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Mayor: PPRTA funds not enough for pothole repairs

Mayor: PPRTA funds not enough for pothole repairs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Springs mayor's office says money in the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority fund is already accounted for in making road repairs and it will still request $2 million from the city's emergency reserve funds.

On Tuesday City Council President Keith King said there is about $11 million in PPRTA funding that could be used to make the needed repairs -- $4 million leftover from 2013 PPRTA funds and $6.7 million that the city allotted for 2014 street maintenance.  The PPRTA, a transportation authority formed in 2004, is funded through a 1 percent voter-approved sales tax to pay for various transportation projects.  

Mayor Steve Bach's Chief of Staff Steve Cox said the mayor's office is aware of those funds, but it's still not enough.

"That has already been planned for," Cox said.  "So when we talk about this $2 million emergency appropriation, that would be above and beyond those dollars that we talk about."

Robert MacDonald, the executive director of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that if there are plans for the money, PPRTA hasn't seen it.

"They have not issued contracts yet," MacDonald said.  "Six point seven million dollars is available for road resurfacing, pothole patching and things that are similar.  So that's contained in the PPRTA budget as defined by the city of Colorado Springs so they just need to clarify what exactly they want to spend that money on and bring a contract forward and we'll go from there."

Cox said even though there are no contracts, the city has planned for the money in its budget.

"That's where I believe that disconnect lies," Cox said.  "Even though he hasn't seen a contract for a repair, we have that planned and all of that is forthcoming."

The mayor's office also said that the $4 million listed as leftover from 2013 is not accurate.  

In an email, a spokesperson writes, "The 2013 'rollover' ($4.4M) was estimated in September 2013 based on invoices that had been paid at that time.  It does not include invoices that have been submitted since September 2013, nor does it include work that is under contract.  As of today, the City estimates the 2013 rollover for roadway maintenance is approximately $331K."

The mayor's office says that of the PPRTA funds available, $3.3 million has already been planned for the overlay program, $845,000 to chip seal, $700,000 for potholes/dig-outs and $1.9 million for the pre-overlay program.

The mayor will ask the City Council for $2 million from the city's emergency reserve fund at the April 7 council meeting, and expects an approval vote the next day.

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