Pueblo property owners will see a 35% increase next year in the fees they pay to repair and maintain the aging Arkansas River levee. Construction costs to update the levee are higher because the levee extended deeper into the riverbed than expected.
The fees are determined by whether properties lie in the flood zone, in city limits or in the county, and flood zone properties pay the highest rate, says Kim Kock, project engineer.
"If the levee wasn’t there, they’d have to be buying flood insurance, which is significantly more expensive than what this assessment is," says Kock.
The fee for a $100,000 property in the flood zone will go up by about $37 annually. The district will also obtain ten million dollars in additional financing to finish the project. Construction is expected to begin again in November and take at least two more winter seasons to complete.
Guidelines for painting new murals on the levee are in the works, and grant applications are being filed for a new whitewater park and other recreational infrastructure.