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Colorado Springs capital improvements needed: $1 billion

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: May 07 2014 06:48:05 PM CDT
Updated On: May 07 2014 06:56:38 PM CDT

The city wants to beef up Colorado Springs' image, but it won't be cheap.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The city wants to beef up Colorado Springs' image, but it won't be cheap.

Mayor Steve Bach took media on a bus tour on Wednesday (5/7/14) to check out the top priority capital improvement projects. The price tag is more than $1 billion.

"If we're going to be a successful city, we need to look like it,” said Mayor Bach.

Mayor Bach's top priority on the city's backlog is stormwater and roads.

"Putting inlets away from, in locations away from the intersection to collect the water before it all gets to this spot,” said City Engineer Stuart King.    

The bus stopped at Chelton and Santa Rosa near the Citadel Mall. It’s a hot spot for stormwater problems. A historical hail storm hit there in June 2012. Upgrades were made, but the stormwater system to catch water now still isn't enough.

"The logical thing to do is not only upgrade the stormwater system here, but repave this street, same time,” said King.

Next on the list is public safety: fire, police and the office of emergency management.

The infrastructure of Sand Creek is about 25 years old. It's been there a long time. It's rather dated,” said Police Chief Pete Carey.

At fire station one, it’s close quarters. The station is nearly 90-years-old and needs at least two million dollars in renovations.

“We've really scaled down the extent to which we plan to renovate the station, but it needs to be livable for the next, we're hoping 15 -20 years. We're gonna stay in this spot,” said Colorado Springs Fire Department Finance, Planning and Analysis Manager Leslie Hickey.

The last bus stop was at Memorial Park. Park Development Manager Chris Lieber says his department wants to put in artificial turf instead of grass.

"Not only does that provide a much better playing surface, but it also ultimately cuts down on some of our ongoing maintenance and operational expenses,” said Lieber.

Combine all the projects, the city needs to come up with more than $1 billion, but right now the focus is on upgrades $630 million worth.

Mayor Bach says he'll meet with council next week (5/12/14) to talk about funding for the Chelton and Santa Rosa intersection. He hopes to take city council on a similar bus tour.

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