County commission wants federal help for storm water costs
Mesa County commissioners are asking the federal government to help local governments pay the tab for storm water damage mitigation and monitoring.
Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution Monday asking the federal government to take financial responsibility for storm water that flows from federal lands onto other land, potentially causing damage.
Federal regulations in many cases require local government entities to absorb costs associated with construction, maintenance, treatment and cleanup geared toward storm water cleanliness and damage mitigation. The resolution seeks federal support with those efforts because “a significant portion” of storm water problems in Mesa County are associated with unrestricted storm water flowing from federal lands onto other property.
“The purpose is to call the federal government to the ropes,” Julie Constan with the county’s Public Works Department told commissioners. “We’d like to have more of their active participation with the storm water management issues we do deal with, especially with storm water that comes off of federal lands.”
The resolution has been passed by the town of Palisade, the cities of Fruita and Grand Junction, the 5-2-1 Drainage Authority and the Grand Valley Drainage District as well.Constan said it will likely be reviewed by state legislators this year. The goal is to get Congress to read the resolution and act on it.
Specifically, the resolution requests federal assistance with the cost of conducting studies to determine which construction projects or repairs should be done and in what order when it comes to storm water that falls on federal lands. The resolution also seeks establishment of a program that would provide “timely financial assistance or reimbursement” to local governments for construction of flood detention or retention facilities and federally mandated storm water monitoring, analysis and treatment.
“I think it’s a great step in the right direction,” Commissioner Rose Pugliese said.