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

Thursday, December 01, 2011

December 1, 2011

The City of Colorado Springs/El Paso County Drainage Board held its regular meeting at 3:00 PM
on December 1, 2011, in the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 107 North Nevada Avenue.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Jeff Johnson, Ollie Watts, Emily Skalsky, Kim Wright, John Schwab, Ken Bailey


OTHERS PRESENT: Tom Bonifas (City Engineering), Cheryl Callahan (City of Colorado Springs), Jennifer Irvine (El Paso County), Mary Murray (City Finance), Elizabeth Nijkamp (EDRD), Brian Kelley (City Engineering), Dan Bare (Stormwater), Robert Mack (City Attorney’s Office), Tom Taylor (HBA), Terry Schooler (Woodmen Heights Metro District)

Meeting called to order by Jeff Johnson at 3:09 p.m.

Item 1: Approval of the minutes from the November 3, 2011 Drainage Board Meeting

Kim Wright was absent for this item.

Motion by Ollie Watts to approve the minutes
Motion was seconded by John Schwab

Motion passed unanimously 5-0

Item 2: Discussion of the December 1, 2011 agenda

Tom Bonifas informed the Board that Items 8 and 9 will be moved in front of Item 5.
No other changes.

Item 3: Code of Ethics Presentation

Robert Mack from the City Attorney’s office presented the Annual Code of Ethics training to the Drainage Board Members. Kim Wright was absent for this item.

Item 4: Sand Creek Drainage Basin Fee Increase and Reimbursement Request

Tom Bonifas explained to the Board that this item is to be considered as two parts: 4A and 4B.

This is a request for an adjustment to the Sand Creek Drainage Basin fee to include facilities that weren’t included in the current Sand Creek DBPS (Drainage Basin Planning Study) that was completed in 1996. These facilities relate to the improvements in the Woodmen Heights master plan. When Woodmen Heights was annexed and the MDDP (Master Development Drainage Plan) was completed, it included a substantial amount of public reimbursable facilities including several ponds. During this time, city staff did not recommend an adjustment to the Sand Creek DBPS based on the cost estimates in the MDDP, it made more sense to wait until those facilities were built and the actual costs were submitted. At that time, a request would go to the Drainage Board for approval for an adjustment to the DBPS to include those facilities. This process would be more accurate to wait for actual costs instead of using estimates.

The facilities being presented today are facilities built along Vollmer Road that was requirements of the first filings: Forest Meadow Filing 1 and 3. Part A is a request to increase the Sand Creek Drainage Basin fee by $85 per acre which would increase the fee to a total of $9,717 per acre. Part B is the request for the reimbursement of $761,700.00 for the specific facilities.

John Schwab asked for justification for including the facilities as reimbursable. Elizabeth Nijkamp explained that these facilities run through the intersection of Black Forest Road and Vollmer Road (East up Vollmer and then up to Cowpoke Road). She showed a map to the Board showing the systems and where they are located and the size of the pipes. Pipe sizes are 42” or large which is required. The facilities are shown as reimbursable based on the filings and the DBPS. It just has not been brought forward for the Board before.

Motion by Ollie Watts to approve 4A: to increase the Sand Creek Basin Fee by $85 per acre for a total of $$9,717.00 per acre
Motion was seconded by Emily Skalsky

Motion passed unanimously 6-0

Motion by John Schwab to approve 4B: a reimbursement to Woodmen Heights Metropolitan District in the amount of $761,700.00
Motion was seconded by Ollie Watts

Motion passed unanimously 6-0

Item 8: Drainage Criteria Manual Update

Dan Bare updated the board members on the status of the Drainage Criteria Manual. The update included highlights of changes to chapters 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9. A significant change is in the management policy in chapter 3: Requires detention storage to be provided for all new development and redevelopment to reduce flows to undeveloped condition rates up to the major storm event (100 year) unless allowed by a variance or approved master plan.

Ollie Watts asked if this new requirement will require detention if there is an existing DBPS (Drainage Basin Planning Study) that doesn’t require detention. Mr. Bare stated that there still needs to be a discussion on how these new standards will be implemented. There may be general provisions that would allow for the previous approval to stand but at some point the new standards will need to be implemented. Mr. Watts mentioned that in the 40 years that he has been in the business, detention has not been a requirement unless it is an unusual situation. Mr. Bare pointed out that detention had also been required if the Master Plan required it. He further explained that this will also help reduce costs. Mr. Watts continued to argue that most the major basins such as Douglas Creek and Templeton Gap do not require detention and Sand Creek only requires it because they have downstream constrictions. Dan Bare explained that this is one of the major changes to the Drainage Criteria Manual and has gone through the review process, the issues groups, technical leadership team, executive leadership team and this new requirement has been a recommendation for the last year. Mr. Watts was also concerned that they are now only hearing about this requirement. Mr. Bare stated that this has been part of the updates that have been given to the Board when updates were available.

