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Council president says pothole repairs could be funded through PPRTA

Pothole problems: How to fund city repairs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs City Council President Keith King says the city's pothole repairs could be funded through leftover Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority funds.

On Tuesday, Mayor Steve Bach said he will the ask city council to approve $2 million from the city's emergency reserve fund to pay for the repairs.  The city is two decades behind in street maintenance, according to city leaders.

"I've lived here almost 48 years now and our roads are in the worst condition of my life," Bach said.

While King agrees that the road repairs are a priority, he says he doesn't think the money should come from the city's emergency fund.  Instead, he suggests using funds from PPRTA -- a transportation authority formed in 2004.  The authority uses money from a 1 percent voter-approved sales tax to fund various transportation projects.  There's $4.4 million leftover from 2013, King said.  Roughly another $6 million is available in 2014 funds.

"I don't know if he (Bach) has that allocated for some other expenditure or not, but that is money that could be used for potholes," King said.  "I think we could fill a lot of potholes with $11 million."

To use the funds, King said the city council would have to submit a request to the PPRTA board.  

Councilman Joel Miller is vice-chair of the PPRTA board.  In an email, Miller said he also supports using PPRTA funds instead of emergency reserves.

"Given that over $4 million of the 2013 allocation for maintenance is currently available, I believe that the emergency request should be funded using these dollars," Miller said.  "This is why voters overwhelmingly supported the PPRTA and I am very pleased that this maintenance emergency can be readily funded without any further burden on the City's budget."

Bach plans to formally request the emergency reserve money in two weeks at the April 7 council meeting, and expects an approval vote the next day.

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