At an Oct. 22 meeting, state and local officials had the chance to align their goals as the Arvada city council members met with Gov. Jared Polis at Arvada City Hall, outlining the city's priorities …
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At an Oct. 22 meeting, state and local officials had the chance to align their goals as the Arvada city council members met with Gov. Jared Polis at Arvada City Hall, outlining the city's priorities and asking questions to learn how the state might better support Arvada residents.
Part of the discussion centered on the Colorado prison system, with council member Mark McGoff questioning whether Colorado prisons have enough beds for the number of inmates coming in.
Polis said the prisons currently have more beds open than was projected for this year. He also highlighted the work the state is doing to alleviate demand in the system, primarily by focusing on prevention and substance abuse.
The state has programs specifically for individuals who will be released within the next two years, which helps them develop skills, learn about starting their own businesses, connect with nonprofits and make money to have on hand upon release.
“They have to have a plan when they're released, so that's what we're trying to do,” Polis said. “What's the best way to make sure they're not going to return to a life of crime?”
Another major focus was transportation funding as council members requested more Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) funding for Arvada infrastructure. Council member Nancy Ford highlighted several areas of concern that the city itself doesn't have the resources to fund.
“We need to fix our infrastructure. I-70 is in horrible shape, and it'd be nice if Indiana could be done by CDOT,” she said. “That's really the key.”
Polis responded that the state would like to do such infrastructure work, but much of its ability to do so depends on whether residents vote yes on Proposition CC this November. “If that doesn't pass, I don't know where you go,” he said.
Were the legislature to make smaller changes to allow for more infrastructure funding, “you're not going to see a major difference,” Polis said.
But Mayor Pro Tem John Marriott pushed for the state to explore all possible solutions.
“There's no time like the present to provide for our long-lasting, into-the-future needs,” he said. “Let's not waste this tremendous economic time with inactivity.”
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