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View Full Version : Chostner wants more action on mill levy question



Susie
09-29-2012, 05:41 AM
Efforts to fund a district devoted to improving Fountain Creek have to be stepped up, Pueblo County commissioner Jeff Chostner said Friday.

More... (http://www.chieftain.com/water/chostner-wants-more-action-on-mill-levy-question/article_03df5a9c-09ed-11e2-9532-001a4bcf887a.html)

Gershon
09-29-2012, 09:37 AM
Efforts to fund a district devoted to improving Fountain Creek have to be stepped up, Pueblo County commissioner Jeff Chostner said Friday.

More... (http://www.chieftain.com/water/chostner-wants-more-action-on-mill-levy-question/article_03df5a9c-09ed-11e2-9532-001a4bcf887a.html)

Jeff apparently hasn't taken a walk along the full length of the Fountain Creek through Pueblo.

There are bear, deer, fox and many other forms of wildlife. There are solitary escapes near the creek. There are lots of beautiful woods within a short distance of city streets.

Lately, there has been a lot of habitat destruction near the bridge by the mall and other areas.

Apparently improving it will ultimately mean a cement ditch through the city.

This is another case of someone wanting to improve something when they obviously don't know what it is.

Here is a video of just a small section near the Fountain Creek.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMGSM4ihSF4

Gershon
09-29-2012, 10:08 AM
Here is another video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=O9DFIdNNZNg&feature=endscreen

Sandra
09-29-2012, 10:15 AM
The dry brush looks dangerous - fire danger - but otherwise, it's got a nice, natural beauty. Loved the shots of the wildflowers!

Gershon
09-29-2012, 10:52 AM
The dry brush looks dangerous - fire danger - but otherwise, it's got a nice, natural beauty. Loved the shots of the wildflowers!

Thanks for looking. There have been a some small fires in that general area. They seem to die out harmlessly.

The suits don't know what they are missing from their stuffy office while they focus on trivial things like a new courthouse.

Here is a video from a trip we took in July.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWbmNd7ksG8

Sandra
09-29-2012, 11:25 AM
Beautiful!

Gershon
09-30-2012, 03:46 AM
I found the master plan for the Fountain Creek online.

http://www.fountain-crk.org/files/REPORTS/mar09strategic_plan.pdf

Sandra
09-30-2012, 07:25 AM
If I remember right, this is one reason why we wanted SDS to run through Pueblo. This plan was years in the making - and has some good points and some not so good points. While I like the idea of the recreational value, it's not up to us to tell God how to make his rivers and creeks. At the same time, my big concern is the carelessness of Colorado Springs.

While there have been many efforts on their part to install safety measures that would keep their contaminants contained so they don't end up down here, they still have gone back on their word concerning implementing fees that would show that they have the resources to maintain the infrastructure of their water, sewage, and stormwater drainage systems.

I love the idea of Fountain Creek being recreational - I really do. But I don't trust Colorado Springs. The attitude of their people is even worse than whether the city can afford to maintain their systems. "Flush the toilet, Pueblo needs the water" they say. Boy are they stupid! We aren't the ones hurting for water, they are, and they want what they want when they want it regardless of who they have to step on to get it. (Speaking of landowners between here and there who are being violated for this project)

Their arrogant and careless attitude about their waste water should scare all environmentalists in the area and everyone south of the city. I don't think Pueblo should trust Colorado Springs with this one bit. I lived there for most of my life - I know their ins and outs - they have some serious issues there - I think the city as a whole is somewhat anti-social despite that there are some wonderful people there trying hard to make a difference. I could write stories about the place that would make your hair stand on end.

masonranch
09-30-2012, 07:57 AM
I loved the music accompanyment. Who is your Baba, Guru, spiritual leader? At the end was that a picture of you with your wife?. At one with nature?

Gershon
09-30-2012, 08:13 AM
I loved the music accompanyment. Who is your Baba, Guru, spiritual leader? At the end was that a picture of you with your wife?. At one with nature?

Masonranch,

The music was recorded live at a synagogue I used to go to. It's how we worshipped on Shabbat. Now most of the people have moved to other areas.

The two people at the end were "Wolfie" and "Duke L'Orange." They were about halfway through a 487 mile thru-hike of the Colorado Trail.

Gershon
09-30-2012, 11:43 AM
This morning I went for a hike along one of my favorite parts of the Fountain Creek. It doesn't seem to need fixed to me.

There is little garbage in and around the creek until you get to University Park and areas south. Then the garbage is clustered around the storm drains and spreads from there.

