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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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City Council considers metered parking downtown, discusses Glade Reservoir and plans for low-income utility program

City council met for a working session Tuesday night to discuss parking in old town, the proposed Glade Reservoir and utilities for low-income households.

Parking Advisory Board recommends paid parking in Old Town, council resists due to lack of data

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The Fort Collins Parking Advisory Board presented recommendations for parking in Old Town. The board recommended an on-street paid parking system in order to incentivize turnover and use of parking garages.

 The board also recommended collecting additional data by implementing sensors below the pavement in parking spaces.

Preliminary cost analysis of the project predicts that the metered parking could provide enough revenue to fund up to five additional parking structures. However, the cost analysis was based on the assumption of $1.50 for the first hour of parking and $2.00 for each following hour.

Council was opposed to moving forward with the project due to concerns regarding lack of data available and fear of shocking the community with the change. Council also requested more information on the pavement sensors, in particular their estimated lifetime.

Council opposed to negotiations regarding Glade Reservoir

Several council members were opposed with the city engaging in negotiations with the Northern Integrated Supply Project concerning the Glade Reservoir project. However, council members were in favor of “open dialogue.”

The proposal would create a reservoir north of Horsetooth Reservoir to provide more water for Northern Colorado communities.

The project has thus far proved a “sensitive topic,” for the community, according to Ross Cunniff.

According to Save the Poudre, an environmental group formed as a result of the proposition, 60 percent of the Poudre River is already diverted and the project would divert the remainder of the river.

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During the working session, council members raised concerns about the safety of the water due to an old missile site near the proposed location.

“Water safety is under scrutiny around the country” Council Member Bob Overlook said. “We should let science dictate whether or not this project is viable. I’m not ready to move forward with negotiations.”

Council considers subsidizing low-income households for utilities

City Council is considering a program to cut utility rates for low-income households. The program will lower utility costs to align with the percentage of income spent by a household with the median income.

For households below the Federal Poverty Level, about 16 percent of the population according to the current estimate, electric, water, and wastewater would be discounted as follows:

  • Electric – 35% discount
  • Water – 45% discount
  • Wastewater – 50% discount

Council members were concerned with timing the implementation of the program. In particular, Council Member Ray Martinez was concerned about citizens’ power being shut off during the winter if the program was not implemented in time.

Council Member Gerry Horak was concerned with people trying to, “beat the system,” by having significant assets but little income, and taking away resources from those which the program is intended for.

Collegian News Editor Erin Douglas can be reached at news@collegian.com or on twitter @erinmdouglas23

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