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Utililties project to briefly 'twin' its half-acre water tank off Manitou Boulevard

The current Colorado Springs Utilities water tank off Manitou Boulevard is shown in a recent photo. The new tank is to be built about 200 feet southeast of it, with the old one remaining operational until the new unit is ready.
Westside Pioneer photo
For over 50 years, a 5-million-gallon water tank on a half-acre of land has been visible to passing motorists off a Manitou Boulevard curve, using its elevated site on the Mesa to supply treated water to the residents of southwest Colorado Springs.
       It's about to have a twin.
       That situation won't last, however. By early 2017, when the new tank - built almost right next to it - is expected to be operational, Colorado Springs Utilities plans to disconnect the old structure and tear it down.
       Project details are under review, with consideration by the City Council-appointed Planning Commission expected in January, according to Lonna Thelen of City Land Use Review.
       Because a zone change is also involved, final approval by City Council will be needed.
       Springs Utilities is a city-owned enterprise, providing water, wastewater, gas and electric services.
       The project is expected to have little impact on the public. Steve Berry of Utilities said water quality and rates will not be affected, and other than additional trucks during construction, noticeable traffic impacts are not anticipated.
       “[The] Project design is harmonious with current land use,” reads the Project Statement submitted to
A drawing - part of Colorado Springs Utilities' submittal to the city - shows the location of the planned new water tank a short distance southeast of the current one (which will be removed after the new tank is finished. At lower right, Manitou Boulevard is shown curving by the site. Note about the drawing: North is to the left.
Courtesty of City Land Use Review
the city by the Matrix Design Group on behalf of Utilities.
       The current tank sits on what's known as the Little Mesa Water Tank Site, in the northwest part of an otherwise-open 17 acres that Utilities owns just east of Manitou Boulevard and well south of Uintah Street.
       The Project Statement notes that the place where the new tank will go - about 200 feet southeast of the old tank - is presently leased to the city for future park use, in an area called Little Mesa Open Space Park.
       The zone change requested for the new tank is from Park (PK) to Public Facilities (PF).
       The curb cut at the Manitou Boulevard curve, allowing tank access for Utilities vehicles on a gravel road, will remain where it is. The road itself will be realigned so it leads instead to the new tank, the Project Statement points out.
       Some public trails, allowing access through the open space, will also need to be shifted; “however, this relocation is not significant,” the Project Statement adds.
       After the old tank is gone, that space “will be revegetated,” the Project Statement pledges. “Therefore, installation of the new tank will not significantly decrease the entire property vegetation.”
       In addition, the new site will be landscaped. The replacement tank will have a security fence around it like the current one, Berry said.
       The replacement is needed for several reasons, he explained, including increasing maintenance issues and improvements in such storage facilities since the early 1960s, when the old one was built.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 12/28/15; Projects: Utilities)

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