Maybe we should fix our own problems before spending so much time thinking about Colorado Springs.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FITTk-PelC8

Sandra
09-30-2012, 05:37 PM
Gershon, Colorado Springs IS part of our problem. When they contaminate Fountain Creek, we end up with their mess.

We have enough of our own mess, I agree, but we don't need Colorado Springs adding to it.

Gershon
09-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Maybe in the next few weeks, I'll go check out the nature center and trails in Fountain. It looks like they have done a lot of good work up there.

I found this (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3095/fs2011-3095.pdf) study from 2007 which indicates that bird droppings were a big part of the problem for E-coli in the summer. Tomorrow morning, I'll see if I can get some videos to show just how many birds roost in the cat tails.

I've read about Colorado Springs sometimes having spills.

Well, it doesn't matter. I vote against all tax increases.

large
10-01-2012, 06:54 AM
Maybe we should fix our own problems before spending so much time thinking about Colorado Springs.

X2 . . . .

And one of them is to try to understand the physical makeup of the creek from where the basin starts to it's confluence with The Arkansas . . The Basin, to start with is very small, and d@mned near vertical. Apparently few of those involved in the planning understand that.

The fact that Colorado Springs is where it is has nothing to do with the concept that when it rains cats n dogs anywhere between Woodland Park to the west, Palmer Divide to the North and about Calhan to the East, the fountain get's the runoff in a hurry. Water doesn't stand long on a hillside or a mountain. Gravity still works well . .

Matter of fact, when you look at how the small basin Colorado Springs sits in drains, to retain the runoff from thunderstorm producing a half inch of rain in any part of the city, especially the part around the Garden of the Gods, you'd have to make all of the area from Manitou to about Lower nevada Avenue one giant retention pond . . and that would only work until it got full . .

As gershon says and I concur, about half of the degradation of the water quality comes from the creek itself. Naturally. When the flow is nothing more than a trickle, natural contamination builds up. There's a lot of wildlife in those bottoms. One Gershon didn't mention is a herd of almost 200 elk (Yeah, I said ELK! About 200 of 'em) And there's bunches of Mule Deer, quite a few Antelope, and then, of course all the other wild critters that make up the ecological system of any environment with life giving water . . And all those critters live, die, eat, and crap in the direct flood plain of the creek. And as long as the water runs, you're going to have life and the waste that life leaves behind . .

Most of these planners are grossly overthinking the problem. I see a little more water coming down the creek as beneficial to the creek and the water's quality. It won't change the days when it rains cats n dogs somewhere up there and the high water that Pueblo will see for a day or less, but that's what creeks do . . And physically, in most places, you can't dam it up . . There's not really a bottom to it . . it's a lot of shifting quicksand and there's stuff in there that's been there almost 150 years, like rail cars and a locomotive . . just to mention a couple . . add to that, the sand stores up a lot of that waste and e-coli and then releases it when the flows increase . .

These people need to go look really hard at any other creek that either has a low flow or a partial one and see what it does . .

I do believe it to be a problem that has been "Over-Thunk" . . .

Sandra
10-01-2012, 08:48 AM
Large, my reference concerning Colorado Springs isn't about birds and wildlife - it's about how many times they have spilled raw sewage down Fountain Creek then failed to clean it up without a lawsuit. It's also about how they're ripping off landowners in the name of their pipe line - if I remember right they offered $100 to each landowner for the time and trouble of disrupting their lives and digging up their property to lay pipe, which is a rather insolent amount.

The extra water coming down the creek would be beneficial so long as Colorado Springs maintains its own systems - but they have no stormwater fee system in place to pay for those right now, and the city's inability to properly manage their funds has resulted in the city choosing to remove public trash bins, street lights, and even choosing to stop taking care of certain grounds in the area. What makes us think, then, that they'd place any higher of a priority on maintaining proper sewage so that it doesn't end up here again?

There is a system in place but how long can it last if it's not properly maintained due to lack of funding?

This is a far greater hazard than animal pee...

Gershon
10-01-2012, 09:26 AM
Large, my reference concerning Colorado Springs isn't about birds and wildlife - it's about how many times they have spilled raw sewage down Fountain Creek then failed to clean it up without a lawsuit. It's also about how they're ripping off landowners in the name of their pipe line - if I remember right they offered $100 to each landowner for the time and trouble of disrupting their lives and digging up their property to lay pipe, which is a rather insolent amount.

The extra water coming down the creek would be beneficial so long as Colorado Springs maintains its own systems - but they have no stormwater fee system in place to pay for those right now, and the city's inability to properly manage their funds has resulted in the city choosing to remove public trash bins, street lights, and even choosing to stop taking care of certain grounds in the area. What makes us think, then, that they'd place any higher of a priority on maintaining proper sewage so that it doesn't end up here again?

