The Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) Board of Directors has drafted a ballot question for the November 8, 2022, election. The item would potentially extend the fifty-five percent of the one-cent sales tax for transportation capital improvements for a period of 10 years. The ballot language will include both A-list and B-list priority projects. Funds under the extension can only be applied to projects identified in the ballot. Funds are applied on the A-list first. Once A-list projects are funded, remaining funds can be applied to B-list projects.
Through ConnectCOS and other corridor planning efforts, the City of Colorado Springs has undertaken an extensive public engagement process to identify projects for potential inclusion on the ballot in collaboration with the City’s Citizen Transportation Advisory Board (CTAB). Additionally, the City completed a technical evaluation to recommend projects to the PPRTA Board. The ballot question will include 24 projects and 21 capital programs for the City.
The City’s projects include a wide variety of capital projects including restoration of bridges and streets, filling in transportation network gaps, signal upgrades, corridor improvements, sidewalk and trail construction, and transit enhancements. Six projects on the list are identified for regional collaboration, in which more than one PPRTA member government may participate.
The PPRTA was initially approved by the voters in 2004. PPRTA funding consists of a one-cent sales tax and is divided into three funding areas: 35% for maintenance; 10% for transit operations; and 55% for capital improvements. The maintenance and transit portions of the funding are perpetual unless rescinded by voters. The capital improvements portion had an initial sunset in 2014; however, in 2012 voters extended the capital improvements portion to 2024. For more history, visit http://www.pprta.com.More recently, staff presented the
initial capital project list recommendations to City Council on March 7, 2022, for informal endorsement. Projects presented at that time were identified on the A-list and recommended for PPRTA capital funding. Projects on the A/B-list were highly recommended for PPRTA capital funding but may not advance to the A-list due to fiscal constraints. Finally, projects on the B-list were denoted as important projects for the city and should be considered for PPRTA capital funding once the A-list projects are fully funded.
Following the presentation, construction cost estimates, total project cost estimates, and further technical evaluations were completed. The PPRTA Board directed staff to plan for $592M in capital funding for City projects during the extension, and fiscal constraints were applied to the A-list projects. Some of the City’s initial A-list projects were reduced in scope of work or moved down to B-list priority projects to meet fiscal constraints. Project lists were presented to the PPRTA Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) and Board in May and June 2022, for their review and consideration. The project lists must be finalized and accepted by the PPRTA Board on July 13, 2022.
The complete ballot will be referred to City Council for endorsement prior to submitting to the County Clerk and Recorders Office for the November 2022 election.