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Public input on mill levy increase for roads sought at work session

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners will hold a work session Tuesday, Aug. 23, to allow for public input on their proposed roads-specific mill levy increase.

The work session will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the courthouse.

“We just want to take input from the public. We want to be very transparent,” Commissioner Clifford Lucero said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Ballot language for the measure, a roads-specific mill levy with associated “de-Brucing” measure to keep revenues generated by the levy that exceed TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) limits, is expected to be released at the work session.

Lucero said he hoped to have the exact mill levy increase available in the ballot language at the meeting, but said he was unsure if county staff would have the number available by that time.

The specific number of mills involved in the ballot issue will be influenced by the five-year road plan currently being completed by Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. Lucero said the firm had not yet returned estimates that would help staff determine the number of mills involved in the proposed increase.

Lucero said the meeting would allow the public time to look over the ballot language and suggest changes.

“We’re going to listen to what they have to say,” Lucero said, adding the caveat, “I’m not saying we will change it.”

The BoCC will then have until 9 a.m. on Aug. 31 to finalize the ballot language, at which time they have a special meeting scheduled to approve the wording. Public comment will also be taken at the Aug. 31 meeting.

The BoCC is expected to approve the ballot language via resolution, with the resolution certifying the ballot questions due to the clerk by Sept. 2.

Following the certification of the ballot questions, pros and cons will be sought for each measure between Sept. 8 and Sept. 20.

In an Aug. 4 special meeting, the BoCC unanimously voted to place only a roads-specific mill levy on the ballot, declining to present two other measures — a reduction of sales tax on the purchases of automobiles, recreational vehicles and boats, and a use tax on building materials — to the voters.

The commissioners cited a potentially crowded ballot as their reason for choosing to place only one issue on the ballot.

In addition to the county’s mill levy increase, Archuleta School District 50 Jt. has pledged to place a bond issue for a consolidated campus on the November ballot.

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