some fourteen (possibly more) but to dig out and build those fourteen lanes from Dahlia to Brighton Blvd some 40 feet below street level. This puts it about 22 feet below the Platte River where runoff water from Denver, flowing north, currently goes to meet the Platte River a short distance north of I-70.

And for CDOT to build this multi-lane Interstate below grade highway, it must have 100-year flood protection, meaning that such a huge rainstorm happens only once in 100 years. Practically no other section of Denver has this protection. The cost to do so is simply totally prohibitive.

This 100-year flood protection for I-70 is completely the responsibility of CDOT to do. CDOT can and, in fact, has developed its plan (called “Central 70”) to achieve the 100-year flood protection it must have.

Yet, strangely, the City and County of Denver entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement with CDOT (signed in 2015) wherein Denver took all responsibility to provide this 100-year flood protection for I-70 in return for some 53 million dollars to be paid by CDOT for taking over this flood protection. By the way, Denver must have it in place for CDOT by the 4th quarter of 2017. Thus, the reason for the sudden urgency of the City to get the Plan approved.

So to provide this 100 Year Flood protection to CDOT, Denver publicly announced, only late last fall, its “Platte to Park Hill: Storm Water Systems” Plan which continued to be modified as late as April 6, 2016. The cost of this project is now estimated to be some 200 million dollars, and may reach as high as 300 million dollars as the detailed plans are prepared and costs are estimated.

But an analysis of the Plan shows that practically all of this huge expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars does not provide any flood protection to any of Park Hill; Nada and almost no flood protection to any other neighborhoods of Denver, some of which have been waiting years for the City to do the work needed to solve their ongoing flooding problems.

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