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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Road issues addressed by county

It is my belief that the two most important responsibilities of your county government are public safety and roads. El Paso County receives governmental authority from the state of Colorado. We are an arm of the state and have numerous mandates, which dictate how more than half of our county dollars are spent. When you pay your annual property tax bill, an average of 10 percent of that bill goes to El Paso County. The rest goes to other districts and taxing entities, the largest being the school district in which you reside.The dollars that go to El Paso County added up to just over $233 million for 2008. Of that total amount, just over $106 million is left unrestricted – that is, within the discretion of the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners. Other mandates still exist within this discretionary amount, and we must prioritize these dollars and spread them out over those county services mandated to us and requested by our citizens. An example of a requested or discretionary service would be parks services.I place roads high on this priority list and have begun working diligently to address the road issues facing District 2. Geographically, District 2 is the largest district of all five commissioner districts, including over 1,000 lane miles of roads. The majority of these lane miles are gravel roads.The current road paving/maintenance policy is one that is primarily designed to address and maintain roads in good condition. This works well for roads in good condition, but does not address roads that have deteriorated to fair or poor conditions and it has left District 2 somewhat in the back of the pack when it comes to allocations of our tax dollars.I am working to find the right balance of this rural “code of the west” aspect of our district, while at the same time making sure we’re getting our fair share. I am pleased to report that I have been able to redirect some funding within our existing paving and chip sealing list into District 2 in order to apply a chip seal pavement to Myers Road in the southeast portion of the county. Myers Road runs 15.2 miles east to west from Boone Road to Peyton Highway and is the only east/west corridor in the southern part of the district. The next closest east/west access is 19 miles to the north.This will be tremendously beneficial to aid access from other counties as well as in-county agricultural and commercial traffic.It is this kind of advocacy and effectiveness that I want to provide to the people of District 2, and I am thrilled to have been able to help make this success happen.In late August or early September, I will be holding a town hall meeting, which will focus on roads and the recent reorganization of public services. I want to hear from you on these issues. I ask that you attend and provide your input, historical knowledge and desires for county services. I am listening to your concerns and taking them to the Board to work for you. This is what you’ve hired me to do, and I am working hard to make sure I serve you well.Stay tuned for the announcement of the upcoming town hall meeting, and keep your input coming! My office number is 520-6412 and my e-mail is LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2

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