Ballot issue approved


ALAMOSA — The Alamosa City Council was presented with three options for the wording of a proposed ballot issue Aug. 7. The council had decided last month to put the question of whether to increase the sales tax for 10 years by 0.05 percent and raise $1.7 million to maintain the city streets.

At a recent work session, one draft of the language for the ballot issue was proposed. However, Erich Schwiesow, city attorney, offered two other options Wednesday evening. He explained that the difference between the two versions is the wording stating the sales tax is dedicated to street maintenance is before the amount of the sales tax. A citizen committee developed a list of streets that need maintenance. Those streets were included in the resolution council passed last month.

One of the most significant differences, according to Schwiesow, is what will be understood by the voters at the ballot box. All three options, he said, would limit the use of the funds to the maintenance of the designated streets.

Heather Brooks, city manager, said that if one of the streets on the list cannot be completed when it is scheduled, the list can be rearranged. However, only the streets on the list will be designated to be eligible for the sale tax funds.

Charlie Griego, councilor, said that for years he had been asked when something will be done with the streets. “Even though we put in $500,000 every year, we are finally getting something done and the streets fixed. This will put us ahead,” he added.

Brooks asked the board to adopt the wording for the ballot issue Wednesday night, because she had three presentations scheduled next week and to have the text would be helpful.

The motion to adopt the language passed 6-1 with Michael Carson opposing without explanation.

Regional animal shelter

Also, on the agenda, the council approved allowing Brooks to sign documents relating to locating a new animal shelter on three-acres of property, north of Airport Road near the recreation facility. She explained that the Dumb Friends League in Denver is cooperating in the project to build a new regional animal shelter in Alamosa.

The Dumb Friends League has “leveraged their successful fundraising abilities to make this project possible and has requested very little from the city and county,” she explained. The new animal shelter will be a $2 million facility.

The only issue will be getting the FAA to sign off on the proposed facility which could take 60 to 90 days.

Groundbreaking is expected this year.

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