In Case You Missed It
Boulderganic Fall 2009
Student Guide 2009
Boulder Weekly Sweet 16 Anniversary
Summer Scene 2009
Best of Boulder 2009
Annual Manual 2009
Newspaper of the Future
Kids Camp Guide 2009
Wedding Marketplace 09
Student Guide 2008
Best of Boulder 2008
Annual Manual 2008
Join Our Mailing List
|October 16-22, 2008
East Boulder County ballot issue endorsements
City of Lafayette Ballot Issue 2A
Mill levy increase to improve and maintain
The City of Lafayette is proposing a property tax increase in order to maintain its current level of ambulance service and enhance its fire service. The property tax will increase by no more than 4.5 mills, with an increase of $1,540,209 in the 2009 fiscal year.
As it stands, the staff of the Lafayette Fire Department (LFD) consists of both paid employees and volunteers. The LFD would like to increase the number of paid firefighters so that they do not have to rely on volunteers, with the purpose of enhancing fire response time. If Ballot Issue 2A is passed, funds will aid in this staff recruitment and other operating and capital expenses for the LFD.
Lafayette has grown considerably in the past two decades. Its fire-fighting capacity needs to grow, as well. Vote YES on City of Lafayette Ballot Issue 2A.
City of Lafayette Ballot Issue 2B
There are current plans for a hotel to be built in Lafayette’s SoLa development, north of Exempla Good Samaritan Hospital. Ballot Issue 2B seeks to raise money by imposing a lodging tax on visitors who stay in hotels and motels within the city. If the ballot issue passes, a fee will be added to the bill of any short-term lodger. Short-term lodgers are considered visitors who stay in the City of Lafayette for 30 days or less. The fee will amount to 2 percent of the price paid for lodging. The revenue collected from these lodging fees will go to the City of Lafayette’s general fund to defer the expense of general municipal services to the city.
Although there is something inherently unfair about taxing visitors to pay for services they don’t really use, it’s also hard for cities to find the funding they need. With limited options for bringing money into city coffers, most cities have exercised this option. Boulder Weekly has no objection to Lafayette doing the same. Vote YES on City of Lafayette Ballot Issue 2B.
City of Longmont Ballot Question 2A
Giving the right to unionize to police and
If approved, 2A would provide all full-time sworn police officers who are at or below the rank of Sergeant to organize and collectively bargain with the City of Longmont. It would allow the same union rights to full-time community service officers as will as police service technicians and dispatchers, full-time firefighters and fire department supervisors. All of the affected employees would have the right to enter into cooperative agreements on wages, benefits and working conditions. Employees of the police and fire departments, under the provision, wouldn’t be permitted to strike or take part in a work stoppage. Though it wouldn’t require them to join a union, 2A would require non-union employees to pay a portion of the costs associated with negotiating labor contracts each year.
Opponents say that these city employees don’t need a union because they already have good benefits and make good money. But proponents claim that those aren’t the issues they are concerned about. They say that the measure would level the playing field and give police and fire employees a voice when it comes to their sometimes life-threatening working conditions. And they’re right. How many of us risk our lives at our dayjobs? Not many. But police officers and firefighters are available to save our lives — at the risk of losing their own — every single day. They should be able to organize and take their special concerns to the city if need be. Vote YES on Longmont Ballot Question 2A.
City of Louisville Ballot Issue 2A
Sales tax increase for historical preservation
If Ballot Issue 2A passes, it would raise sales taxes an additional one-eighth of 1 percent in the city of Louisville. For example, on a $1,000 purchase, a buyer would pay an additional $1.25 in sales tax. The money would be used to preserve the character of the Louisville downtown area. Ballot Issue 2A would provide incentives to preserve historic buildings that qualify for listing on the Louisville Register of Historic Places. For buildings that do not qualify as historic landmarks, 2A would provide incentives for owners to maintain the size and scale of the current buildings so that Louisville will retain its small, old-time character. It’s important to note that 2A would not force owners to make decisions on how to redevelop their property; it would merely provide incentives to encourage owners to maintain the current size and scale of their buildings. It is a voluntary program.
