On election night, both Boulder issue 201 and Boulder issue 202 passed, but not without some controversy.
Issue 201 determined a $3.6 million one-year tax raise will go into the building of a new fire training center. The first phase of the tax increase will provide an area specifically for the training of firefighters, which the city of Boulder has been trying to build for the past 10 years
The second phase will either continue to provide money for the building of the training center or the purchase of firefighting equipment
“I have found a company who is willing to train firefighters by providing mobile facilities for $3,000 a day, including teachers,” said Ralph Shnelvar, a Boulder Libertarian.
Shnelvar believes it would be much more cost effective to train firefighters with an independent company than to build a dedicated fire training center.
“This would cost a quarter of a million dollars for an extraordinary amount of training, compared to the $3.5 million for phase one, and the potential $3.5 million phase two may cost,” Shnelvar said. “Firefighters deserve the best money can buy, but should not be getting what money can’t buy.”
Boulder Issue 202 put in place a $1.3 million utility tax for people and corporations that use electricity in a residential, commercial or industrial area. An exception will be made for people who voluntarily purchase electricity provided by wind. This tax will put a charge on each kilowatt of electricity consumed. The tax will cost energy-users about $33 a year for residential and $37 a year for businesses.
“This is a venue for professors, staff and students to address the issues,” said Sarah Haynes, a sophomore environmental studies major. “People who otherwise won’t talk about these issues may have more of an incentive to see their role in climate change.”
Haynes works at CU’s Environmental Center and is a strong advocate of energy conservation.
“(Issue 202) brings the environment closer to people who can get more directly involved,” Haynes said. “This is no longer just for environmental studies majors. We’re all in this together.”
Not all people agree with this issue. Schnelvar does not like the idea of Boulder taxpayers paying for more environmental regulation.
“The idea that three more people on staff in Boulder are going to be able to run around Boulder and tell people how to save energy is nothing but silly,” Schnelvar said.
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