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WHY CAN'T WE FIX THAT: Train Horn Tax Not Enough for Fixes

Why Cant We Fix That Train Horn Quiet Zone

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - A tax initiative passed in Fountain nearly ten years ago, won't be enough to cover the fixes it was supposed to. 

The Moving Fountain Forward Transportation Sales Tax, or "Train Horn Tax," as local refer to it, was passed in 2009, and is due to sunset next year -- without accomplishing part of the purpose it promised.  

It will fall three- to four-million dollars short of improving the last intersection -- Indiana -- before the town can apply for Quiet Zone status, meaning, trains would no longer have to sound their horns as they cross intersections.  Fontaine is the only intersection in Fountain that falls within compliance for a Quiet Zone. 

The .75% sales tax was successful, however, in providing money to resurface a number of roads, as well as create the Fountain Metro Transit bus service.  Capitol projects, though, came up short. 

See budget breakdown here

"These roads were bidded at 2008-2009 prices, which was during the recession.  Now, those monies that we've accrued through the tax initiative, are not keeping up with the costs of construction," said Fountain Deputy City Manager, Todd Evans.

Inflation has ballooned construction costs by 4 to 5%. 

"We couldn't bond or borrow back when it was passed in 2009. We had to wait on the money to do the construction, which is how the initiative was written.  We understand the frustration, and we are frustrated ourselves," said Evans. 

But, according to Evans, the Public Utilities Commission might give a pass to the town -- granting Fountain Quiet Zone status without the final intersection coming into compliance. City leaders will go before the commission within the next few months. 

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