There is a system in place but how long can it last if it's not properly maintained due to lack of funding?

This is a far greater hazard than animal pee...

It wasn't until the 70's that efficient water treatment plants even existed.

One thing I haven't seen is an e-coli concentation gradiant between Colorado Springs and Pueblo. From the report I read, bird poop is the major contributer.

It may be that the 40 miles or so of the Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and Pueblo would purify the water naturally if the natural ecosystem was allowed to flourish. Instead, they clear out "weeds" that might purify the water. Perhaps the real problem is the big park in Fountain.

Sandra
10-01-2012, 10:02 AM
Here's some interesting reading for you, Gershon.

http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/consumer/pdf/hist.pdf

Meanwhile, it used to be said that water in Colorado is purified naturally every 100 feet. Part of that having to do with the minerals (rocks, etc) in the water that acted as cleansing agents. Today we have so much man-made garbage going on that it does interfere with the ecosystem - so you make a very good point.

large
10-01-2012, 10:35 AM
First of all, Sandra, the same year, while we (and the Pueblo Chieftain) were cussing and calling down Colorado Springs for their "Sewage Spills" we (Pueblo wastewater) had three of our own, and while they weren't of the magnitude of one of the 'Spring's, they were notable but not so much to the paper and the Pueblo Water Board . . And Nobody downstream has a newspaper that could have blasted Pueblo for doing much the same Colorado Springs does to us . .

On the "Pollution Factor" the Fountain is a "Creek", not a river, and while it has a year round flow, that flow is minimal. Thus Colorado Springs and Fountain do not have the amount of flowing water to distribute their "PPM" which is the EPA's way of measuring pollutiants in natural waterways . . We have the Arkansas, with a guarantee for enough flow to keep a Kayak course operational. Which was agreed to by Pueblo's Powers that be so that they didn't have to rebuild and bring their water treatment plant up to today's mEPA standards as far as "PPM" go . .

The Fountain is a small, vertical drainage basin, with a very short flow run. Thus, one can hardly expect the same self cleaning effects that either the Arkansas or the Mississippi have working for them . .

And, as Gershon has stated, a lot of the e-coli comes from birds and other wild game. Without the Flora to strain and filter the water when it comes up above it's basic flow line, it's carried into the mainstream and the e-coli is deposited in the sands of the lower creek and is a contiminant long after the high water is gone . . Just waiting for some "Water Expert' to come and sample it and report that the City of Colorado Springs is "Contaminating" the Fountain . . In headline fashon . .

This is part of a fairly complex ecosystem that, apparently few of the planners understand . .

Noticably, there are only 5 landowners involved in this plan. One would tend to think that all the land owners on either side of Fountain Creek, all the way to the city limits, would have input, but that's not so . . .

Gershon
10-01-2012, 08:26 PM
Here's some interesting reading for you, Gershon.

http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/consumer/pdf/hist.pdf

Meanwhile, it used to be said that water in Colorado is purified naturally every 100 feet. Part of that having to do with the minerals (rocks, etc) in the water that acted as cleansing agents. Today we have so much man-made garbage going on that it does interfere with the ecosystem - so you make a very good point.

Sandra,

Good article. Thanks.

Effective water purification hasn't been around all that long.

I wonder what the Fountain Creek looked like when there was no water treatment and more industry in Colorado Springs. Then there was the agricultural runoff. There were a lot more farms back then.

Sandra
10-01-2012, 08:41 PM
Colorado Springs was never really an industrial city like Pueblo - with the steel mill and all. There were some technical factories near Garden of the Gods that put together electronic equipment, but it wasn't the kind of operation that created pollutants and runoff.

I don't recall there being any farms in Colorado Springs other than the turf farm. Out east are where you'd see the farms and ranches. Seems that back about 40 years ago they were prominent than today.

Gosh, those were the days. Fresh air, peace and quiet - ahhhhh!

Where I live, I can hear a rooster in the distance - maybe a couple of blocks away. Well, I haven't heard him lately, so maybe someone got in trouble for keeping him - but hearing that sound every morning to me is quite pleasant.

Gershon
10-02-2012, 01:38 AM
Colorado Springs was never really an industrial city like Pueblo - with the steel mill and all. There were some technical factories near Garden of the Gods that put together electronic equipment, but it wasn't the kind of operation that created pollutants and runoff.

I don't recall there being any farms in Colorado Springs other than the turf farm. Out east are where you'd see the farms and ranches. Seems that back about 40 years ago they were prominent than today.

