City of Colorado Springs / Commissions & Committees / City/County Drainage Board

Thursday, September 02, 2010




September 2, 2010


The City of Colorado Springs/El Paso County Subdivision Storm Drainage Board held its regularly scheduled meeting at 2:00 PM on September 2, 2010, in the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 107 North Nevada



MEMBERS PRESENT:     Brett Wyss, John Schwab, Ollie Watts, Emily Skalsky, Stephanie Harrison


MEMBERS ABSENT:        Jeff Johnson, Luanne Rubey

OTHERS PRESENT:         Tom Bonifas (City Engineering), Dana Jackson (City of Colorado Springs), Jennifer Irvine (El Paso County), Mary Murray (City Finance), Dan Bare (Stormwater Engineering), Time Mitros (City Engineering), Brian Mihlbachler (US Fish and Wildlife), Tara McGowan (CSU), Harold Franson (CSU), Adam Baker (CSU), Kevin Collins (TCA), Kyle Campbell (Classic Consulting), Gary Erickson (Northgate), Bob Yoo (ECE), Fred Williams (USAF Academy)


Meeting called to order by Brett Wyss at 2:12 p.m.


Item 1:  Approval of the minutes from the August 5, 2010 Drainage Board Meeting 


Motion by Emily Skalsky to approve the minutes

Motion was seconded by John Schwab


Motion passed unanimously 4-0


Jeff Johnson was not present.

Luanne Rubey was not present.

Stephanie Harrison was not present for this item.


Item 2:  Discussion of September 2, 2010 agenda


Tom Bonifas advised the Board that City Council has a special meeting in the chambers at 4:00 so everyone will need to be aware of the time frame.


Item 3:  Monument Branch Basin (Flying Horse Development) Closure


Brett Wyss disclosed that he works for Integrity Bank and Trust and Gary Erickson with Northgate sits on the bank?s board of directors.


Dan Bare explained the changes that the addendum covers. In the staff write-up the recommendation was divided into two areas: existing conditions and future conditions. The future conditions are the same but the existing channel conditions and proposed resolution has been condensed into the first item. Specifically the change on item 1 is that there was no formal execution of an agreement between the parties, there was a little less detail on item 2, and the timeframe is not spelled out specifically on item 3. These all have been condensed into item 1.

John Schwab wanted to clarify if Northgate Properties is taking responsibility for the implementation of the improvements. Dan Bare stated that was his understanding but he will let the applicant speak on the details.


Jennifer Irvine with El Paso County stated a concern for staff to consider: what if the development did not move forward and CDOT received funds to move forward with the North Powers extension before the development did.  She wanted to be sure that CDOT was not responsible for finishing this development. Dan Bare suggested that the applicant have more detail on this aspect.


Kyle Campbell with Classic Consulting who is representing Pulpit Rock Investments which is the owner of Flying Horse and Northgate Properties gave a brief presentation on closing the Monument Branch Basin for Flying Horse. They are asking for the closure of the basin.


John Schwab wanted clarification if the fees have been paid. Mr. Campbell stated that those fees were not paid in Flying Horse; they were offset by the infrastructure either in the process of being constructed or already constructed. He stated that it had a lot to do with how things were handled in the past and it was identified in the drainage reports which specified that this particular subdivision had a particular drainage infrastructure obligation with fees associated. They were to install the infrastructure and therefore the fees were not required. This is not a typical situation. The closing of the basin would have everyone pay for their own items and alleviate the burden to City Staff and the applicant in regards to maintaining the fee program in this area.


Mr. Campbell addressed Jennifer Irvine?s question about CDOT?s responsibility. Mr. Campbell explained that no matter who owns the property or what becomes of the property in that area, the property owners would still be responsible for the obligations in the area.


Emily Skalsky wanted clarification on the September 1st memo that states reaches five and eight will immediately be dealt with for the head cutting conditions but during the presentation it stated five and nine. Mr. Campbell clarified which reaches were correct.


John Schwab asked who the owners were of five and nine. Mr. Campbell referred back to the presentation and stated that there are several owners. The area downstream of Voyager Parkway was deeded to the City as a mouse mitigation area and dedicated as open space. The DBPS is calling for improvements but there is also the Prebles Meadow Jumping Mouse issue to consider that limits what can be done in that area. After a meeting with the Fish and Wildlife organization, there might be a possibility of adjusting the requirements for the mouse due to continued erosion in that area. The Air Force Academy (AFA) has criteria along their property boarder that must be followed and Flying Horse also adopted that same criteria. Because of this, some of the concerns regarding downstream flow have been addressed with the improvements completed upstream. As part of the agreement, Northgate has agreed to reexamine the basin and the existing upstream facilities and infrastructures will be remodeled in order to come up with new flow rates.


Ollie Watts asked if Northgate has signed up for all of the improvements and the short term erosion fixes. Mr. Campbell stated that is the conditions that were noted on the September 1st memo.


