Plan Aims To Inject Opportunity Into South Pueblo’s Colorado Smelter Superfund Site

November 19, 2020
The Eiler's Place Bar has been in the same family for more than 80 years and has been a popular neighborhood hangout.The Eiler's Place Bar has been in the same family for more than 80 years and has been a popular neighborhood hangout.Courtesy of Shanna Lewis
The Eiler's Place Bar has been in the same family for more than 80 years and has been a popular neighborhood hangout.

A plan is underway to bring new life to south Pueblo residential and commercial areas affected by the Colorado Smelter Superfund project. The revitalization, a collaboration with federal, state and local agencies, is based on community input and has been in the works for about five years.

The primary goals are to create connectivity and highlight cultural heritage, build thriving neighborhoods and grow vibrant business districts.

Event spaces, trails and bike paths — along with increasing affordable housing and improving key business corridors — are among the projects called for in the plan.

“What we would like to do in this process is try to determine the projects that would be more likely to move forward if there was funding more immediately available,” said Pueblo City planning director Scott Hobson.

Along with the availability of funding, he said they’ll prioritize how the plan gets implemented using other variables too. One of the initial projects is likely to be a designated history and art walk because a local coalition, known by the acronym BEGIN, has already started work on it.

“There are some projects that are more ready to go than others,” Hobson said. “Some projects may take some planning. Some projects may take other things to come together before those things can move forward.”

A potential delay in clean up at a portion of the Superfund site, due to possible federal funding cuts in 2021, may affect some of the revitalization projects.