Pueblo West: Your Local Government
We look like a city. We feel like a city. We even offer many services like a city. With the population and land Pueblo West has, we could certainly support being a city. But for now Pueblo West Metropolitan District, your local government, must continue operating as the special district Mr. McCulloch designed and formed in the 1960s.
Pueblo West residents frequently confuse us for a city, which is quite flattering, but Pueblo West Metro is a special district. We are recognized as a quasi-municipal local government and governed by Title 32, Article 1 of the Colorado Revised Statutes and other applicable laws.
Since we are not a city, then why is Pueblo West Metro here? We were formed to perform local government functions, provide necessary public services outlined in our service plan, and fill gaps that Pueblo County could not otherwise provide. Services we provide to Pueblo West residents are: covenant enforcement, fire protection, parks and recreation, streets, water and wastewater utilities.
As a special district, we are faced with many limitations that municipalities simply do not have. Unlike a city, we do not have a police department or a municipal court; we must rely on the Pueblo County Sheriff to provide law enforcement to the community. Without sales tax revenue, we are unable to provide the same level of services, infrastructure, and recreational opportunities that are common in similar sized municipalities.
For example, the City of Fountain is similar to Pueblo West Metro in that both have approximately 30,000 residents and provide similar services. But in 2016, with the same number of residents, the City of Fountain will receive over 70 million dollars in revenue from property tax, fees, and sales tax. Pueblo West Metro will receive less than 20 million dollars in 2016, because we are constrained by revenues only generated by property tax and fees. The 3.9% sales tax collected in Pueblo West goes only to the State (2.9%) and County (1%).
Zoning and land use restrictions on property within Pueblo West are established by Pueblo County. Pueblo West Metro has a separate set of covenants we enforce, which are often more strict, but there are limitations. We can only enforce subdivisions that are less than 90% built out. Also, there are a number of out-parcels within the District where our covenants have no standing at all, and any enforcement falls to Pueblo County and their less strict regulations.
Currently, we focus our limited resources on sustaining and maintaining existing infrastructure, efficiently overseeing operational costs, and upholding the quality services offered. If Pueblo West were an incorporated city, we would receive additional funding for road improvements and expansion of additional paved roads within our boundaries. We could also actively attract economic development and draw tourism to our community. As a city, we would have additional Conservation Trust Fund monies and flexibility to create and offer additional recreational opportunities for residents of all ages.
Ultimately, the City of Pueblo West could become less of an idea and more of a self-sustaining community where folks can work, sleep and play. Until then, as your local government, we are dedicated to making Pueblo West Metropolitan District a community you can be proud of.