The Sopris Sun

Ballot asks voters whether to continue streetscape fund via 2A

In addition to electing town trustees, voters will be asked whether or not to approve ballot measure 2A, which seeks to extend Carbondale’s streetscape fund through 2030. The fund, which originally passed in 1999 and again in 2010, is the town’s sole dedicated monetary resource for public works projects.

The measure does not include an increase to the property tax that supports the streetscape fund despite projected project cost increases in the coming years, according to supporter statements on the ballot. No opposition statements were filed before the Feb. 16 deadline.

“When you talk about the mill levy, that’s $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value, and that’s the key,” Carbondale Public Works Director Kevin Schorzman said. The residential assessment rate is 7.2 percent of the total value, so the proposed 1.5 mills would translate to homeowners paying $10.80 for every $100,000 of their home’s property value. Commercial properties are assessed at a higher 29-percent rate, so businesses can expect to pay $43.50 for every $100,000 of their property values — but arguably benefit more directly from the fund’s uses.

Last year, the streetscape fund made possible the landscaping, sidewalks and parking improvements on Third Street. In 2012 and 2013, it funded the landscaping improvements associated with the new library. Contingent on voters electing to continue the levy, the Town has outlined plans to repair Third Street and Colorado Avenue in 2018 and explore opportunities regarding downtown parking and tree replacement on Main Street.