Drainage project could hit a snag


A $3.6 million project to improve drainage on Fountain Creek on the city's west side and keep mine tailings from Gold Hill Mesa out of the water is in jeopardy, caught between competing visions for the creek.

Should the creek be as natural as possible, capable of supporting a healthy fish population, or should it be an urban drainage channel, funneling water downstream as quickly as possible?

City officials say if they can't soon reach a consensus with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which must issue a permit, the project may not happen.

The local chapter of Trout Unlimited, a conservation group that works to restore waterways, last week issued a news release objecting to the project. The group had been working with the Stormwater Enterprise on its design.

The DOW and Trout Unlimited have asked the city to not grout the boulders in the rip-rap, keep the creek narrower, deeper with more curves and bends, and to remove from the plan some of the cross-creek barriers.