Colorado Springs ballot question pits refunds against new police facility
Voters in historically conservative Colorado Springs are choosing between using taxpayer money for a new police facility or keeping the money for themselves.
Driving the news: Ballot Question 2A would use $4.75 million in excess tax revenues toward building a police academy.
Details: The amount is a fraction of the overall cost of the facility, which is estimated to be between $12.5 million and $40 million — depending on whether a new building is constructed or the current facility is refurbished, according to The Gazette.
Why it matters: The measure is a major test for first-term Mayor Yemi Mobolade, who describes himself as a political independent and has publicly backed the measure.
State of play: Mobolade and other supporters say a new facility is critical in keeping the community safe and that it will help the police department retain and recruit new officers.
The other side: The Colorado Springs chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America has organized rallies against the measure, saying on its website it opposes any expansion of the "prison industrial complex."
- Some residents who are against the measure believe adding more police officers will disproportionately affect disenfranchised communities, per KRCC.
Between the lines: Mobolade said in August he still wants to find a way to build a new facility even if the ballot measure fails.
Of note: If Question 2A is not approved, Colorado Springs Utilities electric customers would receive a refund of about $21.50, according to the Gazette.
Editor's note: This story was written by Colorado College journalism students Ollie Smith, Nick Bishop, Taeya Holmes and Charley Sutherland with help from Esteban.
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