The Pueblo Chieftan

City, Pueblo West to spar over Wildhorse project

City Council and the Pueblo West Metropolitan District are headed into district court over the route of the proposed Wildhorse Creek Reuse Pipeline Project.

Pueblo West filed a lawsuit Friday against the city, insisting on a route for the West Side pipeline over the city’s objections.

Council is looking at adopting new land-use authority, commonly called 1041 regulations, to give it more authority over public utilities and pipeline routes — including the Wildhorse Creek pipeline.

Alan Leak, Pueblo West’s water resource engineer, urged council at its work session Monday night not to adopt the proposed land-use regulations, saying that would create another layer of expensive government review for Pueblo West to navigate in building the water-reuse pipeline.

“We started this pipeline project in 2010, long before these (new) regulations were ever considered,” Leak told council.

City Attorney Dan Kogovsek insisted the proposed regulations will give the city greater authority over pipeline and electric transmission line routes, as well as the location of new utilities.

“The only way we will have a seat at the table on these decisions is if we have 1041 regulations,” Kogovsek said.

It was clear the Pueblo West officials believed the city’s proposed regulations were aimed at their water project. The metro district already has received approval from Pueblo County officials for the section of the pipeline that would traverse the county.

But there is a dispute over how the pipeline will cross about 2 miles of city land along Wildhorse Creek. Pueblo West wants the pipeline routed along the west side of the arroyo while the city apparently wants it routed to the east.

“We were told by Pueblo West that the (Wildhorse Creek) pipeline would come into the Arkansas River (at) just about our water treatment plant and the city doesn’t have any say over the water quality,” Kogovsek said.

The new land-use regulations would inject council into the approval process for the Pueblo West project.

Council listened to the debate Monday night and will consider formally adopting the proposed land-use regulations at its Dec. 23 meeting.

proper@chieftain.com

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