Voters in Colorado Springs and El Paso County voiced their approval in Tuesday’s election to spend money for stormwater, Colorado Springs School District 11 and the widening of Interstate 25.
Ballot issue 2A, which asked voters to agree to a monthly stormwater fee for the next 20 years, passed with 54 percent of the vote. It will provide approximately $17 million annually to fix long-neglected stormwater infrastructure.
Issue 1A passed with 67 percent of the vote. It will allow El Paso County to keep $14.5 million in tax revenue that was considered excess under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. That money will primarily be used to widen I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock, and should make it easier to secure federal funds for the project. That $14.5 million may also be used for parks, trails and open space issues and disaster recovery.
Issue 3E garnered 57 percent of the vote, and will bring approximately $42 million in tax revenue for improvements in D-11, the first time since 2000 that voters approved a tax hike for the district. The property tax will amount to about $7.50 for a $200,000 property.
“Passing 2A was a huge victory in an off-year election when people tend to be naysayers,” said Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman. “I was pleasantly surprised. I was worried it wasn’t going to pass. Now we can relax and not have the pressure on our city’s general fund and take care of other issues.”
The city of Colorado Springs has been sued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Colorado and Pueblo County for failing to properly invest in stormwater infrastructure in compliance with its MS4 permit. Suthers campaigned hard for the passage of 2A, after inheriting the lawsuit when he took office.
The annual fees will be used exclusively for stormwater drainage and flood control projects, including the list of 71 projects identified in the intergovernmental agreement between Pueblo County and Colorado Springs regarding the permit for the Southern Delivery System.