FIRESTONE — Town trustees finalized wording Aug. 28 for a ballot question seeking a 1-cent sales tax increase to provide funding for capital improvements and rehabilitation projects on the town’s streets and parks.
A Firestone citizen-led task force created a committee — Firestone Citizens for Streets and Parks — to support the ballot initiative by providing a comprehensive sustainability plan for the facilities. At the July 24 Board of Trustees meeting, the task force publicly voiced their support for the board to move forward with a proposed November ballot question.
Firestone voters turned down a similar measure last November, which also sought a one cent increase in sales tax for streets, parks, drainage, waterlines and related infrastructure improvements. The measure failed by four percent, or 369 of the total votes.
Debbie Morton, chair of the Firestone Citizens for Streets and Parks committee, told the trustees that while a low sales tax rate is a key selling point for Firestone’s economic development efforts, the sales tax is already significantly lower than key retail competitors.
“Even with a temporary sales tax increase to fund such maintenance and capital improvement projects, Firestone would still be lower than all of its retail development competitors. In contrast, the sales tax of most other area communities does apply to food groceries,” Morton said. “In addition to being revised, the new proposal includes long-term financing to ensure that the town’s highest priority infrastructure improvements can be addressed more quickly.”
Morton said the majority of Firestone sales tax revenue comes from individuals who do not live in Firestone but use the streets and parks in town.
The proposed 1-cent sales tax increase would provide funding for capital improvement projects, including:
• Firestone Boulevard entrance and widening to upgrade the entry and complete the build out to four lanes, from Colorado Boulevard to Interstate 25. This summer, the town is expanding Firestone Boulevard from the Frontage Road to Birch Street.
Other projects that are planned to be funded if the ballot question is approved are:
• Locust Street reconstruction
• Colorado Boulevard reconstruction
• McClure Avenue improvements
• Sidewalk along Sable Avenue from Birch Street to Colorado Boulevard
• Historic Firestone Street Reconstruction (water lines will also be replaced during reconstruction, but will be funded through the water enterprise)