Set the Record Straight
The City of Boulder strives to provide accurate information to the public in a number of ways. For example, we often use the assistance of the media to communicate our messages. On occasion, we request a correction or clarification from the media on a story that may contain a factual error.
On this page, we hope to "set the record straight" by providing that factual information directly to the public, and we will post any corrections or clarifications that we have requested from the media.
May 24, 2013 - Boulder County Business Report confuses utility advisory board and governance working group composition and responsibilities
An article published online and in the print edition of the Boulder County Business Report on May 24, 2013, contained incorrect information about the city's governance working group. Sixteen community members, representing city, business and county customers of a potential local electric committee, have been invited to participate in the working group. Their responsibility will be to provide feedback and make recommendations about how to ensure fair representation in utility decision-making and to refine what duties will fall to a utility advisory board, which has yet to be created, and which will fall to City Council. The City Charter includes specific information about the makeup of the advisory board, some of which was incorrectly attributed in this article to the governance working group. These are two separate entities with very different purposes.
Nov. 10, 2012 - Camera story about ground contamination investigation in 13th Street Plaza gives incorrect information
An article in the Daily Camera on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, listed the wrong contribution amount that Xcel Energy is contributing to a ground contamination investigation in partnership with the city. As part of an interim agreement, Xcel Energy will contribute up to $50,000 to the investigation. The story incorrectly listed this as $60,000.
In addition, the story also described the site where a former coal gasification plant was located as now being home to the city’s Atrium building, the Dushanbe Teahouse and a parking lot. However, the Atrium site was not part of the former plant site.
Lastly, one paragraph was phrased in a way that could leave some readers with the incorrect impression that there is a link between possible groundwater contamination in the area and the city’s drinking water. The paragraph reads:
“Officials do not know if the substances have migrated off-site, but they said they're unlikely to threaten the city's drinking water.”
While the information in this paragraph is correct, the two statements aren’t related. The city is concerned that by putting these two statements into one sentence implies that migrating contaminants (via groundwater) could somehow contaminate people’s drinking water. However, this would only be possible if someone in the near vicinity of the site were getting drinking water from a groundwater well, rather than from the city. There are no domestic drinking water wells on site, and buildings on and in the vicinity of this site receive drinking water from the city. This means they get their drinking water from water pipes that deliver water from the city’s treatment plants and reservoirs. Groundwater in this area does not come into contact with city drinking water.
Nov. 8, 2012 - City offers additional information about average costs to property owners due to SmartRegs mandates after CBS4 story airs
A report by CBS4 on Thursday,
In addition, the rental property owner interviewed in the story provided an estimate of $100,000 for his 24 rental units to comply with the requirements. Because the property owner has not enrolled in the EnergySmart program, which helps landlords save money and reach compliance, the city is unable to verify whether this estimate is accurate. This estimate reaches well beyond the average per unit cost recorded by the program. While units in multifamily buildings are less likely to need any investment to reach compliance (significant points are awarded for shared walls, floors, and ceilings due to their inherent efficiencies), the average cost for those that needed to upgrade has been about $1,600 per unit, and $1,170 per unit after program rebates. Additionally, 650 multifamily units have come into compliance at no cost because of the free energy saving items that have been provided through EnergySmart.
April 23, 2012 - Camera story about potential taxes on next ballot incorrectly lists Transportation Maintenance Fee as a renewal
A recent article in the Camera stated that City Council would be discussing "whether to ask voters for an extension of the transportation maintenance fee, which raises $3 million a year for maintenance of the multimodal system."
The Transportation Maintenance Fee isn’t an extension. If it were to be placed on the ballot and approved by voters, it would be a new fee. The $3 million is what it is projected to raise for transportation maintenance, if it were approved.
Feb. 19, 2012 - Camera story incorrectly draws conclusions about the health of the city's workforce
A story in the Camera on Feb. 19 reported broad generalizations about overall health trends the city has gleaned as a result of its Wellness Works! program. The conclusions drawn in the headline and opening sentence are not accurate. The newspaper reported that 57 percent of all City of Boulder employees are overweight. In fact, the only conclusion that can be reached from our data is that 57 percent of the 749 employees who participated in screenings are overweight. Without broader participation, the city cannot be certain what the overall health successes and challenges are for the entire workforce. The communications staff has requested a correction.
