ARAPCO COMMISSIONERS: Protecting open spaces benefits everyone; support 1A

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A man rides his bike on the High Line Canal Trail near Chambers Road.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel

Throughout the global pandemic, many of us have visited our parks and open spaces to spend time with our families, gather with friends, exercise, and walk our pets. Arapahoe County Open Spaces help protect and promote mental and physical health and well-being. 1A will help continue to conserve the Platte River, Cherry Creek Trail, Highline Canal, our open space lands, and many parks. Since the Arapahoe Open Space program was started, it has built or improved over 70 miles of trails and open spaces, 168 parks and trailheads, and conserved over 31,000 acres of open space.

Every town in Arapahoe County is economically stimulated by protecting Open Spaces. With the current tax set to expire in 2023, 1A is a proactive measure that brings long-term thinking to Arapahoe County’s future and provides a permanent fix to support our open spaces by placing the reauthorization on the ballot. 1A is not an increase on the current tax structure. These investments are funded by a .25 sales tax that was initially approved by voters in 2003 and renewed in 2011. By investing .25 cents for every $100 of our sales tax, our local towns and cities see an economic stimulation with over 71% of the open space’s funds going directly back to our municipal and special district partners in Arapahoe County. Since the program’s inception, municipalities across Arapahoe County have benefited from more than $257 million in grants, joint projects, and share backs.

These funds have been critical to the economic well-being of towns and municipalities across Arapahoe County. Below is a breakdown of the economic stimulus this program has provided for each municipality in Arapahoe County:

Aurora: Over $116 million

Bennett: Over $2.2 million

Centennial: Over $42.5 million

Cherry Hills Village: Over $5.4 million

Columbine Valley: Over $560,000

Deer Trail: Over $240,000

Englewood: Over $20.4 million

Foxfield: Over $798,000

Glendale: Over $6.4 million

Greenwood Village Over $12.2 million

Littleton: Over $23.6 million

Sheridan: Over $4.7 million

Across Arapahoe County, a broad coalition supports 1A. This includes the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, The Trust for Public Lands, High Line Canal Conservancy, and local municipalities across Arapahoe County. Additionally, 1A is strongly supported by our neighbors in agriculture because it helps support an active grazing program and our farm, hay, and wheat production. The list of those supporting 1A is quickly growing because it is a common sense measure that benefits everyone.

As your County Commissioners, we put our political ideologies aside and worked together to do what’s best for Arapahoe County. Through collaboration, we can bring the long-term planning we need to our growth and protect Arapahoe County for future generations. Please join us and many other organizations, community leaders, and neighbors across our community by voting “YES” on 1A.

Together,

Commissioner Carrie Warren-Gully, D1

Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, D2

Commissioner Jeff Baker, D3

Commissioner Nancy Jackson, D4

Commissioner Bill Holen, D5

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