Prospect Lake Plans

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Prospect Lake used to be a favorite swimming and fishing hole. That is, until a leak caused the city to drain it. So what's the plan for the lake's future? That's what the Colorado Springs City Council discussed in a meeting on Monday.

The council would like to see the lake return to its regular size, 51 acres. Although no official decision was made at the meeting that is what Mayor Lionel Rivera asked the Parks Department to consider.

The Poe family loves Prospect Lake. They picnic here, and use the trail around it. "I would like to see them fill it up to where it was originally," says Jim Poe.

But relining the lake and filling it again will cost an estimated $2 million. "I don't know. It seems like an awful lot of money," said Poe.

On Monday afternoon, the city's parks director, Paul Butcher, presented several options for the lake to council. They range from doing nothing but continuing to pump it, all the way to cutting back on the size of the lake and putting in an arboretum. But putting in more park are is more expensive than making the lake as big as it use to be, according to Butcher.

In order to fix it, the entire lake would need to be lined with a stretchy material---much like the inner tube of a bike tire. "The advantage of a liner is that is has a great bit of elasticity. If there’s a bottom contour change, it would stretch, not rip or tear," says Butcher.

Late Monday afternoon, the mayor asked Butcher and his staff to look into a schedule for repairs and a more definite dollar cost based on the full 51-acre lake plan. Paying for the project is another problem. It could come out of a TABOR refund or a loan from the city or Colorado Springs Utilities.