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Carson rents rooms, refund sits idle, and more

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Room at Carson's inn

On-base housing at Fort Carson is opening its doors to new categories of residents due to military downsizing. Among those are civilians who work for the U.S. Department of Defense and military retirees.

Lynn Rivera, senior community manager for U.K.-based Balfour Beatty Communities, which manages housing at Carson, told the Mountaineer earlier this month that if homes are not being filled by active-duty personnel, "we offer opportunities for other eligible renters who pass our screening process to live in one of these homes."

Most utilities are included in rent, as are home maintenance and military police service. Residents have access to fitness facilities, playgrounds, sports venues and a dog park. For information, go to fortcarsonfamilyhousing.com. — PZ

TABOR refund sits idle

Six weeks ago, city officials said they were thinking about seeking voters' permission to let the city keep about $2 million in revenue collected last year above the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights cap. But that plan has been scrapped.

Chief of Staff Steve Cox says Mayor Steve Bach didn't want to complicate the April 7 municipal ballot, which he had hoped would contain his measure proposing to issue $160 million in debt to fix streets, floodways and parks. Of course, City Council wound up refusing to place Bach's debt measure on the ballot.

Council President Keith King says via email he's open to working with the next mayor to place a retention question on the November general election ballot, and wants to earmark the money for infrastructure. "I do not know if there is a single $2 million dollar project or not," King says. "This might be best to spend on potholes."

Council also could refund the money, which historically has been done on utility bills. The refund would come to roughly $9 per household. — PZ

Too much detail for board

For years, Colorado Springs Utilities Board reviewed quarterly reports of all Utilities contracts valued at $50,000 or more. But last week, the board voted 8 to 1, with Helen Collins opposed, to increase the minimum to $500,000.

"The rationale is, we're trying to take a more strategic focus, and we are looking at these from a project perspective," says vice chair Andy Pico. "My thought is that looking at the specific detail of contracts is going down to a detail we don't necessarily need to see."

He notes that the contract information is available to the board, composed of City Council, in reports on specific projects, but acknowledges it's not as easy for the public to obtain that same information. — PZ

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