By Katie Olson and Chip
Boulder’s downtown district is called the neighborhood’s lounge bringing all of us collectively and in addition as a widely known, world-class vacation spot for buying, eating and leisure. Sadly, time and COVID-19 have taken a substantial toll on a few of downtown, together with the Pearl Road Mall and Civic Space. These are superb property for our neighborhood, however they’re additionally in dire want of great funding, enhancements and upgrades to increase their longevity, and to extend security and cleanliness — which are actually extra vital than ever. As a socially and globally accountable metropolis, the general public facilities in Boulder’s downtown core ought to replicate these values.
Particularly, the Pearl Road Mall’s public restrooms at thirteenth and Pearl streets have out-lived their helpful life and have to be rebuilt in a approach that ensures that the amenity will be saved clear and secure. Anybody who has used these services just lately would probably agree.
Some areas of the Civic Space additionally require important funding and enchancment with the intention to keep cleanliness and security, notably Central Park and the thirteenth Road hall the place the Boulder County Farmers Market is held. Fairly frankly, because of deferred upkeep, a number of the areas inside these locations have shifted from being neighborhood property to neighborhood liabilities.
Fortunately, there’s a resolution, in addition to a window of alternative:
Proper now, Boulder Metropolis Council is contemplating placing on this November’s poll an extension of the prevailing Group, Tradition and Security Tax (CCS), which was initially accepted by voters in 2014, and subsequently prolonged in 2017, for 4 years. The CCS expires this yr. It’s a gross sales tax of 0.3% that has funded vital metropolis services and infrastructure tasks, and has offered matching funds for various neighborhood nonprofit services. There are various vital tasks which have been, and have to be, funded by this income, and on an on-going foundation.
The present proposal into consideration by Metropolis Council would prolong this tax for as much as 15 years, and probably generate $200 million in income to fund upkeep and enchancment of a variety of metropolis infrastructure, together with streets and hearth stations. There’s additionally room to fund the downtown deferred upkeep. The income generated from a tax extension is the one supply of funding for the work that’s obligatory to take care of, enhance and improve the vibrancy, security and long-term well being of Boulder’s world-famous downtown district property. Should you agree, please let the Boulder Metropolis Council know earlier than Aug. 3 after they make the choice on which infrastructure tasks could be funded by the tax extension. Please inform them that you simply want to see a few of that cash spent to take care of and protect our lovely Pearl Road Mall and Civic Space.
Katie Olson is Board Chair and Chip is CEO of Downtown Boulder Partnership.