Voters will decide whether to create DDA

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The Golden Urban Renewal Authority, or GURA, will be ending its downtown project funding next year, which left the city wondering who would oversee downtown Golden’s development.

City council appointed 14 members to a downtown development task force to evaluate GURA projects and its sources for funding.

The task force recommended continuing project funding through the creation of the Downtown Development Authority, which will carry on the downtown development plans through a seven member board appointed by city council.

The initiative to create a DDA will be voted on this November during the 2013 elections.

At one of two community outreach meetings, Ed Dorsey, member of the downtown development task force, spoke to local residents about the DDA at the Table Mountain Inn on Sept. 17.

Due to restrictions by the city charter, specifically, Chapter XI.V Section 11.5., the city does not allow for grant development subsidies or incentives for commercial, industrial, or residential developments, expansions or replacements.

If any funding is allowed, there is a $25,000 max value on the property, and typically, any projects funded by GURA are in the millions. Task force members are advocating that due to the charter that limits and just about prohibits any developing incentives, transferring the GURA downtown project into the creation of DDA will be the only way the city can continue to develop its downtown.

“The only way to apply an increment is to have a DDA,” Dorsey said. “That’s the only way that you can really get big projects done in the downtown area.”

New boundaries of the DDA that will include and exclude certain areas that were a part or not a part of GURA will be some of the changes put into place should the ballot initiative pass, including an increased mill levy for properties within the DDA boundary.

First, DDA will exclude the Colorado School of Mines from its boundaries, and include more property west on both sides of Clear Creek, and north east of Ford, and more property south of 19th. DDA boundaries will exclude the full block west of Washington between 18th and 17th, and include Coors Tek, and properties between Parfet Park and Ford, according to Mark Heller, executive director of GURA.

A 5 mill levy will be paired with the creation of DDA, which is separate from the city’s mill levy. Both levies will be applied to properties in the DDA boundary.

There is also another district that lies within the DDA boundary that already has a mill levy called the Golden Downtown General Improvement District or GDGID.

“The GDGID mill levy is strictly for parking maintenance and improvements in the Downtown area,” Jeff Hansen city finance director wrote in an email to the Golden Transcript.

As properties that lay within the GDGID boundary already pay for the levy applied they could potentially pay a city, DDA and GDGID mill levy.

A second community outreach meeting will be 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Golden Hotel.

Affidavits, which are needed in order to receive a DDA ballot, were handed out and turned in at the Sept. 17 presentation. Only commercial and residential property owners, full-time residents whether owning or renting, and business lessees within the DDA boundary are eligible to vote.

To obtain an affidavit contact Susan Brooks, city clerk, at 303-384-8014 or email clerks@cityofgolden.net

For more information on the DDA go to www.downtowngolden.net or contact Ed Dorsey at 303-829-5195 or doresey38@comcast.net

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