City to set meeting on how to fix Camp Creek

       A public meeting will be scheduled in a “September/ October time frame” to discuss remedies for the Camp Creek flood plain, City Stormwater Engineering Manager Tim Mitros said this week.
       The meeting will be timed for the initial stages of a new Camp Creek drainage study, which will be starting in September.
       Mitros said he also plans to talk about Camp Creek at the previously scheduled informational city/county flood meeting scheduled Wednesday, July 24 at the Colorado Springs Shrine Hall, 6 S. 33rd St., from 6 to 8 p.m. That meeting has been advertised to focus on Fountain Creek, on which El Paso County has the lead.
       But Camp Creek has flooding concerns of its own, worsened by upstream vegetation losses from the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, and the city has budgeted $8.8 million this year for that drainage, as well as for North and South Douglas creeks.
       Previously, the city's thinking was to wait several months before having a meeting specifically addressing Camp Creek's upgrade possibilities - thus giving the study a chance to get further along. But after consideration, “It's better to have the public involved and to see what they want,” Mitros said in an interview this week. “They may have good alternatives.”
       Because the previous hydrology study is about 50 years old, the city has only been able to conceptualize solutions to this point. In any case, the main goal is protecting the homes near the concrete-lined Camp Creek channel through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood and down to Fountain Creek, Mitros said.
       The current city position, as he described it, is that the channel is undersized, as well as its culverts, but if a large detention pond could be built upstream in the Garden of the Gods that would greatly reduce - or even eliminate - Pleasant Valley's flood plain. He said, the city also wants to replace the concrete waterway, but has no design yet.
       The study will examine the creek's hydrology from its upper reaches down to Fountain Creek, Mitros said. The city had put out a request for proposals to do the study. That period ended last week. Mitros said interviews will be conducted in August, with the selection to be made by the month's end.
       The $8.8 million is coming from a supplemental appropriation from city reserves. Although Camp Creek is slated to receive the lion's share of that amount, Mitros said he thinks that will only be enough to fund part of any potential drainage improvements.
       A few months ago, he had expressed the view that Camp Creek work could begin this winter, but because the Garden of the Gods Master Plan must be revised if construction there is formally proposed, the public process may be lengthy. Mitros said he now believes it is possible that no actual Camp Creek work will occur until after summer 2014.

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