Info capsules on 4 ballot questions facing Westsiders in Nov. 7 electionOct. 29, 2017
Westside voters will get to decide on four ballot issues/questions in the Nov. 7 election.
Capsules on each follow:
Request: Keep excess property tax revenue from 2016 (about $14.6 million).
Purpose: Contribute to cost of future state/federal widening of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock (the “gap”); “disaster recovery projects,” parks, trails and open space.
Note: Other than I-25, ballot identifies no specific projects/locations, although county officials have said that “disaster” encompasses fire/flood-caused stormwater and road needs.
Request: Charge stormwater fees on “all developed real property” - $5 for residential; $30 per acre for all others.
Purpose: Establish enterprise to implement stormwater upgrades from 2018 to 2038.
Notes: Ballot allows future fee increases, but “only to the extent required to comply” with any court orders, federal or state permits or laws and intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) before June 1, 2016. The city's IGA with Pueblo County, which meets that definition, includes a list of locations with flooding issues affecting Fountain Creek. One of those is Camp Creek through the Westside's Pleasant Valley neighborhood… The ballot also requires “citizen advisory committee oversight.”
Request: A mill levy override, increasing property taxes to bring in $42 million a year.
Purpose: Make possible higher pay for teachers and staff; upgrades to existing schools; expanded technology capabilities for students; a school resource officer (police officer) at every middle school; more school counselors, nurses, psychologists and social workers; and paying off the district's debt.
Notes: This is a permanent tax… A “citizens oversight committee” must “annually review and report to the public on the use of funds”… No list of school projects appears in the ballot question, but tentative plans, according to district officials, include a major renovation of West Middle/Elementary by the early 2020s… According to D-11, a house valued at $250,000 would see a tax increase of about $18 a month initially; this would drop to less than $7 once the debt is paid off in 2024.
Request: Amend the list of RTA projects to include I-25's Highway 105/County Line gap segment “in an amount not to exceed” $10 million.
Purpose: Contribute to cost of future state/federal widening of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock (the “gap”).
Notes: The PPRTA board consists of elected officials from participating governments in El Paso County (including Colorado Springs). In 2012, voters in those governments approved a prioritized list of transportation projects from 2015 to 2024. This measure would be added to the list, with a high priority, whenever work is ready to start… PPRTA funding comes from a 1-cent sales tax, which would not change.
Westside Pioneer article