Business leaders: Approve 2A

Grand Junction Mayor Rick Taggart kicks off a press conference Monday at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, where business leaders made the case for Question 2A, which would fund numerous road projects.

Business leaders brought out the heavy machinery during a press event Monday in which they pressed their support for the debt question before Grand Junction voters to help improve area roads.

They hope trucks like the ones used for the visual Monday would be on the job following the results of the Nov. 5 vote.

"This measure … is not only good for the construction industry, it's going to employ area people and help us improve our roads and make them more safe," said Shawna Grieger, executive director of the Western Colorado Contractors Association.

"(Question 2A) will raise funds for important projects through safety and increased traffic flow without raising taxes," said Vera Kusal, executive director of the Horizon Drive Business Improvement District.

Grand Junction voters are being asked to authorize $50 million to $70 million in new debt, which would go to fund a list of projects already identified by city officials.

Another part of the question asks residents to allow revenues after 2022 that exceed spending limits set forth by the state's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, and funds currently being used to service debt associated with the Riverside Parkway project, to be used to service the new voter-approved debt.

Since a tax raise to fund road projects was rejected in April, officials are highlighting the no-new-taxes nature of November's question.

Major projects that would be tackled if the measure passes are led by a widening of 24 Road from Patterson to Interstate 70, a new roundabout serving River Road and Redlands Parkway near the Junior Service League Park, and creation of an F 1/2 Road Parkway connecting 24 and Patterson roads.

Other targeted projects are:

■ A roundabout on Horizon Drive at the intersection of G and 27 1/2 roads

■ Improvements at five intersections along Patterson Road

■ B 1/2 Road between 29 and 29 3/4 roads

■ D 1/2 Road between 29 and 30 roads

■ F 1/2 Road between 30 and 30 3/4 roads

■ G Road between 23 1/2 and 24 1/2 roads

■ 24 1/2 Road from Patterson to  G 1/4 Road

■ 26 1/2 Road from Horizon Drive to Summerhill Way, including a bike and pedestrian bridge at I-70.

"Our city staff works closely with the state and regional transportation planning office on traffic models that project population growth, travel routes and future impacts to transportation," said Grand Junction Mayor Rick Taggart. "These models have helped us forecast hot spots and help us understand which of these areas require attention immediately."

"It is a business issue for us. It's also building a community," said Diane Schwenke, CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

"And we are particularly pleased about the fact that the ballot language itself is going to lay out exactly what those $70 million dollars are going to go for, what projects are going to get done," Schwenke said. "From improvements to 24 Road to safer school routes in several locations where children now are walking in the streets."

If the debt measure passes, construction could begin with utility relocations in the latter part of 2020, according to city staff.

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