Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Colorado Springs Open Space Tax survives!!!

For three years Colorado Springs' TOPS tax to fund open space and trails has been in a death struggle with anti-tax zealot and county commissioner Douglas Bruce. His argument: the extension of the tax, which was passed 2 to 1 by voters in 2002, wasn't presented to voters as a tax and violated his baby, the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR). Now the law is going forward, as The Gazette reported today.

For Colorado Springs, this is
HUGE. Buying choice bits of land and making them open to the public forever has lasting results, as anyone who has ever walked through Garden of the Gods can attest. But the results aren't just aesthetic. Many people believe preserving these open spaces is vital to the continued growth of the economy. After all, people and businesses don't move to Colorado Springs because of the sophisticated nightlife or the arts scene. They move here because it is beautiful. And if we as a community can preserve that, then we'll make this that much better of a place to live.

The next likely purchases on the TOPS roster are
Section 16, which is currently being leased by the city from the state, and the top of Cheyenne Mountain, which would connect with Cheyenne Mountain State Park to make one heck of a trail system.

I, personally, could see some purchases of lush green ranch land down along Fountain Creek in the future. Where else are the big open space opportunities?
Tell us where you'd like to see the city spend its money.

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