To the Editor:

Next month, voters in Colorado Springs and El Paso County have an opportunity to set the stage for significant improvements in our transportation and storm drainage infrastructure. As a volunteer on boards dealing with our region’s vital infrastructure, I support both initiatives.

Colorado Springs question 2A asks for approval of a $5 monthly residential charge to fund 71 specific drainage and flood prevention projects. Anyone who has lived in the Springs for more than a few months has seen the impact of strong rains on our current aged, often failing water control systems. Repairing these structures and updating others is essential to prevent future damage and save us money in the long run.

Approval of the ballot item provides dedicated funding to address these shortcomings and helps us address state and federal lawsuits against the city based on past failure to address our drainage infrastructure. They also speak to Colorado Springs’ obligations in our agreement with the city of Pueblo for completion of the Southern Delivery System.

Mayor John Suthers and city leaders have produced a specific project list. Our recent history regarding street repair gives me confidence our money will go where we mean it to go. Opponents will argue this is a “rain tax.”  Nonsense. This is smart investment for the long-term future of our community and our relations with communities downstream. And, it will allow more general fund money to expand public safety forces — both police and fire departments for our general welfare.

At the regional level, the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority is asking us to approve adding Improvement of I-25 between State Highway 105 north to County Line Road to the approved list of PPRTA projects. This is the El Paso County segment of what is known as “The Gap.” Widening I-25 is long overdue for a segment of interstate highway unchanged since it was built a half century ago. Planning is accelerating and this is a step in collaboration along the Front Range to solve an annoying and dangerous problem. And it comes without any tax increase.

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Area voters should look closely at both the city and regional issues. I believe you will see the wisdom of both proposals and will support them in the November ballot.

— James Moore, Colorado Springs

3 COMMENTS

  1. Heath care premiums are going up 30%
    Sales tax went up about 10% to 8.25%
    Strongest economy in years and with it higher tax revenues for our city
    Inflation below 2%
    Salary increases if we are lucky 4%

    The people are being squeezed by rapidly rising expenses for higher taxes and more so health care.

    So why are out public budgets are under so much strain if inflation is low, they got tax increases and with the booming economy tax revenues are rising rapidly?
    easy answer:
    1. retirement cost for our public servants are increasing at a faster clip then revenues as they live longer and they have the luxury (which nobody has in the private sector) to retire as young as in their early 40’s . Solution is to raise the pension age to the same as in the private sector gradually and we would stop the carnage to our budgets.
    2. healthcare costs are not only going up for us the people but as well for our public households so the key is to address the reasons why healthcare is so expensive are huge administrative costs, defensive medicine (testing without reason) and so on..

    but it is always easier to ask us the “sheep” for more money instead of really reforming these cost drivers..

    What needs to be done as a first step is banning all lobbyists, meaningful campaign financing refore which would lead to the politicians listening to us the people instead of listening to the guys who are paying for their election campaigns

  2. From the CSIndy Article about the EPA lawsuit:

    “Specifically, the lawsuit notes the city backed off of requiring detention ponds and other flood-control measures in Cottonwood Creek that would have cost $11.4 million, and instead reduced developers’ fees. But that violates the city’s discharge permit, the lawsuit states. It also notes drainage violations at First & Main adjacent to Powers Boulevard and Flying Horse Pond Filing 26 on the city’s far north side. In addition, the city allowed seven residential developments to be built without requiring stormwater controls, in violation of its discharge permit and its own requirements, the lawsuit says. Moreover, the city didn’t enforce its rules when developers violated the city’s stormwater requirements, according to the suit.

    So…what changes to City Code and to City administrative oversight of developer projects have occurred to prevent the above from happening continuously? Nothing. Lots of pinky promises of increased oversight but absolutely nothing in writing.

    Same thing the EPA is saying: “Unless enjoined, the city’s violations will continue,…”

    So go ahead and throw your money away in response to the hundreds of thousands put forward by the same community that got some sweet deals that resulted in the pickle we’re in. We’ll see how that works out for us.

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