Commissioners Briefed on 1A Projects, Statuses and Progress

PUEBLO – For the first time since the November election, the Pueblo Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) was given a review of what is now known as the 1A Community Improvement Program.

The review included an explanation of the planning process, how decisions by the BOCC will enable the 1A projects to be funded and gave a general overview of each of the 20 project’s current status.

In November of 2016, Pueblo County voters approved Ballot Question 1A which gave approval for Pueblo County to collect the revenues of specific expiring tax incentive agreements approximately $66 million or until 2032, whichever happens sooner, to fund a list of 20 transportation, parks and community improvement projects.

The BOCC was informed that many of the projects are already in the concept or schematic design phases, requiring further planning and design before construction can begin. A handful of projects are shovel ready and can begin construction once funding is available. During the meeting, a project matrix was also reviewed which explained the status and timing for each project, along with proposed design funding for 2017 and 2018 to advance the various project activities.

The 1A Community Improvement Program Project Manager, Grant Bennett of Proximity Green, discussed reasons why a financing structure must be utilized if any of the projects are to be funded in advance of 2021. Currently, the only funding available is $400,000, allocated to soft costs related to the 1A Community Improvement Program, which was approved in the 2017 budget. The $400,000 is to be spent on project oversight, studies and overall program management. It is important to note, none of the funds from the expiring tax incentive agreements will be available until 2021, unless a financing structure is approved by the BOCC in the future.

To date the BOCC has allocated $112,754 of the $400,000 to the following:
  • $59,954 to Matrix Design Group for planning of a downtown youth sports complex
  • $45,300 for program management
  • $6,000 for architectural design services
  • $1,500 paid for design research

Due to the magnitude of the expiring tax incentive funds and the scope of the approved projects, Proximity Green is also working with county staff to develop a robust communications platform that provides timely, accurate, and on-demand information. Proximity Green and County staff recognize that transparency, efficacious decision-making, and efficient information sharing are going to be expected from local leaders and the general public.

The communications strategy includes the development of a brand, webpage, social media presence, public inquiry and feedback system, newsletter and email alert system.

County staff have already created a webpage, http://county.pueblo.org/1a-projects, that includes an overview of the 1A Community Improvement Plan, as well as a list of the projects and a latest news section where staff can post information about upcoming meetings and projects statuses. The county webpage also includes an inquiry form that can be filled out for the public to submit questions and provide feedback.

CONTACT: For more information please contact Paris Carmichael, Pueblo County
Community Information Manager at carmichp@pueblocounty.us
or 719-252-8550.
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