City elections slated for April 5 to include nine city charter amendments after a year-long review process. One, 9.17, key to town’s economic vitality.
Woodland Park, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/29/2016 --Woodland Park, a home rule charter city, will ask voters on April 5, 2016 via a mail-in ballot to support a charter amendment change designed to improve the city's vitality.
This important change is one of 9 charter amendments going to registered votes to decide on.
A document or "charter" is required by home rule cities/towns that defines the power and limitations of the local government. Any changes to a home rule charter require a vote of Woodland Park registered voters.
Amendment benefits can be found at this link: Click here
- Four improve City's operational efficiency
- Three save money
- One reduces risk
- One improves economic vitality
On February 18th the City Council passed a charter amendments resolution to signal to citizens their support of all nine amendments.
A group of concerned citizens, The Charter Amendments Team, believes that the recommended charter change to 9.17 needs more explanation to voters. "We know that voters often don't take the time to do their homework when there is a long list of issues to decide on," said Michael Perini, CAT spokesperson. "Our purpose is to educate voters for a more informed vote."
Passage of Charter amendment 9.17 will improve economic vitality for Woodland Park, according to the CAT. "Current wording prohibits City Council from using municipal funds or reserves or waiver municipal fees or charges for services for private benefit," said Perini.
"The change to 9.17 would ask voters to agree that the Council would have the authority to reduce or waive city fees for new developments that have a public purpose."
Reasons to vote YES for 9.17:
1. It will provide a powerful tool for Woodland Park to guide and manage economic development and growth
2. It will help the city attract new well-paying businesses that spur economic growth
3. New businesses will increase tax revenue
4. Provides an instrument to address Woodland Park's deficit in moderately-priced housing that allows more people who work here to live here
5. Moderately-priced housing will attract younger families, and help reverse declining school population
6. There will be more housing options for growing senior population
7. Growing younger and senior populations will increase tax revenue
8. 9.17 benefits accrue with NO TAX INCREASE - sales or property
9. Without approval Woodland Park is at a competitive disadvantage economically
Potential projects that could result are:
- Business development
- Medical facilities
- Vocational school
- Community college
- Moderately-priced housing
Passage contributes to a vibrant community with full-spectrum housing. "Key for voters to be mindful of is the positive impact on the city's housing needs," Perini said.
Demographic forecasts from the Colorado Demography Office for 2015 to 2025 show an increasing gap between the need and the availability of moderately-priced housing.
Colorado Department of Labor estimates that in the next 10 years over 70% of new jobs will have salaries less than $36,000.
"Woodland Park currently has a shortage of moderately priced-housing," according to Perini.
- No homes under $153 K
- Median priced home $245
- Current shortage of 625 multifamily apartments
- Median rent is $1400
- Vacancy Rate is <2%
- Waitlists as high as 70 households/individuals
"We think there are voters who believe the building of Trail Ridge Apartments might have suited this shortfall. In reality, the new complex provided zero moderately priced units," he said.
A key challenge for the city is to have public service workers, i.e., police, fire, ambulance and teachers, who work here to actually live in Woodland Park. "The income for these great folks is unfortunately below the levels to obtain housing in our city," Perini said. "They can work here and do great things for all of us, but unfortunately they have to commute."
A new 2016 Housing Needs Assessment shows the value of having moderately priced housing available to service workers.
According to the assessment, each new family (2.4 persons) that relocates to WP and earns $35,000 will spend $30,000 for basic needs (food, transportation, entertainment, clothing).
When a multiplier is applied, according to the study, economic contribution of a family can be as high as $50,000 per year.
Voting "Yes" will also help expand housing options for seniors, teachers, police officers, and emergency responders. Passage will also help balance demographics currently weighted toward the 40+ age group, according to the State Demographer. "We believe we will attract new families who will fill a 20- and 30- old dip in our population," Perini said.
Without the approval of Section 9.17, Woodland Park will remain at a competitive disadvantage economically. "Other Colorado communities have approved similar incentives for developers resulting in their gains and our losses," Perini said.
Current 9.17 wording:
"Prohibition against the use of the Municipal Funds or Resources or Waiver of Municipal Fees or Charges for Services for Private Benefit."
Wording on ballot for voters to approve:
"Shall Section 9.17 of the Charter of the City of Woodland Park, concerning municipal funds, resources and development fees be amended to give City Council the authority and flexibility to use municipal funds/resources, and/or waive certain development fees for development that furthers a valid public purpose, and to refer an ordinance, by a simple majority vote, that proposes using municipal funds/resources, and/or waiving development fees."
About the Charter Amendments Team
A group of concerned citizens, The Charter Amendments Team, believes that the recommended charter change to 9.17 needs more explanation to voters. As a public courtesy the group is also providing general information to voters on all nine amendments.
Names of CAT members can be found on the official website.
Visit the official 917 website: http://www.voteyes917.com
Learn more on Facebook go to: https://www.facebook.com/voteyes917/
Follow 9.17 on Twitter: @voteyes917
For information about this news release contact Perini & Associates at 719-651-5943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Perini & Associates at: http://www.periniassociates.com