Jan. 5, 2012 - AP stories incorrectly characterize Channel 8 coverage policies for disruptions during council meeting.
A series of articles distributed by Associated Press and run by an unknown number of media outlets contained incorrect information about the city's policy related to televising disruptions in the audience during City Council meetings. The articles erroneously stated that the city manager had cancelled all broadcasts of council meetings in response to concerns about protests. The only position the city manager has taken -- in response to a question from a council member -- is that Channel 8 should keep cameras aimed at the front of the council chambers, capturing official business of the council, rather than focusing on disruptions in the crowd. This was based on advice from public safety officials and others who are concerned that broadcasting such behavior could encourage disruptions and/or more serious incidents.
Dec. 28, 2011 - Camera headline incorrectly refers to a loan as a gift
Dec. 16, 2011 - Proposed park closure rule would not apply to pedestrians, cyclists and others passing through between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
A proposed city manager-issued rule to close parks from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. would not apply to pedestrians and bicyclists passing through any of the city’s parks, parkways, recreation areas and open space at night. Hikers, trail runners, bicyclists, walkers and other pedestrians would continue to be permitted to enjoy our parks and open spaces at all times.
While this exemption for pedestrians and cyclists was clearly spelled out in a press release the city issued, it was not reported correctly by The Daily Camera in the newspaper’s initial online version of its story.
Nov. 3, 2011 -- Utility Occupation Tax money will not be used to purchase Xcel's system
Nov. 3, 2011 – Capital Investment Bonds Ballot Item 2A
On Nov. 1, 2011, voters in the City of Boulder approved a ballot item that allows the city to bond for up to $49 million to fund projects that will address significant deficiencies and high priority infrastructure improvements. The measure allows the city to use $400,000 annually, which was used previously for other capital items, to fund the capital improvement bonds. The bonds will pay for a list of necessary but unfunded projects like roadway reconstruction, critical software updates, police equipment needs, and more. The measure does not call for raising taxes.
It has been inaccurately stated that the bonds will address a small portion of a larger “$700 million backlog of maintenance projects” in the city. This is not an accurate statement.
The projects included in the bond package were selected by a 16-member community stakeholder committee that met between April and July. To come up with the $49 million package, the committee prioritized projects from a list of capital funding opportunities totaling $700 million. The original $700 million list included items ranging from significant deficiencies to visionary desired investments that were already identified in a variety of city planning documents. It was not a list of backlogged maintenance needs. The committee decided to focus its selection process for the 2011 ballot package on projects that:
For more information, please go to www.bouldercolorado.gov/cis > “Round 1.”
May 18, 2011: Clarifications to Camera article about flood preparations in the wake of the Fourmile Canyon Fire
The Daily Camera was unclear about two points:
1. The flood protections that are outside the Municipal Building have been in place for a number of years and are not the result of increased preparation due to the Fourmile Canyon fire risk. The Camera's story suggested they were.
2. The library will evacuate if there is time. Sheltering in place is an option if evacuations are deemed unsafe. Patrons should listen for staff instructions in the event of a flood.
May 4, 2011: Incorrect staff name/title in Daily Camera article about Boulder Public Library
In an article today about the Boulder Public Library beginning a project to revamp its website and digital library branch, an incorrect name, Jim Marshall, was listed as the former library information and technology manager. The actual manager was Matt Hamilton, who resigned from the library in September 2010. Jim Marshall was the library’s finance and business manager, and he retired from the library in November 2010. The Boulder Daily Camera has corrected this information online, and will run a correction in the printed newspaper on Thursday, May 5, 2011. The rest of the article was accurate.
April 6, 2011: Boulder to continue spraying for mosquitoes
The Boulder Daily Camera had an incorrect headline on this brief. The City of Boulder does not and is not planning to "continue" spraying for mosquitoes. The information in the brief itself about the biological tools the city uses to combat mosquitoes was accurate.
