GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - To collect all local feedback regarding a potential TABOR question on April's ballot, the City of Grand Junction - along with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) - is surveying the community for input.
"In 2007, Grand Junction voters approved using TABOR revenues to pay for the construction of the Riverside Parkway," City of GJ spokeswoman Sam Rainguet said in a news release. "The debt on the parkway has been steadily paid down and will be paid off as early as 2015. When that happens, the permission previously granted by the voters will expire. In order to begin planning for other important projects, the City is looking at the possibility of seeking voter permission again in April 2013 to retain those funds, without a tax increase, to meet the community's needs."
The possible ballot question wouldn't include a tax hike, and it's only focused on asking for an exemption to the specific part of TABOR that creates revenue collection limitations. Plus, it would be a continuation of what is already taking place.
"Currently, the (TABOR) revenue is $2.4 million, but that can change each year depending on a number of variables," Rainguet added. "It is a very complex calculation."
Information being sought includes suggestions on which new projects would best benefit the community.
Examples the City of GJ gave include:
• Large transportation projects, like completing "The Beltway" (widening 24 Road from Patterson to I-70, and widening 29 Road all the way to I-70 with a new interchange), or improvements and street upgrades to North Avenue and Horizon Drive;
• Development of new City park properties; or
• Construction of additional fire stations where an increased presence is needed.
"In fact, any project that a community member would like to suggest can be on the list of possibilities," Rainguet said.
An open house for commenting was held at Two Rivers Convention Center Thursday, Dec. 6, and comment cards are currently being mailed with City utility bills. An online survey and comment form is also available at the City's website, www.gjcity.org.
The City said it's also looking into the possibility of holding a "telephone town hall meeting" as part of its community outreach process, but a date has not been set.
Such a meeting "makes it possible for community members to have a telephone conversation with City Council, without ever having to leave their home," Rainguet noted. "The call is made to Grand Junction homes, and folks who wish to participate simply stay on the line. They can ask questions and participate in polling questions during the call."
Based on feedback gathered, City Council will then make a decision on whether to proceed with a ballot question for the April 2013 election.