Voters pass stormwater ballot issue by 66 percent

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Voters passed Ballot Issue 2 in the April 4 General Municipal Election.

The issue, which passed by 66 percent, asked voters whether the City could retain and spend up to $6 million of revenues which exceed amounts otherwise authorized for retention in 2016 and 2017 under the City’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (“TABOR”) requirements, without any increase in taxes.

The funds can only be used for stormwater projects within the City limits and funding is planned for 26 projects.

>> Click here for more information on the projects.

“I’m grateful that city voters have chosen to invest much needed dollars in critical stormwater infrastructure.  This will assist the city to meet legal obligations and improve our ability to mitigate flooding and preserve water quality,” said Mayor John Suthers. “Our citizens’ willingness to address critical public infrastructure issues is a major factor in our city’s economic resurgence.”

The additional funds will be used this year and into 2018 to help the City meet its funding requirements for its stormwater program in accordance with its agreement with Pueblo County while funding community projects.

Under the agreement, the City committed to spend an annual average of $17 million during 2016 to 2020 on stormwater damage infrastructure, maintenance and programs.

Officials say the City has an urgent need for funding for stormwater management, which is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed against Colorado Springs by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The City estimates that the total amount of revenue in excess of the TABOR limit will be between approximately $8 and $9 million.

As a result, the refund after applying $6 million to stormwater projects, will be between approximately $2 million and $3 million.

Voters are expected to receive a one-time refund of around $10 to $16 per household.

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