On April 18, Councilman New read Mouse Mess to the pre-school children of Good Shephard Catholic School as the children’s book of the 10th Annual One Book 4 Colorado. This program, hosted in part by the Denver Preschool Program, is a statewide book club for preschoolers that focuses on the importance of reading with young children. The program ensures that every Colorado 4-year-old receives a book of their very own. As a result, One Book 4 Colorado provides more than 75,000 books across the state to pre-school children.
2017 GO Bond Capital Improvement Program
About every 10 years with public involvement and input, the City evaluates what citywide improvements are needed for our public facilities and services. The recommended improvements are announced to the public and must be funded through a general obligation (GO) bond issue approved by the voters. The last bond issue for public improvements was in 2007 for $550 million and was financially successful, being able to fund needed improvements greater than what was defined and anticipated for the bond issue.
This year the City is requesting approval of a new capital improvement bond issue similar to the 2007 bond program – in the range of $550 to $600 million. The amount of this bond issue will be determined by a careful financial analysis of the City’s debt capacity. Citizen meetings have been held to review city needs and receive resident suggestions on community needs.
Since transportation and mobility improvements for enhanced transit, street, and bike services have been judged to be the City’s greatest need, the Mayor has determined that 50% of the 2017 bond will be used to fund transportation and mobility needs. Using City and public improvement suggestions, five task forces with City, community leader, and public representation have been created to review all capital improvement requests. These task forces focus on needs in the following areas: (1) transportation and mobility; (2) city-owned facilities; (3) parks and recreation; (4) arts and culture; and (5) safety facilities. The complete working list of requested needs to date totals close to $3 billion.
The task forces are working to prioritize needs within bond budget limitations, which has been a most difficult task. It is especially problematic trying to understand what capital improvement means, since the requests are a mixture of capital assets, such as a needed new police station, versus deferred maintenance, such as fixing present broken parks irrigation systems. To illustrate this important financial issue, the Finance Department has estimated that there is over $400 million of deferred maintenance throughout the City. With this in mind, City Council has proposed to the Mayor the following questions – Should the Go Bond funds be used only for transformative projects, such as system transit development? If so, should deferred maintenance then be funded as a maintenance operating expense in the annual operating budget and not in the GO Bond? How do you approve new projects if you do not have the funds to maintain existing facilities and services? Tough questions for the City.
After each of the five task forces prepare their high priority capital improvement requests list, the Mayor will review and approve the final capital improvement need list. This final list will be announced and presented to City residents for review in the late summer / fall time period. The bond issue to fund this final list of improvements will be placed on the November ballot for voter approval. It is anticipated that the 2017 GO Bond will not increase property tax mills.
Citizen participation and assistance in this important City capital improvement program and with its funding approval are greatly appreciated. Detailed information on the bond issue can be found on the City website at www.denvergov.org/2017GObond.
Join Denver’s Volunteer Courtesy Patrol
Denver Parks & Recreation and BikeDenver have teamed up to bring you the Volunteer Courtesy Patrol! Since 2011, the Volunteer Courtesy Patrol program has recruited over 150 volunteers to take an active role in caring for Denver parks and trails.
Ride your bike through some of Denver’s most beautiful places
Provide extra eyes and ears for the Denver Park Rangers
Help keep Denver’s parks safe
Give mechanical and medical help to fellow trail users
Stephanie Adams, Executive Director of City Budget Office, briefed City Council on 2016 economic performance and the factors that will influence the upcoming 2018 City budget. Her overview on 2016 illustrated the following observations:
1. Strong Denver’s economy – steady employment growth and low unemployment; a consumer-driven economy; strong growth in home prices; and increased retail sales growth.
2. Future Growth – continued growth in 2017 and 2018 but at more moderate pace.
3. Economy Comparison – Denver will outperform the national and peer city growth.
4. Federal Funding – uncertainty continues and could have budget implications.
Key Sales Tax and Revenue Data
Sales Tax – 6.1% increase 2017 compared to same time period in 2016
7 Leading Sales Tax Categories in 2016 by % of Total
Food and Drink — 16%
Motor Vehicles — 9%
Real Estate — 9%
Building Materials — 8%
Information Producers — 6%
Manufacturing — 6%
Retail Marijuana — 3%
Revenue Growth (2016 over 2105) – 2.8% actual compared to 2.3% forecast
2018 Revenue Forecast – 3.2% increase over 2107
District 10 Operating Budget Requests
On Friday, May 19 District 10 neighborhood and business leaders will present their community improvement requests for the 2018 City Operating Budget. This community / City discussion meeting was established last year for the first time and gives leaders the opportunity to address their needs directly with the City Budget Department and appropriate City Department staff.
