NOREEN: Springs residents still owe $406,000 in stormwater fees

April 4, 2013
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Remember the unpopular Colorado Springs stormwater enterprise killed by voters in 2009?

Reader Michael Beasley sure does, and he wanted to know, “Are people having to pay their delinquent accounts? I paid mine. What about a refund?”

City spokeswoman Julie Smith passed on the answers from the city finance department.

“By far the majority of outstanding fees were paid either directly to the city or paid through the El Paso County treasurer to the city after they were certified to the treasurer and included on the property tax bills.”

More than three years after voters killed the stormwater enterprise, City Hall says, “Less than 1 percent remains outstanding — approximately $406,000 from 4,000 accounts. Most of the accounts outstanding have balances of less than $20. The amounts outstanding are still owed to the city. The city’s collection agency is still pursuing collection on a number of accounts.”

Well, 1 percent may not be much, but $406,000 is enough for a weekend in Manitou.

And Mr. Beasley, you probably already knew the answer to the question about whether you and the rest of us who paid our fees can get a refund.

“Refunds are not available,” Smith’s email succinctly stated.

Reader Eddie K. Osbourne wanted to know, “What needs to happen in order for the traffic lights in Colorado Springs to recognize motorcycles? It’s very frustrating to sit in a left turn lane and not get the arrow unless there happens to be a full sized vehicle either beside you or behind you.”

Rob Helt of the city’s Traffic Engineering Department replied, “Traffic signals are controlled by video cameras which should have no problem registering bicycles or motorcycles.”

Helt explained that the intersections have “video detection zones” and that “a motorcycle or bicycle within these zones will be detected by the detection and the controller will service the left turn at the appropriate time of the traffic signal cycle. A small vehicle or motorcycle can be small enough to move forward of the stop bar. The stop bar is the heavy white line across the roadway that vehicles must stop behind. If a stop bar is not present, the detection is placed behind where the sidewalks would form a line for pedestrians to cross the intersection. If a motorcycle is not triggering the light, it is generally because they are not stopped in the zone.”

Hear Barry Noreen on 
KRDO NewsRadio 105.5 FM and 1240 AM at 6:35 a.m. Fridays. Contact him at 636-0363 or


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