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On Denver's sidewalk repair program, viewers ask: What about marijuana revenue?

Viewers had a lot to say about the policy
Posted at 9:35 PM, Aug 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-25 00:35:18-04

DENVER -- It seems like everyone can agree that Denver's sidewalks need to be fixed, but there's a lot of opinions about the city's solution.

Homeowners and businesses are responsible for fixing cracked, busted and uneven sidewalks on their property. The city now plans to start enforcing an old ordinance to make sure repairs are made to Denver's crumbling sidewalk system.

Denver7 explored the debate by taking a 360 view of the issue and viewers wrote in with even more feedback.

The most common question was about marijuana tax revenue and why it wasn't being used for the repairs. A spokesperson for the city's Department of Finance answered that question by explaining how the marijuana funds are typically used and how the sidewalk program is being paid for.

Taxes collected in Denver from medical and retail marijuana revenues are part of the city’s overall budget. These marijuana taxes fund the regulation and enforcement of the marijuana industry, as well as education programs to help keep our communities and youth safe. The city has in the past also elected to use marijuana revenues for deferred maintenance projects and other one-time needs as this type of revenue can fluctuate.

The sidewalk repair program is being funded through a revolving loan fund with initial costs coming from the General Fund. Other funding for sidewalk construction or gap filling across the city is coming from the Elevate Denver bond program and the city’s annual Capital Improvement Program.

Another viewer wrote in to point out the irony with the state of the city-owned sidewalks. Tammy said, "Maybe the city should look at the sidewalk at City Park running the length of 17th Street. Talk about bad sidewalks on City property!"

As notices go out, homeowners will have to figure out if they want to hire a contractor or wait for Denver to stick them with a bill. The repairs will be done by city crews or Chato’s Concrete if residents do not fix their sidewalks.

Residents who want to hire a contractor will have to choose from this 21-page list.

"You either fix it yourself or they send you a bill when they fix it and how they fix it is up to them, you don’t have a say if you don’t jump out there and find a concrete contractor to repair your sidewalk," said John Allen, who just received a notice that his sidewalk is part of the first round of inspections.