This year will be extremely important due to the capital improvement budget limitations of the GO Bond Program to meet many of our important community improvements, making operating budget funding critical to help support community needs. All leaders in District 10 truly appreciate the assistance and willingness of Brendan Hanlon, the City CFO, and Stephanie Adams, the Budget Executive Director, to make this collaborative budget communication process possible.
Mayor’s Cabinet in the Community Meeting
On Saturday, May 20 from 9 AM to 11 AM Mayor Michael Hancock will be holding his Cabinet in the Community meeting for City Council District 10 at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The meeting will be hosted by City Councilman Wayne New and Botanic Gardens CEO Brian Vogt.
The Cabinet in the Community Program is the Mayor’s desire to reach out to City citizens to discuss important City and District issues and to give residents the opportunity to communicate their concerns directly to the Mayor and his staff. In addition to this town hall format with the Mayor, you will be able to meet members of the Mayor’s leadership team and to discuss specific issues directly with these department heads and their staff. Some members of the Leadership team members who should be attending are:
Community Planning and Development (Brad Buchanan)
Parks and Recreation (Happy Haynes)
Human Services (Don Mares)
Finance and Budget (Brendan Hanlon)
City Attorney (Kristin Bronson)
Public Safety (Stephanie O’Malley, Police Chief Robert White, Fire Chief Eric Tade, and Sheriff Patrick Firman)
Independent Monitor (Nick Mitchell)
Entrance to the Botanic Gardens for this meeting with the Mayor will be free for this event. Garden parking will be available, and refreshments will be provided by Starbucks.
This is a great opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of what is happening in our communities, district, and throughout the city and be able to ask questions on issues of importance to you. Please mark your calendar to attend!
Annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale
On Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Denver Recycles’ Annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale will be held at the Havana Nursery and four “Dig-Your-Own” satellite sites (see below). This annual event provides a great opportunity for Denver residents to save money on landscaping and to utilize recycled materials locally. Mulch will be available for free at this event, and compost will be available for purchase at a reduced price. Mulch and Compost will be distributed while supplies last.
The Mulch for this event is free and available at all five locations. Made from ground up Christmas trees collected through the Treecycle program and from storm debris branches, the mulch can be applied to landscapes to control weeds, retain soil moisture, and protect shallow-rooted plants.
Compost will only be sold at the Havana Nursery site and only while supplies last. Compost will be available in pre-bagged (1.25 cubic feet) quantities for $3.75 per bag and in bulk for trucks and trailers at $35.00 per cubic yard. Compost is a great soil amendment that can be used to improve soil in new construction projects, landscape renovations, backyard gardens, container gardens and even houseplants. Compost is widely recognized for its ability to improve soil structure, reduce water needs, and add soil nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. The compost sold at this event is made in part from leaves collected from last fall’s Leaf Drop program and from the organic materials collected through the Denver Composts program.
COMPOST — PRE-BAGGED & LOADER SERVICE:
Havana Nursery (10450 Smith Rd., just south of I-70 on Havana St.) – Complimentary compost loader service is available for bulk compost purchases. There is no “dig-your-own” compost option. Limit of 20 bags or 3 cubic yards per vehicle.
MULCH — DIG-YOUR-OWN & LOADER SERVICE:
Havana Nursery (10450 Smith Rd., just south of I-70 on Havana St.) – Complimentary mulch loader service available at this site only.
MULCH — DIG-YOUR-OWN SITES:
Veterans’ Park (Iowa Ave. & Vine St.)
Bear Creek Park (South of Dartmouth Ave. on Raleigh St.)
Sloan’s Lake Park (Sheridan Blvd. & 17th Ave.)
Fred Thomas Park (Syracuse St. & 23rd Ave.)
Residents must bring their own pitchfork or shovel for loading mulch, and bags or containers for transporting mulch.
Residents must bring their own tarps to cover loads of mulch or compost in trucks and trailers.
Commercial vehicles are prohibited from taking or selling the mulch and compost offered at this event.
Don’t miss out! This annual event is the only opportunity to purchase compost from the Denver Composts program.
The Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale is for Denver residents only.
The Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale is sponsored by Denver Parks & Recreation in partnership with A1 Organics. For more information about this event and other Denver Recycles programs, please visit us at DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 311 (720-913-1311).
Neighborhood Planning Initiative (NPI)
Denver’s Neighborhood Planning Initiative is a new long-term commitment to ensure every corner of the city can enjoy the benefits of an area plan. In order to provide new and updated neighborhood area plans over the next 10 to 14 years, neighborhoods are being grouped together. As an example, six neighborhoods (Capitol Hill, North Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, Congress Park, West City Park and City Park) along with Colfax Avenue will combine to form the East Central planning area. Residents, neighborhood groups, and community leaders will participate in this important planning effort.
This summer, Community Planning and Development will begin the planning process for the East Central Area Plan, coordinating neighborhood, business, development and transit planning. The final plan will have a section on each neighborhood and common issues that affect the entire planning area. Notifications on all planned meetings and engagement opportunities will be sent as soon as the planning schedule is determined.
For more detailed information on the Neighborhood Planning Initiative, visit the NPI website www.Denvergov.org/neighborhoodplanning. There you can also sign up for the quarterly Neighborhood Planning Initiative newsletter and/or for area-specific plan updates.
Game Plan Survey
The Game Plan is Denveright’s community planning effort that creates a prioritized roadmap for adapting our parks system and recreational programming and amenities to meet the growing and changing needs of our city over the next 20 years. The Game Plan is an update of the initial guide adopted in 2003 that helped define Denver’s investments in park and recreational amenities throughout the city. Now is the time to focus on the continued evolution of our park and recreation system with particular consideration to our changing needs for recreation, public health, sustainability and resiliency in the face of growth, climate change and the dynamic changes happening in our city.
Take the Survey:
The Denver Parks and Recreation Game Plan survey is now open! Your voice and input is invaluable. This survey will be open through May 31, 2017. It is available in English and Spanish. Click here to access the survey. For questions about the Game Plan process, email: GamePlan@denvergov.org
Cheesman Park Auto-Free on Second Sundays
Want more fun in the sun this summer at Cheesman Park, free from the roar and pollution of cars and buses? Then mark your calendar for Second Sundays in the Park – one day each month when motorized vehicles are banned from park roadways.
In 2012, auto-free days moved to the second Sunday of May through September so as to minimize conflict with holidays that fall on or near first Sundays. 2017 dates are May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13 and September 10. Park roads will be closed from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm to enhance the pedestrian and biking experience in the park. If possible, please walk or bike to the park, but if you can’t, Sunday parking is available on 8th Avenue. While cyclists will have free reign of park roads, trails are reserved for pedestrians, strollers, walkers and wheelchairs.
Denver Days 2017
Denver Days was started five years ago to encourage neighbors to not only get to know their neighbors but as a result felt safer and more connected to their communities. This year’s Denver Days will take place from August 5 through the 13! Therefore, neighborhoods should host block parties with the City paying for the barricades, waiving park permit fees for picnics, and / or helping organize service projects. To learn more or to register, visit www.denvergov.org/denverdays!
Great Denver Cleanup
The 2017 citywide Great Denver Cleanup is Saturday, May 20, offering Denver residents free drop sites for household trash, large items, compostable yard waste, denotable household goods and scrap metal. Multiple collection sites will be located throughout the city.
Go here to learn more or to request free trash bags for your pre-registered community clean-up.
Cherry Creek South Drive Construction Meeting
A meeting will be held at Central Christian Church at 3690 Cherry Creek South Drive, on Tuesday, May 23, from 6:00-8:00 pm. As the third and final phase of this street reconstruction project along Cherry Creek South Drive gets underway, Councilman New has arranged for representatives from Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Traffic Engineering, and construction contractors to be present to provide project information and answer your questions. This will be your opportunity to hear from the different departments on the construction and its impact to your area.
Denver Police Officers are using a new tool to communicate with residents. Thanks to the Pocketgov ‘Virtual Neighborhood’, you can now have personalized safety tips, crime information, and direct communication with Denver Police District Three at your fingertips.’Virtual Neighborhood’ allows police officers to be responsive, accessible, and transparent and you are encouraged to sign up by visiting Pocketgov.org/Police. You can also watch this video for help signing up.
Police District Contact Information and Advisory Meetings
The Denver Police Department has three police districts within portions of the boundaries of our District as follows: