COLORADO SPRINGS — Standing on cushions in a hidden-away room in Phantom Canyon, a local brewery, Mayor John Suthers celebrated Election Night 2019 and thanked voters for passing 2C and 2B.
“We could not solve this problem without the help of the voters,” he said, “anyone who says otherwise is dead wrong.”
The ‘problem’ was a multi-million-dollar backlog of road infrastructure improvements in Colorado Springs in Suther’s first term in 2015. 2C was proposed as a response to that problem, and it passed.
The work the City Public Works Department has completed since, Suthers believes, is better than any campaign speech he could have given.
“They’ve been out there fixing these roads, the citizens can see it. They can see the progress we’ve made. We’ve done it on time and on budget, and obviously, they’re very supportive, as shown by the results tonight.”
Voters agreed to fund the 2C sales tax through 2025, at a lower rate, that is projected to bring in more money. Suthers says that’s because public investment has spurred “billions” of dollars of private investment.
“We are solving the city’s infrastructure problems in Colorado Springs,” Suthers said, “I really, really feel good about the investment voters have made with 2B.”
‘Yes’ on 2B allows the city to retain around $7 million in excess revenue. Voters decided to forgo their refund, estimated at $31 a household, to fund specific park projects in the city.
Suthers says, there are a few master plans nearing completion for some of those parks, and actual construction should begin soon, though he couldn’t nail down a specific timeline on election night.
“We fashioned 2B, so half the money is going to Palmer Legacy Parks,” he said.
Those are parks donated to the city from its founder, General William Palmer.
A list of the exact parks was given in the text of the ballot initiative. For 2C, the city provided a website to show which streets would be affected.
“The citizens, if they wanted to, could go and see a list of every street that would be involved in the 2C renewal.” Suthers said, “They could see whether their street is there.”
The next round of 2C projects will begin in 2021.