Currently, PreserveLouisville.org has come out in support of Ballot Issue 2A. Some individual citizens have expressed concerns over raising sales taxes but no organized group has come out in opposition to 2A.
What looks like just another old building to our eyes will seem charming and special to our grandchildren. History is worth preserving. Vote YES on Louisville Ballot Issue 2A.
Town of Nederland Ballot Issue 2A
Bond issue for new water and wastewater treatment plants
If approved by voters, this ballot issue would increase the debt for the Town of Nederland by $6,900,000. The maximum repayment cost of the debt would be $14,500,000. The purpose of increasing the town’s debt is to secure funds for the construction, installing and equipping of a new water treatment plant as well as a new wastewater treatment plant. The state is requiring that Nederland construct a new wastewater treatment plant and, according to the town’s mayor, Martin Cheshes, the current water treatment plant is at least 35 years old. He also explains that it is a single-track water treatment facility, which means that if “something were to happen,” there’d be no backup. Cheshes says that with the construction of a new plant, the new and old can share the workload and there would be a back up if anything were to happen to either of them.
If it passes, there would be no new taxes or tax rate increases associated with this ballot issue. According to Cheshes, the board is new and didn’t have time to work out tax increases to pay for the water and wastewater treatment plants before the ballot deadline.
As a result, there will be a ballot issue on next year’s ballot that will allow voters to decide how to work out the payment of the debt incurred.
Water safety is crucial for any community, and Nederland needs these new plants. Vote YES on Town of Nederland Ballot Issue 2A.
St. Vrain Valley School District No. RE-1J Ballot Issue No. 3A
Mill levy override for schools
If passed, this proposal would implement a mill levy override that would generate additional money for the St. Vrain Valley School District’s general operating fund by increasing property taxes in the district by $16.5 million. Among other things, this money would be used to restore teacher and staff positions in order to reduce class sizes; restore programs such as art, music and world language; attract and train new staff; and add relevant new courses to the curriculum.
Proponents of this proposal say that this money would be used specifically for the students in the St. Vrain Valley School District, instead of being divided up amongst schools throughout the entire state of Colorado. Recently, the district was forced to make drastic cutbacks on staff because of a lack of funds, and this mill levy override would allow the teachers and programs to be restored. Opponents of this proposal say that increases in property taxes are not necessarily the answer to the problem, and the St. Vrain Valley School District should look at other options before they raise property taxes.
Anti-tax folks always say that people should “look at other options.” It’s a favorite phrase of theirs. But the truth is that St. Vrain has
been in a tough spot for a long time. Scandals and screw-ups eroded voter confidence, resulting in reluctance on the part of the public to approve mill levy increases. However, Longmont’s schools need help. Now that the causes of those scandals have been addressed, it’s time to give District RE-1J the help it needs. It’s not about the school district, after all. It’s about the children who attend those schools.
Boulder Weekly supports RE-1J Ballot Issue No. 3A.
St. Vrain Valley School District No. RE-1J Ballot Issue No. 3B
Bond issue for capital improvements on schools
If passed, this proposal would increase the St. Vrain Valley School District’s debt by $189 million and increase the mill levy tax to cover the principal, premium and interest on the debt. The money would be used to improve and repair the older school buildings in the district; make additions to some school buildings; purchase or construct new school buildings; and provide the district with updated equipment and supplies.
Supporters of the proposal say that some of the older buildings in the district are in need of extensive repair and updated equipment.
In order to provide a proper educational environment for students, buildings must be maintained on a regular basis and equipment must be updated. Opponents of the proposal say that the district might not need this much money in order to make the necessary repairs and improvements. The district should attempt to research the issue more thoroughly and cut back on the proposed debt.
Education is expensive. Lack of education is even more expensive. Let’s invest in our kids upfront, giving them the facilities and technology they need to thrive in the 21st century. Vote YES on RE-1J Ballot Issue No. 3B.
