Voters say yes to extending road repaving measure 2C
Colorado Springs voters have overwhelmingly voted in favor of extending road repair initiative 2C.
With nearly 110,000 ballots cast, the issue passed 65 percent to 35 percent.
Had 2C not passed, the citywide repaving project we've all grown accustomed to since 2016 would have ended next year.
But now with an extra five years added to the project, the work will not only continue but will now include neighborhood roads, the mayor said.
Read below for more on 2C.
If you lived in Colorado Springs four years ago, you probably remember just how bad the potholes used to be.
"I had hit this huge pothole, which wasn't even your normal-sized pothole, it was a crater. It was huge. ... It was a good 6 or 7 inches deep. ... I thought [at first] I had ran over a bicycle," driver Christy Herder told 11 News in 2015.
"It's really, really bad. I mean you can't avoid them, they're everywhere. It doesn't matter where you're going, you're going to hit a pothole," said Alloy Wheel Repair Pro owner Matt Doane, who told 11 News that same year that he was seeing 10-15 people daily come into his shop with wheel damage.
The newly-elected mayor at the time, John Suthers, worked with City Council on a potential sales tax increase to fix roads, which would come to be known by its ballot name, 2C. Voters got behind it, and in November 2015, passed the issue. Since then, residents have been paying about .62 percent, or about 6 extra cents, per $10 spent. In return, more than 780 lane miles of road to date have been completely repaved.
Now, Suthers wants to do more, and like four years ago, is leaving it up to voters.
"When we went to the voters in November of 2015, we said this is a 10-year project to get us to the point where we're back in the ballgame on road improvements. But let's do it five years to prove we can do it to your satisfaction then we're going to ask you for a five-year renewal," Suthers told 11 News reporter Danielle Kruetter.
So once again, voters will be presented with ballot issue 2C. What they are voting on this year is whether to extend it beyond 2020, to 2025.
The original 2C ends in 2020; if the issue passes this year, the next phase will run from 2021 to 2025 and voters will pay a slightly smaller .57 percent tax.
"The reduced rate with the growth of the economy, we'll take in around the same amount of money: $56-$58 million a year," Suthers said.
Kreutter spoke with voters, who had mixed reactions to the extension. Some thought five years of 2C was enough.
"They have enough of our money as is," Jerry Boe said. "I'm going to vote no."
For his part, Suthers says he believes the repairs funded by 2C have helped make the Springs a more desirable place to live.
"In my personal opinion, has been a major part of the transformation of Colorado Springs. ... The willingness of the citizens to invest in roads and stormwater has, in my opinion, been a big part of the massive private investment that we're seeing in Colorado Springs right now. I mean, billions of dollars in private investment."
But personal opinions aside, Suthers is giving voters the last word.
Ballots were mailed out last month. Voters have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to decide whether or not to give 2C another go.