Gosh, those were the days. Fresh air, peace and quiet - ahhhhh!

Where I live, I can hear a rooster in the distance - maybe a couple of blocks away. Well, I haven't heard him lately, so maybe someone got in trouble for keeping him - but hearing that sound every morning to me is quite pleasant.

Sarah,

On the farming, I meant along the Fountain Creek on the way to Pueblo. A lot of areas have housing now. A lot of the land closer to Pueblo isn't farmed anymore.

Maybe one day I'll go to the Historical Museum near the train station and see what I can learn.

Gershon
10-02-2012, 01:51 AM
Colorado Springs was never really an industrial city like Pueblo - with the steel mill and all. There were some technical factories near Garden of the Gods that put together electronic equipment, but it wasn't the kind of operation that created pollutants and runoff.

I don't recall there being any farms in Colorado Springs other than the turf farm. Out east are where you'd see the farms and ranches. Seems that back about 40 years ago they were prominent than today.

Gosh, those were the days. Fresh air, peace and quiet - ahhhhh!

Where I live, I can hear a rooster in the distance - maybe a couple of blocks away. Well, I haven't heard him lately, so maybe someone got in trouble for keeping him - but hearing that sound every morning to me is quite pleasant.

Sarah,

On the farming, I meant along the Fountain Creek on the way to Pueblo. A lot of areas have housing now. A lot of the land closer to Pueblo isn't farmed anymore.

Maybe one day I'll go to the Historical Museum near the train station and see what I can learn.

Gershon
10-02-2012, 02:32 AM
I've been researching some history of the Fountain Creek. I found this (http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/article_85323ec6-10a6-11e0-b53b-001cc4c03286.html) article in the Chieftain. It says the water was unfit to drink in the early 1900's.

"Fountain Creek is not broken,Ē said Gary Barber, who will leave in January after nearly a year as interim director of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District. ďItís acting like a river. There are times we donít like the way it acts, but that doesnít mean itís not acting like a river.Ē"

The idea of a Greenway district bothers me. It sounds like they want a grass park along the Fountain Creek through Pueblo. It would probably attract a lot of people, but I'd hate to lose the natural beauty of the creek.

large
10-03-2012, 08:09 AM
I've been researching some history of the Fountain Creek. I found this (http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/article_85323ec6-10a6-11e0-b53b-001cc4c03286.html) article in the Chieftain. It says the water was unfit to drink in the early 1900's.

"Fountain Creek is not broken,Ē said Gary Barber, who will leave in January after nearly a year as interim director of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District. ďItís acting like a river. There are times we donít like the way it acts, but that doesnít mean itís not acting like a river.Ē"

The idea of a Greenway district bothers me. It sounds like they want a grass park along the Fountain Creek through Pueblo. It would probably attract a lot of people, but I'd hate to lose the natural beauty of the creek.

On the purity of water in the 1900's . . People were about half stupid about that up until the mid fifties, actually. Even though old Cowboy lore always spoke of "Drinking upstream from the herd" few thought much about it, or, apparently cared. I can remember, as a Kid, on my first trip up the Arkansas Canyon, seeing outhouses built out over the flowing river . . And few ever considered where they built/dug the outhouse in relation to the well . . .

And we still fail to realize what all the contributing factors of stream pollution are . . Livestock concentrations, be it Cows, Horses or Hogs, contribute heavily to stream pollution, especially in a short and periodic drainage like the Fountain. Anything on the ground when we have one of our small but ferocious frog strangling thunderstorms, ends up in the creek as a concentration . .

It just does what it's always done and washes all that crap down the flow line, which changes often itself. And that, in turn, leaves the E-Coli and all the other bacteria created by animal waste and trash where ever it is when the water goes down. Usually concentrating lots of it in the sands prevalent below the Fountain area into Pueblo . .

And I have a problem with the "Greenway Concept" as well . . Because we're Human, and have this tremendous Human EGO to satisfy, "We know better than nature" . . We'll build a lawn covered creek bottom (flood plain), call it a "park" or better yet, "A GREENWAY" and of course, straighten out all those eroding meanders, clean up all those weeds, cattails, wild and uncontrolled elm trees and make it, on the whole, "Presentable" . . In the process, destroy the natural habitat for all those deer, foxes, birds and critters that some of us would miss were they not there . . .

And then we'll rebuild it everytime there's a frogstrangler someplace upstream. Until some politician says "We've got to do something about all the water that comes down and destroys our beautiful Greenway. It's costing too much. We need to put a dam up the creek and control it" . . And Colorado Springs will jump on that because then, they would be absolved of "Stormwater" responsibility . .


