Denver returned question 2C: the one on borrowing money for public transport

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🗳️ Denver Election 2021 Guide: Links to information on voting initiatives in Denver and Colorado, school board candidates, and general voting questions are all here.


Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration wants voters to approve $ 450 million in bonds to pay for many projects across town. This amount is distributed over five questions on your ballot.

This is the measure that specifically asks you to approve the borrowing of money to pay for transit projects such as the construction of roads, bike paths and sidewalks. He is asking to borrow $ 63.3 million.

This is the language you will see on the ballot:

If the City and County of Denver debt increases by $ 63,320,000, with a maximum repayment cost of $ 109,048,000, with no planned increase in the city’s current tax rate for the debt service of the bonds general based on the city’s projected assessed value, the proceeds thereof will be used for repairs and upgrades to Denver’s transportation and mobility system, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Extend Denver’s sidewalk network by filling gaps in sidewalk coverage; and
  • Improve bicycle safety and mobility by renovating existing cycle paths and creating new protected cycle paths and neighborhood cycle paths; and
  • Improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists by installing improved crosswalks, adding medians, improving and installing new traffic lights and other improvements to mobility infrastructure; and
  • Reconstruct sections of the Morrison Road corridor to create a cultural and artistic district; and
  • Construction of a segment of an urban trail and pedestrian walkway in downtown Denver;

By the issuance and payment of general obligation bonds, notes, loan agreements or other financial obligations of multiple years, which will be issued or contracted in the manner and containing the terms not inconsistent therewith that the city may determine (the expenditure of the proceeds thereof to be made public by the city on an annual basis); and will the city’s ad valorem property taxes be increased without limitation as to rate, but by no more than $ 11,716,000 per year, in amounts sufficient to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on these financial obligations or to create a reserve for the same; and is the city authorized to issue financial obligations to repay or refinance the financial obligations authorized in this question, provided that these financial repayment obligations, when combined with other outstanding financial obligations authorized in this question , do not exceed the maximum principal or reimbursement costs allowed by this question?

How would that work?

You are voting on the advisability of letting the city issue general bonds. So by voting yes on 2C, you are allowing the city to borrow money to pay for things like the expansion of trail 5280; develop more cycling infrastructure, in particular by adding protected lanes; reconstruction at Morrison Road in Westwood; and multimodal improvements along Peoria Street in northwest Denver. It would pay for building sidewalks and improving transit and pedestrian safety throughout the city.

These obligations are not accompanied by a tax increase; however, it is possible that at times in the future the city will increase taxes to help pay off these obligations. The amounts of the deposit include the money to pay for the project, as well as what is called a contingency; So basically some extra money providing a cushion in case the initial amount planned is not enough.

Who is for and who is against?

Hancock and the city’s CFO Brendan Hanlon are pushing this set of obligations as part of the city’s overall recovery from the pandemic. The city believes that these projects will help create jobs and bring more money to the city by improving and maintaining these spaces.

Political Commission RISE Denver supports this measure and all other bond measures. Denver election records show no organized opposition group or campaign for this part of the bail request.


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