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Colorado Springs mayor scolds City Council Tuesday

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Jul 15 2014 09:37:55 PM CDT

Repair cost is $150,000 and climbing.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Colorado Springs' top elected leader expressed frustration Tuesday about his latest conflict with the City Council.

Mayor Steve Bach called it "disturbing" that the council didn't grant his request for $2 million in a special appropriation for the city's information technology department.

Bach requested the money for what he described as overdue equipment and software upgrades.  The council, however, recently approved $1.1 million for the department.

"We decided to elect a full-time executive mayor who's charged with the responsibility of running this city," Bach said during his monthly media briefing.  "To hold back $900,000 of a request coming from professional staff, I believe -- for political reasons -- is not helpful."

Bach said his chief of staff, Steve Cox, explained to council members the need for improved information technology.  In a previous meeting, the council voted against allocating the amount Bach sought that would have come from delaying a variety of other projects.

During that meeting, several council members asked for more specifics about the request and expressed concern that neither Back nor his staff were present to answer questions.

"There will be consequences," Bach said about not getting the full amount.  "We won't be able to achieve everything we'd like."

Bach said he'll make do with the council's allocation and will continue to try and convince members of the need for more resources in the IT department.

The mayor also commented on the recent stormy weather that has caused at least $150,000 in damage so far.  Excess stormwater was an issue in three areas of the city last weekend, with repairs to a drainage pipe and sinkhole, and street flooding from Mirage Pond.  (See attached video.)

Bach said the city will spend $46 million this year on stormwater projects.

Bach, through the city's Public Works Department, offered help to neighboring Green Mountain Falls recover from flood damage.

In other matters, Bach said he would leave the possibility of Xcel Energy acquiring the Drake and Nixon power plants, in the hands of the council and the Utilities Board.

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