Ken Bailey wanted to know where the cost benefits are realized. Dan Bare informed the Board that this recommendation came about due to the work that has been done on Jimmy Camp Creek. While doing the DBPS for this area, they looked at the regional concept for detention and sub-regional full spectrum concept and it was shown that if you put the detention storage higher up in the basin, you are collecting smaller areas and the flows are reduced at that point instead of conveying the flows miles downstream to a regional pond. This shows a cost savings because the ponds themselves do not cost a lot and can be put up against a roadway embankment which does not have a high cost. The channel from that point on down will cost a lot less because you do not have to convey the fully developed flows. Ollie Watts stated that there will have to be many revisions to many DBPS’ to institute the new standards. Mr. Bare explained that if a new study is started, these requirements will then be put into the new study but for the current studies, a decision will have to be made on how to implement the new requirements.

Ken Bailey wanted to clarify that what this new requirement will do is require several smaller ponds instead of a one large pond. Dan Bare further explained that this is the thought behind the requirement and that the smaller ponds will reduce flows even more than one large pond and can easily fit the project better. This will also eliminate the need for larger land acquisitions to create the regional ponds.

Emily Skalsky asked for a time frame on the manual. Dan Bare said they are target for Volume 1 is May.

Item 9: Cottonwood Creek DBPS Update

Dan Bare updated the Drainage Board members on the Cottonwood Creek DBPS. A final version is close to completion.

John Schwab asked if there were any further discussions about stormwater capital improvement funding. Mr. Bare said there have been some preliminary discussions but nothing formal at this time.

Item 5: 2012 Drainage Basin Fees

Tom Bonifas informed the Board that there has not been a fee increase since 2009. To determine if a fee increase is necessary, the analysis begins by reviewing the previous year and trying to adjust to the current year by projecting forward. The last couple of years did not indicate a need for any adjustments given the economy at the time and other variables. After reviewing cost indicators such as CDOT’s construction costs, Denver, Boulder, CPI, Engineering News Record and a few other economic indicators it was discovered that there was more of an inflationary increase in 2011 than what was anticipated. This was due to increases to petroleum and fuel costs. In 2011 there was actually a 4% increase throughout the year. Reviewing some of the same indicators in predicting 2012 costs, there is another 2% increase estimated. After reviewing all the information and given the fact that an increase has not happened since 2009, staff believes it is reasonable to request the 6% increase for 2012 Drainage Basin Fees.

Ollie Watts believes the 6% increase is justified and more than that is necessary. Tom Bonifas stated that he has discussed this with Council and it is not equitable or fair to do a large increase across the board when different basins are in different financial status. What needs to be done is to review the drainage basin planning studies and adjust the fees at that time for those more active basins.

Jennifer Irvine with El Paso County reviewed this information and agrees with City Staff that a 6% increase is relevant. The county will be taking this recommendation to the County Commissioners for the County fees.

Jeff Johnson wanted to know which basins would most likely need to be reviewed. Tom Bonifas suggested that Cottonwood Creek, Sand Creek, Templeton Gap, and Peterson be put at the top of this list to be reviewed if possible.

Motion by Ollie Watts for the Drainage Board to accept a 6% increase for all drainage, bridge, and detention pond facility fees
Motion was seconded by John Schwab

Motion passed unanimously 6-0

Item 6: 2012 Drainage Board Budget

Tom Bonifas advised the Board that there is an operating budget the administration costs of the Drainage Board. As in years past, the request is for the same amount of $1,000.

Motion by Emily Skalsky to approve the 2012 Drainage Board budget
Motion was seconded by Kim Wright

Motion passed unanimously 6-0

Item 7: Acreage Platted by Basin for 2011

Tom Bonifas informed the Drainage Board that they will begin incorporating this report into the quarterly financial reports that Mary Murray presents to the Board. The Board was presented with a list of platted acreage for 2011.

Item 10: Housekeeping

Tom Bonifas included the contact information list for all the Board members to review and update if needed.

There will be an annual meeting on January 5, 2012 and at that time a new chair and vice-chair will be elected.

Jennifer Irvine reported that the County is continuing the update to the Falcon Drainage Basin Planning Study. The County will have their next meeting in the first quarter in 2012.

No further business
Meeting adjourned at 4:31 p.m.