Residents in Colorado Springs, El Paso County and the Pikes Peak region woke up Wednesday looking ahead to new roads, schools and infrastructure after approval of numerous ballot measures in local elections Tuesday.
There's even a new mayor on the way in Manitou Springs.
Voters in El Paso County shed their anti-tax reputation, giving landslide approval to using $14.5 million in tax dollars for transportation and other projects, bringing new stormwater fees to Colorado Springs and granting a $42 million property tax increase for School District 11, unofficial results showed.
The Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority won the OK - with about two-thirds of the vote - to spend up to $10 million of its money on the widening of Interstate 25 between Monument and Castle Rock, according to totals with about 85 percent of the ballots counted.
Here's a recap:
- After raising $517,000 in campaign contributions and recruiting 500 volunteers to knock on 30,000 doors, District 11 succeeded in gaining voter approval of a $42 million annual property tax increase, the first increase for the district in 17 years. Read more here.
- The race for the final seat on the Academy School District 20 Board of Education appeared headed for a mandatory recount with all votes counted early Wednesday. In Lewis-Palmer District 38, challenger Chris Taylor finished nearly 5 percent ahead of incumbent board member Sherri Hawkins in District 1. Read more here.
- Widefield voters Tuesday passed a property tax increase and bond measure that will give Widefield District 3 students new schools and upgrade technology in classrooms. Read more here.
- School financing measures in four of five local districts gained voter approval, including in Cheyenne Mountain School District 12. Read more here.
- With the likely win of four anti-voucher newcomers to the Douglas County school board, the future is bleak for the controversial voucher program instituted by the board in 2011, portending major potential consequences for the voucher movement nationally. Read more here.
- The Cañon City School District passed a major hurdle after the community voted in favor of its bond issue, paving the way to rebuild two schools. Read more here.
- A set of controversial stormwater fees is the key to financial stability for the city and the solution to a dire shortage of first responders, Mayor John Suthers has said for months. Voters decided they believed him and approved the fees - the city's third crack at the issue - which will help Colorado Springs hire more police officers and firefighters and potentially settle an ongoing lawsuit with state and federal governments, Suthers said. Read more here.
- A measure designating regional transportation tax revenue as a funding source for widening Interstate 25 from Monument to Castle Rock passed with overwhelming support. Issue 5B will add the so-called I-25 "Gap" to a list of projects that the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority can fund and set aside $10 million for the widening in future tax revenues - if state and local leaders can come up with the rest of the money needed to pay for the project's estimated cost of $350 million. Read more here.
- A ballot measure allowing El Paso County to spend about $14.5 million in excess revenues on park and infrastructure projects passed with sweeping success. Read more here.
- A longtime Manitou Springs attorney and community activist took a strong lead in his bid to unseat the city's first-term mayor. Ken Jaray claimed an overwhelming advantage over incumbent Nicole Nicoletta. "People here want to feel connected to each other," Jaray said. "That's what I've been trying to do for 38 years." Read more here.