Tuesday, July 24, 2012

City Council approves PPRTA II

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM

  • Ziggy_Mo

Following an unexpected closed executive session, City Council approved the intergovernmental agreement for the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority II ballot issue at today's formal City Council meeting.

Council, which also approved the PPRTA projects list, made one minor adjustment to the RTA language, specifying that money should be allocated for second-priority projects, or "B-list" projects, based on population. The stipulation ensures that Colorado Springs will get the lion's share of PPRTA funding once the highest-priority projects are complete.

PPRTA II will provide millions for transportation improvements if passed by voters in November. The sales tax-based funding would continue for 10 years, and is considered a second phase of the original 10-year PPRTA that voters passed previously in 2004, which is generally viewed positively.

Several El Paso County commissioners spoke to Councilors about the amendment to the RTA language. All said they would accept the change, though some seemed displeased by it. Commissioner Peggy Littleton noted that Colorado Springs residents used roads outside of the city, and that small towns like Manitou Springs were big tourist draws that brought in money for the Springs. The region, she said, is connected, and PPRTA funding should reflect that.

Littleton also noted that all PPRTA member governments, from El Paso County to Ramah to Manitou Springs, would need to approve the amendment. And there's no guarantee they will.

But other commissioners seemed less worried. Sallie Clark left the room with a smile.

"That was fast!" she told the Indy.

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