City seeks voluntary integration with Metro District
Information has been provided by the City of Castle Pines North.
As the newly-seated Castle Pines North City Council begins 2010, the City Council is continuing its efforts from the previous two years to integrate operations of the Castle Pines North Metro District (Metro District) and the City of Castle Pines North.
The City Council’s focus is voluntary integration; and, the City will continue working toward the best interests and financial well-being of the community. To that end, on January 15, the City Council sent a letter to the Metro District Board requesting the Metro District to:
1: Transfer the District’s Storm Water responsibilities, associated revenues and fund balances to the City, as the City is the holder of the municipal storm sewer systems permit (MS4 permit) issued through the State. The District currently holds a non-standard MS4 permit under the overall authority of the City.
2: Transfer approval authority of the District to the City. Currently, Douglas County is the approving authority.
3: Provide an opportunity for the City Council to review all future water purchases and make the City a partner in those negotiations and purchases.
4: Appoint a negotiating team to work with the City to develop and implement a comprehensive, cooperative integration strategy.
While the Metro District did not fully agree to all points, several important steps will be considered:
1: The City will seek authority from the CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) to transfer the Metro District’s non-standard MS4 permit to the City in an effort to reduce excess storm water fees of up to $100,000 annually.
2: The City will continue efforts to have the approval authority of the Metro District transferred to the City, a request which has been previously denied in June 2009 and January 2010.
3: At the City’s request, the Metro District will provide comprehensive information on water
purchases to the City and allow City representatives the opportunity to participate in water related discussions. The City has been approached by water providers and desires to work cooperatively with the Metro District on renewable water efforts.
4: The Metro District has appointed a negotiating team to work with City representatives. Several meetings are planned for the near future and the City remains hopeful that a cooperative integration will be achieved and a plan can be unveiled in the next few weeks.
The City’s goals and purpose of integration remain:
Provide tax and fee savings, up to an estimated $700 annually, per household, for the benefit of citizens.
Provide tax and fee savings for the businesses of Castle Pines North.
Eliminate duplication of services.
Improve accountability and transparency through a single governmental structure.
Provide a verifiable water plan that is affordable, secure and understandable and addresses the outstanding $45 million in District debt.
The City Council is hopeful that we can achieve these goals in a cooperative and productive manner in order to achieve integration quickly and save valuable tax dollars for all residents and business owners.