The beginning of the end . . .

Marc.N
10-03-2012, 05:15 PM
I've been researching some history of the Fountain Creek. I found this (http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/article_85323ec6-10a6-11e0-b53b-001cc4c03286.html) article in the Chieftain. It says the water was unfit to drink in the early 1900's.

"Fountain Creek is not broken,Ē said Gary Barber, who will leave in January after nearly a year as interim director of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District. ďItís acting like a river. There are times we donít like the way it acts, but that doesnít mean itís not acting like a river.Ē"....

Basically new growth causes storm water to be put into drains and unnaturally dumped into the Fountain rather than soak into the ground. The SDS brings water from elsewhere and concentrates it into a single unnatural flow to the Colo Spgs area and it also goes into the Fountain. It is estimated SDS water will cause an unnatural increase of up to 40% Fountain flow.

This subject has clearly been addressed in no uncertain terms that The Fountain has an unnatural flow increase due to Colo Spgs growth. Colo Spgs has refused to mitigate the problems caused by their ever increasing stormwater and wastewater they send down stream. Gary Barber's statements are either pathetic ignorance or outright slimey untruthfullness.


"The Fountain Creek board got its first look at a regional stormwater study by Summit Economics ... The study, which will be finalized after the sponsors have a chance to review it, also points out that Colorado Springs pays only $4.63 per capita for stormwater protection, less than one-tenth of the Front Range average. Pueblo pays $25.81 per capita..." May 1, 2012 Pueblo Chieftain"


Itís been estimated that SDS will cause a 40 percent increase in streamflow down Fountain Creek. With that new baseline, plus the increase in impervious surfaces due to growth of the Springs, a large cloudburst there could cause substantial flooding in Pueblo and towns to the east along the Arkansas River. September 23, 2012 Pueblo Chieftain

The impressive care and concern for their downstream neighbors Colo Spgs so cheaply communicates with smoothie blah blah is made laughable by their refusal to physically perform.

large
10-03-2012, 06:09 PM
A couple of things here . .

First, Colorado Springs "Growth' has come to a screeching halt . . The developer who was going to develop the Banning-Lewis Ranch folded. It's been sold off in several parcels, with most of it going to a energy developer (Oil and Gas drilling) . . There is a parcel on the Southwestern end that is in the hands of a developer, but if completely developed, and sold, will be only about a fifth or less of the original master plan . . .

Secondly, Colorado Springs can do what Pueblo has done for their "Stormwater drainage" and add the concrete and asphalt walks, drives and parking slabs to the user's water bills . . That doesn't become a "Tax" and need a voter's approval, it's a "Fee" . .

As for their "Wastewater', they have a steeper hill to climb than Pueblo, simply because they don't have the flow to dilute, currently.

But, IF . . they meet EPA regulated PPM into a slightly greater flow and recycle certain amounts of non potable water downhill from the higher elevations, including Palmer Lake and Monument (SDS Customers) they will assist in a much cleaner Fountain Creek, and keep a relatively steady flow in the flow line. That might also help maintain the same flow line when the Creek comes up from those thunderstorms in the basin . .

You also have to understand that all the water pumped to Colorado Springs isn't going to come back down the river, as "Wastewater"on the same day, or ever . . It's estimated that up to 20% of it will be lost to evaporation, absorption, etc . . and . . If . . All those houses are built tomorrow, 75% of them are going to irrigate their front and back yards and grow grass, etc . . How much consumption that might actually be is anybody's guess, but in Pueblo, it's a bunch . . so that's water that "Ain't coming back" either . .

On the "Stormwater" thing, your Pueblo County Commissioners and City Council already (and very unwisely) signed an "IGA" (Intergovernmental Agreement) with Colorado Springs and the County Commissioners granted the permit . . It's a done deal, unless we get some County Commissioners with some Cojones who'll jerk the permit because of Colorado Spring's failure to maintain the conditions of the initial agreement. Currently, the Colorado Spring's City Council and Mayor is telling us that part of the agreement is voided because it hadn't been voted upon by Spring's voters (who rejected the "Stormwater Tax") when the agreements were signed and the permits issued . .

I think it's worth another look, simply because they broke the agreement. But, can we afford to have principles that cost that much . . ?

I do have a question for anybody out there that's a "Water Expert" . .

If . . It's illegal to catch and keep the water that runs off your roof (and it is, because that water's already spoken for) and the water that runs off my concrete slab (that costs me and extra $3 a month on my water bill) is somebody else's, how can we mandate that anyone build and keep a "Retention Pond" to catch "excess runoff"?

How 'bout you, Dan? Any answers here . . they're non political . .