April 1, 2011: $2.5 million available for Boulder human services programs funded by the City of Boulder, not Boulder County
Jan. 31, 2011: Correction to Boulder Channel 1 blog about day warming shelters for homeless
The city wishes to correct erroneous information presented in a Boulder Channel 1 blog posting on the issue of homeless shelters available during cold days. Karen Rahn, director of the city's Housing and Human Services, told Jann Scott in an interview several days ago that the city works closely with Carriage House, the Boulder community's daytime shelter, and has been working with that organization to secure a larger location. In addition, the city has provided emergency funding to open churches during frigid temperatures, most notably over New Year's weekend when city facilities were closed, in addition to ongoing funding for shelter services to Carriage House, BOHO and the Homeless Shelter. At no point did Karen Rahn indicate there have been problems with evening shelters. The city is concerned about the safety and welfare of the homeless, as well as others in need in Boulder, and works with non-profits and other local governments on long-term solutions to this issue. During the cold snap predicted for tonight and tomorrow, Carriage House day center will stay open until 5:00 p.m. and the overflow warming center will open at 5:00 p.m. to provide 24-hour shelter. BOHO will open a back-up overflow day shelter tomorrow at Boulder Mennonite Church in anticipation of the very cold weather predicted for tomorrow.
Dec. 8, 2010: Correction to Camera article, "Council recommends raises for two employees"
Only city workers of the Boulder Police Officer's Association (159 members) and the Boulder firefighters' union (94 members) are eligible for general salary, or cost-of-living, increases this year.
About 570 non-union employees in various departments and 461 members of the Boulder Municipal Employees Association are not eligible for general salary increases this year. Non-union employees are, however, eligible for merit increases.
Nov. 3, 2010: Correction to Camera article, "Boulder throws out contingency budget after Xcel tax approval"
An article in the Camera on Nov. 3 erroneously reported the amount of proposed cuts included in the contingency budget. The correct amount would have been $4.1 million, had 2B not gained voter approval.
Oct. 31, 2010: Correction to Camera article, "Boulder Public Library turnover leads to worries of brain drain"
An article online on Oct. 30 and in print on Oct. 31 erroneously reported that Acting Director Donna Gartenmann would retire at the end of November and that no replacement had been appointed. Gartenmann is retiring at the end of December. The Camera was notified on Friday, Oct. 29, of Gartenmann's December retirement date and that the City of Boulder had named Jennifer Miles as Interim Director effective Dec. 23. The article also inappropriately attributed the reason for Jim Marshall's decision to retire to changes to PERA rules. Although the author of the article attempted to speak to this employee, the Daily Camera did not speak to him and made an incorrect assumption as to the employee's reasons for making a personal retirement decision.
Oct. 6, 2010: Correction to Camera article, "Boulder council takes on feds' immigration fingerprint program"
An article in today's Camera erroneously reported that City Council "will take a stand on the controversial federal program that uses fingerprints to identify illegal immigrants" and has launched a study for the purpose of developing a position on the program. While council questioned the pros and cons of the "Secure Communities" program, members specifically stated several times that they were simply seeking information about the full impact of the pilot program and had not decided whether the city should have a position. In a nod of five, council directed staff, specifically the city manager and Police Chief Mark Beckner, to review the pilot program and report to council on Nov. 9 about what impact, if any, there would be on local law enforcement. Council asked staff to bring more information back on Nov. 9 so the issue could be addressed as part of the comprehensive immigration reform discussion and legislative agenda. Council stated they did not want to discuss the fingerprinting program in isolation of the bigger issue. There was no request made that staff develop a recommendation, and no position was taken to support or oppose the fingerprinting program.
Sept. 28, 2010
The City of
July 8, 2010
Statement from the City of
The City of
Since the City of
To clarify the facts:
On May 5,
At the same time, the city manager asked for a citywide review of the extent to which the city does business with entities in
On May 17, the
Prior to all City Council meetings, a group of city officials meets to discuss the draft agenda. On June 28, during this regular meeting, a suggestion was made that instead of voting on the resolution, council be given the opportunity on July 6 to provide feedback so that the
As a result, City Council on July 6 referred the matter back to the
Those interested in additional information can find it in the memo for the
CORRECTION to Sunday, May 30, “Memorial Day weekend closings” list in The Camera
The South Boulder Recreation Center is currently closed for annual maintenance. It will reopen Monday, June 7. It did NOT reopen on Tuesday, June 1, as reported in the newspaper.
