Wheat Ridge voters decided to invest in the city's infrastructure this election.
As of 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 8, ballot measure 2E passed by 54.89 percent out of 14,198 votes counted.
The measure will increase sales tax by half a cent for the next 12 years, beginning Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2028.
City officials estimate the increase will generate $3.7 million the first year and help pay for $33 million in projects during the 12 years.
Wheat Ridge Mayor Joyce Jay believes it will provide a new direction for the city.
This will “create a whole different face for Wheat Ridge,” she said. The city will become “more desirable for residents and visitors.”
The additional funds will go toward four projects — improvements to Anderson Park, hook ramps for the Clear Creek Crossing development, a connection to the Ward Road Commuter Rail Station and reconstruction of Wadsworth Boulevard.
The projects were chosen by the citizens, Jay said. The Drainage, Infrastructure, Roads & Trails (D.I.R.T.) task force, which is made up of two residents from each of the four city council districts, narrowed the unfunded priority infrastructure projects down to 10, Jay said. Then city council chose the four from D.I.R.T.'s recommendations.
The projects will not only “clean up the now,” Jay said, but prepare the city for the future.
Wheat Ridge will continue to hold onto its charm, while creating many more opportunities in the city, Jay said, including a boom for businesses, for example.
The ballot measure has been fully supported by all eight of Wheat Ridge's city council members since the beginning, Jay said. She is “particularly pleased” voters also saw reason to invest in the city.
“It's a turning point for our community,” she said. “It's a win for our future.”