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Town Considers Infrastructure Needs And Funding Options


road-work-townThe community is encouraged to attend and observe a discussion of the Estes Park Town Board members on infrastructure improvement priorities and possible funding options. The Board will review a list of infrastructure projects that has been compiled through extensive public input. The Board’s discussion will take place at the Board’s study session September 10, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Rooms 202 and 203 of Town Hall, 170 MacGregor Avenue.

Town Administrator Frank Lancaster explained that residents’ requests for certain community improvements are driving staff’s recommendations to the Board. “The public has weighed in through the Town’s citizen survey, this year’s community visioning forums and online survey, and several other public forums, ” he said. Among the recommended projects are improvements to Town streets and other infrastructure and facility improvements.

Lancaster explained, “We asked for the community to help us form this list, and now we need to determine how we can afford to make these improvements a reality.” While some projects are new and would contribute to a high quality of life, others are simply necessary investments in critical infrastructure the community already owns. He continued, “These projects require a big investment, and our goal is to ask for the best funding solution for our residents so we can start building this common vision of Estes Park.”

In order to address the multitude of community needs, the board will consider options to fund a package of chosen improvements. Based on public input and the option to share the cost of community needs with visitors, staff will recommend asking voters for an increase in sales tax for purchases within Town limits. The recommended increase would be no more than one percent, with a sunset on the tax. Other funding options could include asking voters for a property tax increase within Town limits, and user fees such as storm drainage utilities fees and development impact fees. However, staff is not recommending these options because they do not share the cost of community infrastructure needs with visitors, and only residents bear the cost.

At the study session, staff will request board input on the direction of the package of improvements. Further public meetings will provide opportunities for input and discussion with the community. For more information, please contact the Town of Estes Park at 970-577-3701. Subscribe to receive Town news and/or meeting agendas in your email inbox by emailing townadmin@estes.org.

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