The Pikes Peak region isn’t getting a fair share of transportation dollars from the state.
That’s the gist of a letter that the Pikes Peak Region Mayors Caucus sent Tuesday to Don Hunt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“The members of the Pikes Peak Region Mayors Caucus have reviewed the information contained in your May 14, 2012 email to Mayor Steve Bach, regarding funding percentages for the Pikes Peak region,” the letter states.
“We are in agreement with the facts contained in the email and believe the email supports our conclusions that the Pikes Peak region has not received its fair share of funding,” it states.
Here’s the email that Hunt sent to Bach on May 14:
Just to reiterate a few items from our call:
– I was going to bring the table below to the meeting. It now includes FY12 with the additional I-25 funding that was allocated by the Commission as “off the top.” It shows that the additional $30M for I-25 essentially moved the running six year average from 7.06% to 7.47%.
– If we don’t have staff agreement on this methodology and results, then I would say a meeting with me and the mayors on Friday might have limited benefit. If our respective staffs can’t agree on the methodology, then we have other challenges.
Not trying to interpret how the MOUs work, but comparing the three Front Range MPOs, helped me get a general feel for funding:
– The DRCOG region has 57% of the state population, and in FY12 it received 48.4% of state funding.
– The PPACG region has 12% of the state population, an in FY12 it received 10.3% of state funding (the six year average of 7.46% duly noted).
– The North Front Range MPO has 9% of the state population, and in FY12 it received 6.1% of state funding.
– The rest of the state has 22% of the state population, and in FY12 it received 35.3% of funding.
As the CDOT budget has been reduced to primarily preservation and safety of the 9000-mile system, a larger percentage of total funding has flowed away from the urban Front Range to the rest of the state for highway maintenance. As our budget dropped from $1.6B to $1.2B, the ability to fund new projects has almost evaporated. And so has any meaningful ability to quickly move the PPACG MOU percentage.
Sorry to be so long winded. If you think we can still have a beneficial meeting, I will be there.
Here’s the letter that Bach and other members of the mayors caucus, including Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder and El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen, sent to Hunt this week:
May 22, 2012
Mr. Don Hunt
Colorado Department of Transportation
4201 East Arkansas Avenue, Room 262
Denver, Colorado 80222
Dear Mr. Hunt:
The members of the Pikes Peak Region Mayors Caucus have reviewed the information contained in your May 14, 2012 email to Mayor Steve Bach, regarding funding percentages for the Pikes Peak region (see attached). We are in agreement with the facts contained in the email and believe the email supports our conclusions that the Pikes Peak region has not received its fair share of funding.
The calculations in the email are based on a $935 Million budget for CDOT. The actual CDOT budget is approximately $1.2 Billion, but CDOT assumes a reduced budget to determine MOU amounts. We are willing to accept this methodology as long as we have access to calculations so that we can verify conclusions.
Within that $935 Million budget, the Pikes Peak Region will receive $96 Million in 2012 (10.27% of the budget). This includes the $30 Million provided for the I-25 widening. This exceeds our MOU agreement of 9.48% and we have no argument with the funding allocation in 2012. Our disagreement is in our historic and possible future funding.
Over the last six years (2006 to 2011) our portion of the statewide funding (according to CDOT calculations and confirmed during an April 12th meeting with CDOT staff) has been 7.06%. During that same time period CDOT was able to meet the DRCOG MOU funding amount. If our six year average had been 9.48% there would have been over $135 Million in additional funding available to the Pikes Peak Region. For that amount of funding we could have reconstructed both the Cimarron Interchange and the Fillmore Interchange on I-25, or other critically needed projects in the region, during the last six years.
The 2013 Budget (with the additions recently recommended by STAC and the Transportation Commission) demonstrates that in 2013 DRCOG will receive 39% funding while PPACG will only receive 6% of funding. That means DRCOG will be receiving 97.5% of their anticipated amount will PPACG will only receive 63% of our agreed upon funding.
As the elected officials within the Pikes Peak Region, we feel it is important for CDOT to commit to funding the region at the 9.48% that was agreed upon. This would provide an additional $22 Million every year to the region. With our long list of needed projects, this funding is crucial.
Steve Bach Blair Bartling Bruce Brown Travis Easton Buck Hakes
Colorado Springs Calhan Cripple Creek Monument Victor
Jeri Howells Jim Ignatius Amy Lathen Marc Snyder
Fountain Teller County El Paso County Manitou Springs
Dave Turley Lorrie Worthey
Woodland Park Green Mountain Falls
CC: John Hickenlooper, Governor, State of Colorado
Les Gruen, Colorado Transportation Commission Representative