Errors in Jan. 5, 2010, Daily Camera story about city attorney
There were two errors in the Jan. 5, 2010 Daily Camera story: "Search on for new Boulder city attorney."
Setting the Record Straight:
Boulder County does not charge for access to open space
The Boulder County government and the City of Boulder wish to clarify some misinformation regarding open space that has been circulating in the media and among the public.
Some reports have inaccurately stated that
Questions for the
Questions for the city of
Story on gas line breaks in the Camera on Sept. 23
On Wednesday, Sept. 23 the Camera story “Gas break closes Broadway” incorrectly reported that the city wasn’t tracking the number of gas service lines breaks that occur or what the cause of the break was on the Broadway project. This is simply not true. The city has full-time construction inspectors and management staff monitoring and inspecting all work as it is being completed. These types of utility-related incidents are recorded in daily reports including all information surrounding the event, including when the break occurred, where the break was located and how the break happened. These types of incidents are reviewed and discussed between city staff, Xcel representatives and the contractor at weekly project coordination meetings in an effort to minimize the potential for future incidents.
The small diameter gas service line in question during this September 22ndincident was not located by Xcel Energy’s locate service, because it was an abandoned, live service line that could not have been detected using current locating processes. This abandoned, live service line is one that does not connect to a gas meter serving a customer, but was previously abandoned by cutting and capping it outside the roadway, thus leaving the abandoned service line connected to the gas main in Broadway. The best practice for abandoning utility service lines is to abandon them where they connect to the main line so this condition does not exist. It has been found during construction that in some situations in the past, some gas service lines were not abandoned at the main. The city will continue to work with Xcel Energy to minimize future unanticipated utility impacts associated with gas services.
In most cases, the practice for responding to a potential gas leak on a construction project is to call for emergency response to the site and close the road for the protection of the traveling public, the adjacent businesses and properties. The city’s emergency services and Xcel Energy’s repair crews have been very responsive to situations where gas services have been hit.
The Broadway Reconstruction Project includes a significant amount of buried public and private utility installations. The project includes 1.6 miles of new waterline, 1.1 miles of new storm sewer, 1.1 miles of new fiber optic/street lighting conduits and 0.3 miles of new sanitary sewer. In addition to this, Xcel Energy is renewing approximately 1mile of aging gas main and gas service line infrastructure in coordination with the overall project.
Story on Junior Academy in the Camera on Aug. 31
On Aug. 31, 2009, the Daily Camera story "Council Revisits Junior Academy," incorrectly reported that "The City Council took up the proposed rezoning last month…" The statement implies that site rezoning is currently under council consideration. The only item under council consideration is the Jr. Academy Area Plan. Area plans can only guide regulatory decisions, they have no power to rezone sites.
Compatible Development meeting continuing on Aug. 18
On Aug. 5, the Colorado Independent incorrectly printed that the Aug. 18 City Council meeting scheduled to continue the discussion on compatible development was closed to the public. This is incorrect. All City Council meetings are always open to the public.
Social media employee commenting policy - July 2009
An outdated version of the city's social media policy regarding employee comments was incorrectly provided to the Camera and did not include recent revisions that provide employee commenting guidelines for the city's Facebook pilot project. As a result, inaccurate information was published in the paper. The revised guidelines include the following paragraph:
It is recognized that all employees have the right to their personal points of view regarding any public issue. However, the expression of personal points of view on matters of city business or city policy many not be done with city stationary or city equipment, or during work hours. Therefore, employees who post comments on the city's Facebook page(s), expressing their personal point of view, may not use city equipment or post comments during working hours. City employees who post comments during working hours expressing their professional point of view as a City of Boulder employee must first obtain Director approval. Policy makers may express their independent professional views on any matter of city business or policy in their capacity as official representatives of the City of Boulder. If an employee chooses to identify himself or herself as a city employee in any posted comment concerning a personal point of view on a matter of city business, he or she must include language which states the views set forth in the letter do not represent the view of the city, but rather, are the employee's personally held opinions. Additionally, City of Boulder employees who would like to post a comment on the Facebook page(s) must follow the guidelines outlined in the commenting notice.
