Another story of waste and abuse of taxpayer money in Colorado Springs,
Recently, a concerned citizen contacted the Gazette’s Woodmen Edition and asked them to look into why the City of Colorado Springs had repaved the roads of a newer 44-home subdivision called “Estates at Rockrimmon”, while roads in other areas of the City were in much worse shape. Were these neighborhood roads really so bad that they warranted being repaved before repaving other older neighborhoods in Colorado Springs, or before filling potholes?
The roads are definitely damaged, but are they any worse than other neighborhoods? How do these streets compare to yours?
SpringsTaxpayers.com spent time investigating, and filed some requests through the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). This re-paving project cost the taxpayers $367,000, and was funded by Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and the City’s General fund. Never mind why some of the money came from PPRTA —this subdivision doesn’t quite strike us as rural.
Based on the emails we obtained through the CORA request, the City was worried about a lawsuit from the residents. In another email, an especially persistent resident reported that the roads presented a bad image for a neighborhood with $500,000 homes. As if homes in lower-priced neighborhoods don’t deserve to have well-maintained streets.
It is also interesting that for 3 years, the City staff repeatedly told the Estates at Rockrimmon residents that their roads were the responsibility of the developer. They denied that the roads were a part of the City’s road inventory. But in the end, the City not only accepted the streets into the inventory in their current state, it then plunked down our tax dollars to repave them. Per Public Works Director, Travis Easton, City Attorneys said that because the City platted the neighborhood, the roads were the taxpayers’ responsibility. (Platting a neighborhood is mapping a section of land that has been subdivided into lots, showing the location and boundaries of individual parcels with the streets.) There was an interesting email exchange between an HOA resident, the HOA management company, City staff, and Colorado Springs City Councilman Don Knight.
So, what does the $367,000 expenditure mean to you, the taxpayer?
The cost to the taxpayers to fill 1 pothole in Colorado Springs is $14.91. The City could have filled 24,614 potholes instead of repaving that neighborhood that benefitted only 44 residents. Are any of those unfilled potholes on your street, or on your commute to work?
Keep dodging those potholes and stay safe, Colorado Springs! We’ll keep looking out for you!