“The Denver City Council is about to decide whether to build a huge flood-control project in Denver with a significant hike to sewer service prices.
If the city’s leaders say yes (UPDATE: They did.), the average Denver utility customer will see their combined sewer-stormwater bills increase by more than $20 each year between now and 2020. At the end of that period, the typical homeowner would be paying $435.99 a year compared to $320.28 today. About a quarter of the money would pay to reshape parts of north Denver with an artificial stream bed, buried pipes and flood-stopping ponds.
That project, called Platte to Park Hill, has come under intense public scrutiny lately, in part because its infrastructure runs through neighborhoods that have long dealt with the worst side-effects of Denver’s industry and development.
It’s an immensely complicated project, but we’ve tried here to address the most common questions: Who’s it going to benefit, is it really necessary, and how will it affect the people who live near it?
What problem is Platte to Park Hill trying to solve?
When it rains in north Denver, the water that accumulates on the ground has to flow downhill to the South Platte River. In one particular part of north Denver, in the geographic drainage basins of Montclair and Park Hill, the water doesn’t have many ways escape.
Development in the basins has covered over the natural streams and routes that rainfall takes down to the South Platte. In the places closest to the river, the heaviest storms might instead send water flooding into streets and basements — and, as it happens, into the intensive transportation and development projects popping up south of the South Platte River.”
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Kenney, Andrew. Denverite 13 June 2016.