This November, registered voters in the Town of Paonia will have two ballot questions to decide.
The first concerns the establishment of a fund for the construction and maintenance of existing sidewalks within town limits.
The fund would be dedicated to that one purpose. Money for the fund would be raised by adding a monthly charge of $3 to utility bills per account, starting Jan. 1, 2014. The fee would be in effect for 10 years until Dec. 31, 2024. Voters will be asked to vote yes or no on this ballot question.
A similar question was on the ballot in 2010 and was rejected by voters. At a recent public meeting concerning sidewalk maintenance, one constituent said the voters did not fully understand the original ballot question and were suspicious that the funds raised could be used for other purposes. If the voters approve the ballot question and establish the dedicated fund, the funds raised through the $3 rate added to the monthly utility bills would be restricted to the construction and maintenance of existing sidewalks only.
There was an overwhelmingly negative response to the alternative way of funding sidewalk maintenance, which has the property owners spending between $4,000 to $10,000 repairing the town's sidewalks adjacent to their property. The property owner would also have to cover the cost of removing trees uprooting sidewalks.
The current sidewalk ordinance has been on the books for a long time, but never enforced. Those at the public meeting upon learning of the 2010 alternative, voiced approval of the plan as being more affordable and equitable. All property owners would share in a low monthly fee for the upkeep of Paonia's sidewalks.
A second ballot question asks Paonia voters if they would approve the removal of TABOR restrictions on all revenues. This would be accomplished without increasing any tax rate or imposing any new tax. All revenues, including that from the property tax mill levy, would be collected, retained and spent. This would be effective Jan. 1, 2014, as a voter-approved revenue change. The revenue would be used for law enforcement, town road and bridge improvements and maintenance, and public health and human services.
All registered voters will receive mail ballots that must be returned to the county clerk by Tuesday, Nov. 5, the date of the general election.blog comments powered by Disqus