Who Should Pay For Spine Road?

On July 8th, the Colorado Springs City Council heard a short presentation about an upcoming resolution that will have taxpayers funding a new road on the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) campus. It is called Spine Road.

The total cost of the road project is $2,000,000. City Council will likely agree to pull $1,000,000 from Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) funds to cover half of the cost, with UCCS paying the other half. UCCS is mid-way through the project and wants City funds to finish it off. According to the July 8thpresentation, the City (translation: taxpayers) will also be responsible for ongoing maintenance, such as pothole repair.

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The CU system, of which UCCS is a part, has a $4.5 billion operating budget this year. Can’t it shake loose $1 million to complete a road on its property, which will be used almost exclusively by its own students?

We probably aren’t the only area residents wondering why Colorado Springs taxpayers are expected to drop $1,000,000 on a road through campus property, as well as agreeing to fund all future maintenance of the road. The City will have the responsibility of maintaining that road forever. When it can’t even maintain the current roads, why add another road to the City’s inventory that is fully on UCCS property?

It appears the Spine Road project has been in the works for years and the City previously agreed to pitch in $500,000. We are having trouble seeing why this agreement was made, and what the common sense is in taxpayers funding a private institution’s infrastructure. It’s the development and expansion of UCCS that has caused of the traffic congestion. It should be UCCS’s budget that pays for the infrastructure needs on its campus.

To be clear, we love having UCCS in our community. We just want expenses to be paid by the correct entity.

This Inter-Governmental Agreement will be up for a vote at the July 23rdColorado Springs City Council meeting, and the agenda shows that it will be on the consent calendar, Item 4.B. E. The consent calendar means that if no one speaks about this topic, it will get a vote without any discussion. Colorado Springs Taxpayers deserve a discussion.

If you think like we do, and don’t want this expenditure to be approved, you can call City Council offices at 719-385-5986, or email your City Council Member. Their individual email addresses can be found here.

Just a reminder that it costs an average of $14.91 to fill a pothole in Colorado Springs. That $1,000,000 could instead be used to fill 67,069 potholes. We’ll keep looking out for you, Colorado Springs. Stay safe out there!

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