EDITOR’S DESK: Camp Creek meeting – it’s a start

       It's been an interesting October. Last week we were whooping it up over the state revealing that it's finally funding replacements for our two ancient I-25 interchanges (Cimarron and Fillmore). And Oct. 22 we'll be treated to another at-long-last scenario, when the city holds its first public meeting in a process to identify specific flood-mitigation fixes for the Camp Creek drainage.
       Note the obvious distinction. The interchanges have construction money; Camp Creek only has planning funds.
       But at least it's a start. Even during the Stormwater Enterprise years (2007-09), when about $15 million a year was being collected based on home or business runoff amounts and Camp Creek improvements were listed among the city's 24 “critical” needs, the project never got this far.
       There's another distinction too. It may just be semantics, but the project wording then (and now) only talks about Camp Creek's ditch through Pleasant Valley. In fact, despite differences on drainage-control politics and on details with certain projects around the city, the studies by both the Regional Stormwater Task Force and a mayor-directed consultant group agree that the problem is the “31st Street Drainage Way.” As Westside Pioneer readers know, we've asked about this in previous articles and have been assured that engineers are looking at the whole watershed, as much as they can control, which starts way up in the National Forest where the Waldo Canyon Fire raged, leaving us with acres of dead trees and the sadly succint term of “burn area.”
       Of course, nobody who was here in September needed to read our news stories to realize that Camp Creek is quite capable of flooding upstream from Pleasant Valley. This can be seen at the Navigators' Glen Eyrie property (whose just-installed, giant debris nets kept boulders and trees from washing down), the Garden of the Gods (still showing a sediment flood plain even after the Foothills Trail was dug out) and Rock Ledge Ranch (which lost two bridges and still has one closed).
       So one thing I'd like to know, with the preliminary budget for the “31st Street Drainage Way” at $14.4 million: Will that cover any upstream work as well? Oh, and one more. Where will the construction money come from? See you at the meeting.

- K.J.