“Our Board’s spending priorities are once again informed by citizen input, specifically the priority placed on transportation and public safety,” said Board Chair Roger Partridge, during the Board’s public hearing on December 13, 2019, at which the County’s 2020 Budget was adopted.
The 2020 Budget demonstrates spending priorities and, for the second time in the County’s history, authorizes a temporary half-mill reduction in the County’s mill levy, directing $3.6 million back to Douglas County property owners.
Consistent with citizen priorities, the 2020 Budget dedicates $214.4 million dollars, or 49% of the $463.2 million budget, for countywide transportation and critical road and bridge infrastructure funding priorities as outlined in the County’s 2040 Transportation Master Plan. This total also includes re-appropriated capital funding of $85 million for road projects occurring over multiple years.
“County residents and the business community have been consistent and clear with their message to our Board that addressing traffic congestion is a top priority countywide,” Partridge continued, referring to business feedback, recent citizen surveys and voter approval of the November 2019 Ballot Issue 1A.
“Our Board continues to demonstrate fiscal stewardship, leveraging every penny we have of dedicated transportation funding through partnership with the private sector, federal, state and other local governments,” added Commissioner Abe Laydon.
With that in mind, nearly $19.5 million in County property tax and sales & use tax revenues are committed as sharebacks to Douglas County municipalities for use on roads within their jurisdictions.
“Within the spending priorities for transportation revenue from 1A the County will continue to partner with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to advance I-25 corridor improvements, specifically for the I-25 Gap project to which the County will contribute $10 Million in 2020,” said Lora Thomas, Board Vice Chair.
“Partnering opportunities with other local agencies and developers on major regionally significant transportation improvement projects will also accelerate in 2021 – 2030 due to revenue from 1A,” Thomas said.
Projects Commissioner Thomas referred to include the Lincoln Avenue Corridor between Park Meadows Drive and State Highway 83 (Parker Road); US 85 Corridor between C-470 and Castle Rock Parkway; and State Highway 83 safety and operational improvements between Bayou Gulch Road and El Paso County.
In public safety investment highlights, a new law enforcement District will be created to more effectively deliver services to the businesses in the quickly developing Town Center area of Highlands Ranch. This new post of eight deputies will be added to what will be called the Town Center District, the area bordered by County Line Road to the north, Lucent Boulevard to the west, Broadway to the east, and Wildcat Reserve Parkway to the south.
In addition to the previously mentioned feedback, the Board of County Commissioner Core Priorities and Guiding Principles shaped the 2020 Budget.