Kevin Collins with TCA stated their interest in this issue is that they are downstream of the area that could be impacting and some of the head cutting is on their property. Their main concerns are what the short term solutions would be in terms of the cost. Some of those short term issues need to be fixed fairly quickly. In 2008, TCA had that area in very good condition and all considerations with the mouse have been taken into account. They have already spent $40,000 and they want to be sure that all aspects of the approach have been considered and will be taken care of. In 2009, this area has started to deteriorate and so their main concern is the cost and what will it really take to do what needs to be done. Mr. Campbell stated that in a meeting with the City, they had outlined about $100,000 of improvements which was focused on the sanitary sewer crossing. The scope has expanded to include reach five and eight. To the south, there are other areas that will be looked at as well.


Stephanie Harrison arrived to the meeting.


Brian Mihlbachler with the Fish and Wildlife and the Natural Resource Manager for the Air Force Academy spoke mainly for the AFA wanted to speak on the ecological aspect of the project. Mr. Mihlbachler showed several pictures of the impacts the AFA is observing through the area. These areas included pictures of Monument Creek to show that the watershed is degrading rapidly. The AFA is losing resources and the ability to do anything about the improvements needed. They are currently drafting a letter to the Mayor to discuss their position.


Ollie Watts asked what the criteria for the design flow were when they installed the facilities. Fred Williams was not sure. They used Matrix design group and was not sure what the design criteria was. Mr. Watts also wanted to know who was responsible to provide protection for the out falling channels. Mr. Mihlbachler stated that when they were designing they were aware that they were at risk and did not have control of the upstream flow. They underestimated the amount of sediment coming down which tore apart the erosion blanket. He also stated that this is getting very expensive and they have been attempting to correct these issues and no one in the upper basins is willing to make improvements. Brian Mihlbachler stated that he is opposed to this closure because if the money is there to make the improvements then that would mean the need for improvement has been recognized.


Dan Bare stated that there have been closures in the past but there is no formal procedure to close a basin. The developers have complied with the City standards and have gone above and beyond what needs to be but it still is not enough as far as the volume. This has been a case study on how to improve the procedure in the future.


Ollie Watts wanted clarification that if what the AFA has specified in their criteria regarding a series of historic peak flows along the AFA boundary lines for all the DBPS to comply with has been met, everything the developers have done has followed that criteria. Tim Mitros says that is has been a change in criteria over the years. When the flows continue to cause issues for Academy, they request a change in policy. The City is working to update the current Drainage Criteria Manual that will hopefully address several issues in this area. The criteria manual discusses more on peak flow but the problem in this area seems to be volume.


Brett Wyss wanted to clarify both scenarios: one keeping the basin open for fees and the other to close the basin. First question, will both scenarios have all the necessary infrastructures built to meet the DBPS? Mr. Mitros stated that theoretically, yes, that is what should happen.




Harold Franson from Colorado Springs Utilities stated that Utilities is moving forward to address the issue outside of the Drainage Basin Fee process regarding the sanitary sewer crossing in the area. They will be spending about $100,000 for this part. Mr. Wyss recommended getting in touch with Northgate Properties to coordinate efforts.

Gary Erickson with Northgate Properties wanted to mention that the area that they purchased six year ago had a very well maintained and built basin and over the years the flows have washed out and the City has no money to stop it and it gets worse every year. They are stepping forward to come up with a solution to make it a better asset for the City.


Cam McNair, City Engineer, stated that the City is concerned about what is happening in the area and this becomes a financial decision regarding the fees and reimbursements. It creates revenue if the basin is closed and allows Northgate to work with Utilities and begin working on the fixes needed in this area. The City feels the best way to proceed is to close the basin, release the fees, and let the improvements begin.




John Schwab is in agreement with staffs recommendations.


Emily Skalsky is also in agreement with staff recommendations. Also suggests a visit to the AFA site and continue working with them.


Ollie Watts supports the staff recommendations.


Motion by Brett Wyss to recommend to City Council that the applicants request to close the Monument Branch Drainage Basin to discontinue assessing basin and pond fees and disbursing the remaining fund balances be approved with the conditions as recommended and stated in the September 1, 2010 memo to the Drainage Board meeting from City Engineering.

Motion was seconded by John Schwab



Motion passed unanimously 5-0


Item 4: Housekeeping


Dan Bare advised the Drainage Board that a work session regarding the Drainage Basin Fee Study has been set for October 7th in the Pikes Peak Room at City Hall. This may be in lieu of the meeting if necessary. The meeting will be more of an informal meeting and reconvene if formal action needs to act on by the Board.


Tom Bonifas suggested emailing packets to the Board members to save on administrative costs and receive the packets sooner.  The Board members agreed. This will begin for the next meeting.




No further business

Meeting adjourned at 3:34 p.m.