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TABOR waiver for stormwater among 3 ballot requests in April 4 city election

      
A storm drain for part of the older Westside comes down 10th Street (upper-middle in the photo, north of the Chief Petroleum building), goes under Highway 24 and spills into Fountain Creek, according to City Engineering. This photo (looking north) was taken from a vantage point on the Rockies RV Resort property above Garner Street (foreground). The replacement of that drain and others in its immediate vicinity are part of a project list accompanying the city's Issue 2 ballot request in the April 4 election.
Westside Pioneer photo
Colorado Springs City Council has placed three items on the ballot for the April 4 election.
       Issue 2 involves public money - a request that voters let the city keep $6 million above the “fiscal year revenue and spending limitations” for property tax income from each of the years 2016 and 2017.
       Any amount over that would be returned to taxpayers, as required under the TABOR law, states the council resolution that approved the request.
       It also states that the city-kept funds “will be used solely for stormwater projects.”
       Council's resolution of approval references an “Exhibit A,” which lists 26 projects. They would be in addition to other stormwater projects already scheduled by the city, according to Brian Kelley, a city engineer.
       Aging storm drains on Westside identified
       One project listed in Exhibit A list is proposed on the Westside. It has the title “CS-355.” Kelley said two aging stormwater sections need replacement.
       One section carries runoff south one block on 12th, from Colorado to Cucharras; two blocks east on Cucharras, from 12th to 10th; and south on 10th, continuing to the outfall into Fountain Creek.
       The other city-identified section needing replacement goes south one block on 11th, from Colorado to Cucharras.
       The estimated cost for CS-355 is $985,000. Kelley said the project need has been identified by city engineers since 1975.
       Ballot Issues 1 and 3
       The other two ballot issues are:
       - Issue 1 - A proposal to require a 60 percent vote of citizens (instead of the current 50 percent) should a ballot issue ever propose selling any or all of the city-owned utilities system.
       The intent, according to Colorado Springs Utilities communications manager Mark Murphy, is to “necessitate a much more robust community discussion in order to build the consensus needed to pass. It will also protect citizen-owners and customers by ensuring that their voices are heard concerning their ownership of their vital community asset.”
       - Issue 3 - A proposal to give Colorado Springs the authority to coordinate with service providers to offer high-speed Internet, cable television and telecommunication services.
       A similar proposal was approved by El Paso County voters last November. Otherwise, as the county had been before, Colorado Springs would remain restricted by an outdated state statute, the council resolution asserts.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/13/17; Politics: City/County)

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