Road construction contractors helped bankroll failed Glenwood Springs street tax campaign
Several road construction contractors that could have potentially gained work had Glenwood Springs’ $56 million street tax proposal succeeded at the ballot box Tuesday were major contributors to the campaign to convince voters to pass the tax.
Campaign finance reports filed late Tuesday by the election issues committee backing the 3/4-cent sales tax question — Fix Our Streets Now — disclosed $18,260 in total contributions to the campaign.
Among them was a $2,860 contribution from Glenwood Springs-based Gould Construction, a major city contractor on various infrastructure projects over the years. Two other contributions of $2,500 each came from Denver-area construction and paving companies.
Locally, Grand River Construction, Frontier Paving, Heyl Construction, Johnson Construction, Western Slope Materials and Concrete and several engineering firms also contributed amounts ranging from $500 to $950 to the tax campaign, according to the finance disclosure report delivered on Election Day.
The Committee to Fix Our Streets Now initially registered as a Small-Scale Issue Committee (SSIC) under Colorado campaign finance laws, rather than a full Issue Committee. That meant it was not required to disclose campaign contributions and spending ahead of the election, unless contributions exceeded $5,000 total.
However, the committee notified Glenwood Springs City Clerk Catherine Fletcher last Thursday, March 28, that it would need to convert to the larger campaign committee classification, because it had surpassed that amount.
According to the notice of change filed with the Clerk’s Office, the committee exceeded $5,000 on March 13.
An itemized list of contributions to the committee shows the tally reached $4,990 on March 6 when Gould Construction made the largest single contribution to the campaign. A $950 contribution from Grand River Construction on March 13 pushed the committee over the limit to continue under SSIC classification.
Under state law, though, the committee officials — led by City Councilman Jonathan Godes and former Councilor Kathryn Trauger — had 15 calendar days to file a notice of change in committee type, which was March 28.
From there, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, the committee has five days to file an initial disclosure report detailing contribution and expenditure activity, and convert its registration to a regular Issue Committee.
That put the deadline at 5 p.m. Tuesday, as ballots in the city election were still being cast.
On the expenditure side, the committee reported it had spent $15,245.92 of the funds received, leaving $3,014.08 on hand.
A large portion of that, $6,453.48, went to advertising in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and online at postindependent.com. Another $5,930.88 went toward mailers, and the remainder went for signs, printing, digital ads and social media costs.
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct information about voting.