By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – Denver voters have overwhelmingly approved the largest spending measure in city history.
Measures 2A-2G passed easily, clearing the way for nearly a billion dollars in bond money.
The so-called “Denver Structure” package allocates money for public projects that range from revitalizing East Colfax to sidewalks and museums.
The bulk of it is in 2A, where $431 million will go toward transportation projects.
2B, C & D will provide money for cultural facilities, Denver Health and public safety projects like police and fire stations.
2E, F & G provides funding for libraries, parks and public building improvements.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock led the campaign for the ballot measures and faced almost no opposition.
“When I’m done being mayor, I want to look back and say ‘I live in a great city and we are making the right investments at the right time,'” said Hancock.
Critics balked at the price tag. It could take more than a decade for the city to recoup the $937 million that will be spent.
With interest, the total cost at payment will be closer to $1.5 billion, though a tax hike is not necessary to pay for it.
The bond is nearly twice the size of a bond measure passed by former Mayor John Hickenlooper in 2007. Hancock, who was city council president at the time, supported that measure as well and says it help Denver avoid the worst effects of the 2008 economic collapse.
“We’re lucky to be in a moment of prosperity and people see a great investment,” said Hancock. ” I’m proud people intellectually recognize the importance of this so if things do slow down we can get through a recession.”