Mountain View Fire Protection District Ballot Issue 4A
Mill levy increase for fire fighting and rescue
This ballot issue seeks to raise funds for the Mountain View Fire District by means of a property tax increase. The Mountain View Fire District serves rural Longmont, Mead, Del Camino, Dacono, Erie, Brownsville and Niwot, as well as unincorporated Boulder and Weld Counties. Their services include: fire, rescue, advanced life support transport services, basic life support emergency medical service, public education and fire prevention.
If Ballot Issue 4a is passed, the tax levy will increase by 3.93 mills. The money will go to Mountain View Fire Protection District’s general operating costs and the hiring of additional firefighters to meet national safety standards. These expenses include, but are not limited to: the purchasing of medical and rescue equipment such as external defibrillators, meeting costs of vehicle maintenance, and providing necessary improvements to reduce response times.
These are vital services and well worth supporting. Vote YES on Mountain View Fire Protection District Ballot Issue 4A.
Sunshine Fire Protection District Ballot Question 5A
Mill levy increase for fire mitigation
The Sunshine Fire Protection District seeks to increase property taxes by 3.56 mills annually in Question 5A. These taxes, which will be payable beginning in 2010, will fund a variety of fire prevention activities in the Sunshine Fire Protection District. Those prevention activities include forest mitigation and infrastructure development. There is already a current base mill levy of 4.480 mills for general operating funds in addition to a 4-mill fund that will end in 2015. The taxes from this initiative will be imposed in addition to those mills. One need only see the photographs from wildfires in California to know how important fire mitigation and education is to the health and survival of mountain communities. Vote YES on Sunshine Fire Protection District Ballot Question 5A.
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District Ballot Issue 4C
Mill levy increase for trail and facilities improvements
If passed, this ballot issue would raise taxes for the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District by up to 1.2 mills and would generate $473,000 in tax revenues. The tax impact is 80 cents per month for every $100,000 value of a home. For example, a home with a value of $300,000 would pay $2.39 per month or $28.66 per year.
The increase in revenue would be used to pay the costs of trail development and maintenance; general operations of the district including tree maintenance for pine beetle infestation, pool operations, equipment and facilities; and the operating costs for the proposed community center (if the construction of the community center is approved by district voters). Revenues would be allocated as follows:
Tree maintenance: $24,000
Trail development and maintenance: $175,000
Aquatic Center: $40,000
Stanley Park maintenance: $19,000
Operation of the Community Center: $140,000
Equipment replacement plan: $75,000
Estes Park is heavily dependent upon tourist revenue. As a result, it has to maintain the quality of its facilities and the safety of its trails, as well as the ambiance that makes Estes Estes. Vote YES on Estes Valley Recreation and Park District Ballot Issue 4C.
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District Ballot Issue 4D
Bond issue for a community recreation center
If passed, this ballot issue would allow the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District debt to be increased up to $14,900,000 with a maximum repayment cost of up to $26,450,000. It would also allow district taxes to be increased up to $1,359,000 per year. The tax impact is $1.92 per month for every $100,000 value of a home. For example, a home with a value of $300,000 would pay $5.77 per month or $69.25 per year.
The changes would provide funding for the costs of site preparation, constructing and equipping a community center. The
community center would include recreation space including a gymnasium, locker rooms, a program classroom/meeting space, a youth center, and space for childcare and community programs. It would also provide funding for improvements to and expansion of the existing aquatic center.
Additionally, it would finance the replacement of the irrigation system at Lake Estes Golf Course and provide matching funds for accessibility and safety improvements at Lake Estes restrooms, as well as other maintenance and improvements to district facilities.
Funds would be allocated as follows:
Construction of a community center at the site of the old Elementary School: $12,931,248
Replacement of worn out equipment at the current Aquatic Center: $1,106,037
Replacement of restrooms at Lake Estes for required ADA compliance: $360,000 (matching funds)
Irrigation system replacement for Lake Estes Golf Course: $742,000
Common Point Outdoor Gun Range: $100,000
Boulder Weekly recognizes the important role that a recreation center can play in people’s physical health and a community’s well-being. We know Boulder residents love their rec centers. We’re certain Estes Park residents will feel the same way. Vote YES on Estes Valley Recreation and Park District Ballot Issue 4D.
Back to top