2015 Grand County Election Results | SkyHiNews.com
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2015 Grand County Election Results

Hank Shell
hshell@skyhidailynews.com

Voters in the Fraser Valley have approved sales tax increases to fund a year-round transit system while west Grand County residents have rejected a proposed park and recreation district in a high-turnout election.

Referred measures 2A and 2C, which asked for a 1 percent sales tax increase in Fraser and 2 percent sales tax increase in Winter Park respectively, both passed by a comfortable margin.

“We’re very excited and thrilled with the results,” said Fraser Mayor Peggy Smith. “We’re looking forward to moving forward with our economic development initiatives, and the number one initiative was transit. Now we can focus on broadband and affordable housing so we’re very excited.”

The tax bump will generate around $500,000 in Fraser and $2.1 million in Winter Park annually.

Some of the revenue will be allocated to trails in the Fraser Valley while Fraser’s increase provides for some of the funds to be used for other capital projects.

In Fraser, 67.8 percent of voters supported the measure while 58.6 percent of voters in Winter Park voted in Fraser.

Winter Park’s increase will take effect Dec. 1 while Fraser’s will kick in Jan. 1.

On the Three Rivers Park and Recreation District, 54.2 percent of voters in west Grand County rejected its formation.

Proponents of the district suffered a major setback in July after it was revealed that the proposed district’s largest tax contributor, Climax Molybdenum Company, had opted out of the district.

Climax, which operates the Henderson Mill and Mine, owned more than 50 percent of taxable property within the district.

Though originally intended to facilitate the construction of a pool facility in Kremmling, the district’s service plan was revised to coordinate recreational programs and services in the west Grand County.

Voters in the proposed district took a harder line on ballot measures that would have given the district the ability to levy taxes and collect fees, donations and grants. Those proposals were rejected by 66.1 percent and 62 percent of voters respectively.

Voters in Winter Park and Fraser overwhelming supported their towns’ rights to establish municipal broadband networks.

Senate Bill 152, passed in 2005, prohibits local governments from providing broadband, though voters can opt out of the legislation.

The bill ostensibly includes public Wi-Fi networks.

In Fraser, 80.2 percent of voters chose to opt out of SB 152 while 77.2 percent of voters in Winter Park chose to opt out.

Jeremy Bock, Travis Hoesli and Rose Gamblin secured four-year terms on the West Grand School Board.

Countywide, 71.7 percent of voters supported Proposition BB, which allows the State of Colorado to keep $55 million in marijuana tax money.

The vote was triggered by TABOR.

As of Nov. 4, 4,374 of the approximately 9,600 ballots issued had been counted, with some ballots remaining.

Those figures put turnout near 50 percent, said Grand County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene.

“I thought it was great,” Rosene said of voter turnout.

The remaining ballots can’t be counted until after Nov. 11, Rosene said.

8 p.m. – Preliminary results show voters in Winter Park and Fraser are poised to approve of new sales tax increases to fund transportation and trails while West Grand voters may sink a proposed recreation district in the Nov. 3 election.

In Fraser, 61.7 percent had voted in favor of Referred Measure 2A, which asks voters to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund transportation, with 115 ballots counted.

Winter Park’s Referred Measure 2C, which seeks a 2 percent sales tax increase for transportation, had 55.9 percent of voters in favor with 161 ballots counted.

The Winter Park Town Council announced in May that it would take over operation of the Winter Park resort shuttle.

If approved, measures 2A and 2C will go toward funding a year-round transportation system as well as funding trails and other improvements in Winter Park and Fraser.

Winter Park’s increase could generate around $2.1 million per year while Fraser’s increase could generate around $500,000.

In west Grand County, 57.7 percent of voters were against Initiated Measure 601, which sought to establish a new park and recreation district in west Grand County, with 291 ballots counted.

West Grand voters were also heavily against referred measures 5A and 5B, which seek to allow the proposed recreation district to levy taxes and collect fees, respectively.

Almost 70 percent of voters were against Referred Measure 5A with 293 ballots counted. Referred Measure 5B was at 67.8 percent disapproval with 289 ballots counted.

Originally proposed to construct and operate a pool facility in Kremmling, the Three Rivers Park and Recreation District and its proponents suffered a major blow when the proposed district’s largest tax contributor, Climax Molybdenum, opted out.

The revised district plan shifted to organizing recreational programs and services in western Grand County.

Voters in Winter Park and Fraser also seemed poise to pass referred measures 2B and 2D, which give each town the power to establish municipal broadband networks.

On Proposition BB, 70.8 percent of Grand County voters supported the State of Colorado keeping $55 million in tax revenue from marijuana with 2,128 ballots counted.

As of 8 p.m., 2,135 ballots had been counted.

This story will be updated.


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