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People agree stormwater is a problem, disagree on solution

By Emily Allen, Multimedia Journalist /Target 13 Investigator , emily.allen@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 09 2013 01:45:52 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 09 2013 01:47:17 PM CST

Results of a new poll released Monday by the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force shows people agree stormwater is a problem, but don't agree on solutions.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Results of a new poll released Monday by the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force shows people agree stormwater is a problem, but don't agree on solutions.

The task force conducted it's first ever official poll to help brainstorm solutions for the region's stormwater problems.

"We wanted to have some good, solid data on what citizens are thinking," said Rachel Beck with the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force. "We wanted to have some good solid data and not just be guessing."

It worked with an independent group to survey 400 people in the Pikes Peak region.

  • Ninety-five percent say flood control is important.
  • Ninety-five percent say stormwater has had a serious impact on the community.
  • Some 59 percent say the current stormwater system is in poor or not so good condition.

"This is much stronger support than we would have expected," said Beck.

Beck estimates the region has been dealing with stormwater problems since the 1970s. Beck said flooding in Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs brought stormwater problems to the forefront in the community.

"When we have seen businesses close and cars floating down highways and the problems we have seen this past summer, it's certainly no surprise that people are standing up and taking more notice," said Beck.

Beck said the poll is insightful, but there is still disagreement about how to solve the problem.

"As you drill down to who manages the program and how we pay for it and the real specific things, there is less agreement on that and that's where we are going to have to have a lot more conversation," said Beck.

Al Brody said he sat on a stormwater task force between 2005 and 2006. He is no longer on the task force, but he still wants the community's stormwater issues resolved. He said tackling new projects is not the solution.

"Emergency management becomes the key factor and not building and building and building bigger infrastructure to get the water out because 99.9 percent of the time you don't need it, you need it for that one flash flood and it's devastating but it will be devastating to people and property no matter what," said Brody.

The task force will use results from the poll to come up with solutions. Beck said any solution will be approved by voters before moving forward.

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