As residents continue to fill out mail-in ballots for the 2021 election, the Castle Rock Public Safety Commission unanimously voted to support ballot questions 2A and 2D. According to a news release, …
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As residents continue to fill out mail-in ballots for the 2021 election, the Castle Rock Public Safety Commission unanimously voted to support ballot questions 2A and 2D.
According to a news release, the commission believes that both ballot measures would provide funding for additional staff for the police and fire departments. Officials from the departments have said the town is presently maintaining its high level of service although stretched thin at the current population.
As growth continues, more firefighters and police officers need to be hired, Town Manager David Corliss has said throughout the election process.
“Our town public safety services are currently stretched beyond what should be asked, beyond what any other town, city, or county in our area are utilizing for the same services,” said Public Safety Commission Vice Chair Kerstin Keough.
Measures 2A and 2D were introduced by Corliss to create direct revenue streams for funding police, fire and infrastructure needs
Measure 2A is asking voters to approve a new home construction tax. If approved, the new tax would place a $7 per square foot fee on all new multi-family and single-family residences. Revenue from the tax would allow the town to add 75 fire and police positions between 2022 and 2026, Corliss said.
Measure 2D asks voters to approve a 10-year TABOR timeout. If approved, this would implement a timeout from the revenue restrictions of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights law. Corliss said the town would be able to use the extra revenue to build the $75 million interchange at Interstate 25 and Crystal Valley Parkway, and support police and fire services as needed.
Keough said the Castle Rock Police Department is currently being covered by 1.05 officers per 1,000 residents, where neighboring communities to the north and east are utilizing 1.3 to 3.47 officers per 1,000 residents.
Keough said Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department is running at minimal staffing of three per engine, when other departments can staff four firefighters, allowing for greater safety during any emergency incident.
“These measures would have little impact on current residents’ pocketbooks, and our investments would pay dividends in the long term by enhancing our quality of life and enhancing public safety services to the Town of Castle Rock,” said Keough. “Your yes vote does not increase the current $38.48 property tax the average Castle Rock homeowner pays for town services each year.”
The Castle Rock Professional Firefighters have also endorsed measures 2A and 2D.
Castle Rock residents Wayne and Caryn Ann Harlos have been outspoken critics of all four tax questions on the 2021 ballot.
Besides tax measures 2A and 2D, Castle Rock voters are also being asked to increase the town’s lodging and sales taxes through measures 2B and 2C to create revenue to purchase more open space and to increase funding for the town’s parks and recreation department.
The Harloses have called all four tax measures government overreach.
The Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce has officially endorsed ballot question 2D.
The Castle Rock Town Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting all four ballot measures.
Caryn Ann Harlos opposed the council’s action, saying it may be legal, but it is “unethical.”
The final day to vote in the 2021 election in Nov. 2.
(Correction: the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce did not endorse ballot measure 2A as stated in an earlier version of this article).
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