This November we will have an important matter on the ballot that will have a profound impact on Northwest Denver, and indeed Denver as a whole, for at least the next 10 years. One of the matters we will be voting on is called a General Obligation Bond, or a GO Bond, a tool the city of Denver uses to borrow money in order to finance long-term investments throughout the city, such as street paving, improvements to buildings, parks, museums, etc.
Roughly every 10 years the city of Denver issues GO Bonds. The amounts differ according to what types of projects are proposed, and what is eventually decided on by the voters. In November 2007, voters authorized up to $550 million; here in Northwest Denver, those funds went to improvement projects such as a remodel of the Woodbury Library, building the jetty at Sloan’s Lake, and repaving numerous streets throughout District One.
The bonds are backed by the city of Denver, they pay interest and principal at fixed intervals, and they have a specified maturity date when all principal and interest is repaid. GO Bonds are typically issued in $5,000 increments, and since the city of Denver has such an excellent rating, these bonds tend to get snapped up very quickly by investors.
Why does this matter to you, members of District One? Two reasons: first, I think that the current distribution of funds is inequitable and that Northwest Denver should be getting more than the $3 million dollars it has been allotted out of the $700-900 million proposed issuance; and second, if we make a committed show of interest here in District One, we can affect where those funds get allotted.
The City actually began the 2017 GO Bond process last year by getting Denver residents involved in discussions about projects they would like to see in their own neighborhoods and throughout the city. The city received more than 3,000 investment ideas from six public meetings, comment cards at libraries and recreation centers, and suggestions from City Councilmembers. During the stakeholder phase of the GO Bond process, the Mayor’s office received hundreds of e-mails from residents advocating for projects.
The GO Bonds go to two major areas: Transportation and Mobility, and Arts and Culture. In the Transportation and Mobility segment, half of the $749 million that has been proposed so far will go to projects throughout the city, including protected bike lanes citywide, improvements to the Colfax corridor, and continuing development of the 16th Street Mall. In the Arts and Culture segment, the other half of the financing raised from the bonds will go to items such as improvements to Red Rocks Amphitheater and the Buell Theater, major improvements to the Denver Zoo, and updates to numerous parks and recreation facilities.
We are now in the part of the process in which City Council and Mayor Hancock will be working closely together over the next couple of months to determine whether additional projects or adjustments to the list of projects are needed, with the goal of having a final proposal ready in August, to be placed on the November ballot.
We have a voice in government, especially at the local level. I would like to ask you for your continued support as I propose projects to be funded by the GO Bonds. Some items I am proposing are sidewalks on Sheridan Boulevard, district-wide bike and sidewalk infrastructure, park/playground improvements, and expansion of William Scheitler Recreation Center.
We will know what the Mayor is allocating for District 1 in mid-July, at which point City Council will have the opportunity to amend what is sent to you, the voters. Any named projects in the GO Bond will serve to improve our wonderful Northwest Denver over the next 10 years, so this month we need your voice directed at the Mayor and City Council.
Please go to my website at www.district1.net for a call to action based on the Mayor’s final list due 7/17, and future calls to actions this summer and fall.
Join Councilman Espinoza for conversations about the things
that matter to you in our community.
July 14: 9-11AM. Highland Senior Recreation Center, 2880 Osceola Street
July 21: 4-6PM. Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café, 5126 W. 29th Avenue
July 27: 4-6PM. Allegro Coffee Roasters, 4040 Tennyson Street
Aug 4: 9-11AM. Common Grounds Coffee House, 2329 W. 44th Avenue
Aug 11: 9-11AM. Scheitler Recreation Center, 5031 W. 46th Avenue
This is a repository of articles by CM Espinoza. For day-to-day information and press releases please follow the CD1 Office on Facebook.