Apparently undeterred by the failure of Issue 1A during April, during its informal meeting this afternoon, City Council will consider whether to ask the voters to extend the 0.665 mill levy once again come November.
The mill levy originally supported the 1989 bonds which funded Powers Boulevard and the Police Operations Center. Unless renewed by the voters, it will expire Dec. 31, when the bonds will be paid off.
The ballot issue during April would have used the revenue from the tax, about $3 million annually, to support economic development.
However, city staff now is recommending that the money be used for “essential public services” or unfunded capital improvement projects. A list of such projects was compiled by asking each department head to “submit the top three unfunded CIP projects for their department.”
The projects, totaling $121.7 million, ranged from $100,000 in concrete work at various police facilities to $22 million each for two sports complexes.
Council also will consider ways to complete the erosion and sedimentation control work on Pikes Peak, which is estimated to cost about $7.5 million.
For decades, city maintenance practices caused gravel from the unpaved highway to wash into streams and drainage areas. For many years, the city refused to change those practices, finally provoking a lawsuit from the Sierra Club. The lawsuit was settled 10 years ago, requiring the city to pave the highway and build appropriate drainage and ant-sedimentation structures.
The city has no choice but to comply with the terms of the settlement, so a way must be found to finance the remainder of the project.
Options include issuing bonds to be funded by revenue from the lodgers and automobile renters tax (LART), using funds from the 0.665 mill levy or issuing general obligation bonds.
All three options would require voter approval.