The Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board approved two community-driven ballot initiatives for the November election. Initiative 5A calls for a 10 year TABOR Time-Out to be used to assist the community in funding a new swimming pool, and initiative 5B calls for a 1.9 mill levy increase to be used to fund three new parks in the District. Both initiatives utilize efficient funding mechanisms that can provide quality improvements that are beneficial to all generations of residents in our community. Both initiatives also follow the original vision of developer Robert McCulloch who master planned the Pueblo West community in 1969.
The parks initiative was initiated by Pueblo West residents Michelle Erickson and Sheila Sloan with significant support from others within our community. Their effort to highlight the scarcity of parks accessible to many of our community’s neighborhoods has been met with significant positive response within our community including dozens of families speaking in support of the initiative at several recent District board meetings and residents writing articles in the Pueblo West View. The pool initiative began when resident, Grant Shay initiated a petition that received over 160 signatures from local residents voicing their desire to either remodel the current pool or build a new pool, citing the age and capacity of the pool could not keep up with the popularity and demand in the summer. The enthusiasm and passion of both community-driven initiatives have garnered the support of the Metropolitan Board of Directors and align with the earliest vision for Pueblo West.
As a planned community, McCulloch envisioned Pueblo West would grow into a well-rounded city that provides parks and recreation as one of the fundamental services. From the first publication of the Pueblo West News in November 1969, the vision of this planned community compared the potential of Pueblo West with another McCulloch development, the recreation-driven community of Lake Havasu City. The development of parks, pools, and other recreational amenities through a combination of voter-approved funding and grant funding was also a common practice for Pueblo West from the beginning. In the March-April, 1982 edition of the Pueblo West News, an article highlighted the construction of tennis courts in Lovell Park utilizing grant funding to partially fund the project. Other editions of the Pueblo West News from the 1980s highlight the utilization of Colorado Lottery Funds—now Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant funding to help pay for projects. If approved, the Metropolitan District would combine available GOCO grant funding with Tabor Time-Out funding for the proposed pool project, just as the District has done for decades.
Pueblo West Metropolitan District plans to continue to follow McCulloch’s vision and the desires of our residents by providing the best services possible, while continuing to operate one of the leanest governments in the State of Colorado. To give you an idea of how Pueblo West’s mill levy compares to other special districts in the state, Pueblo West’s 20.193 mills is lower than 80% of all metropolitan districts in Colorado. With the proposed 1.9 mill increase, the 22.093 mill levy would remain 75% lower than all other metropolitan districts in Colorado. Historically, Pueblo West has significantly reduced its mill levy over the last 30 years. In fact, today’s mill levy is 28% lower than the 28.1 mills collected by Pueblo West in 1978, even though the metro district provided the same service plan as it does today. This does not include the fact that we only had a volunteer fire department in 1978. Despite receiving one of the lowest mill levies in the state of Colorado, Pueblo West continues to provide one of the most robust service plans of all other metropolitan districts in the state.