An additional error in the article stated that Kim McCleskey is the information technology director for the city. Ms. McCleskey is actually an Information Technology Department spokesperson. Don Ingle is the city's information technology director.
Boulder's Carbon Tax - June 2009
There was an error in the Daily Camera's story as it was originally printed on June 5. Originally, the Daily Camera printed the additional costs to city residents and businesses on a monthly basis. The numbers used were actually the annual additional costs, not monthly. Please be aware that the accurate information should have read (as now corrected online):
"According to city estimates, the tax at its maximum rate would cost most residential energy customers $21 a year beginning next year - up from the current rate of about $11. Commercial costs would increase from the current average of $43 a year to $94."
Please help spread the word about the accurate tax increase numbers. We understand that this was an unintentional mistake; however, spreading misinformation only serves to create uninformed reactions within the community. It's important that we work together as an informed community to act locally and create climate change for ourselves and future generations.
Library Facilities - April 2009
City-wide we are facing the very real situation that revenues are declining and are not covering the cost of providing the existing set of city services and programs. In order to address this situation, we are taking a city-wide approach to budget reductions. Each department in the city is examining efficiencies and cost savings within its area. Department submissions for budget reductions will be prioritized and recommendations made to the City Council as part of the 2010 budget process.
For its part, the Library staff worked with the Library Commission to draft a proposal that outlined potential reductions in a three-tiered manner. Tier One items were those efficiencies most easily implemented with little program impact. Tier Three items were those which would have impact and which we hope to avoid. The concept of closing Meadows Library was identified in the third tier of suggestions. This idea would only be implemented after much thoughtful input from the community, the Library Commission and the City Council. No decision has been made on any budget reduction and none will be made until we have heard from the public.
As part of the budget process, we will be using a combination of ways to gather public feedback and opinions on any and all proposed cuts. Some possibilities include surveys, neighborhood meetings, and community work sessions for the public that will engage user groups as well as members of our community who do not typically come to meetings. Please watch the city's Web site www.bouldercolorado.gov/ for information on the public process.
Library Facilities Study:
The budget reduction strategies briefly discussed above are not related to the Library's Facility Study. The Facilities Study is a planning effort to identify critical maintenance needs at the main and branch libraries and to look at longer term facility needs, innovations and vision. The majority of short term funding needs identified in the plan would address fundamental building deficiencies; they are not cosmetic or decorative improvements. Longer term proposals present an exciting vision for the future of our library system. The key fact to note, however, is that none of the proposals are funded.
The Library Facilities Study began in the summer of 2008 before the extent of the current economic decline was fully realized. The need for the study had been identified as a high priority in the 2007 Library Master Plan approved by the Library Commission and City Council. The final report, presented to the Library Commission earlier this month, included a broad range of recommendations and solutions to library facility issues.
Some major conclusions of the study regarding immediate critical maintenance needs include:
More exciting longer term enhancements to the system were also identified in the plan. Given the current budget realities, however, these ideas will remain a vision for our future, helping to establish priorities in the coming years.
What the study verified is that the city must give attention to our facilities in order to maintain them and lessen the damage and costs that may be caused by further deferred maintenance. In particular, the continued neglect of structural issues at the Main Library will have major negative cost implications. The complete study is available to the public and has been posted on the Library Web site at www.boulderlibrary.org/about/planning.html.
The Boulder community values its libraries. The Library Commission, the City Council and city staff members know the value that libraries bring to our community. We will continue to have many deep discussions throughout this process. This is s a time of uncertainty, but we also know that it is a time of opportunity to fine tune our services on all fronts and to hear from the voices of library supporters throughout Boulder. Please know that your voice is heard and that careful consideration will be given to the direction we take with our very precious library resources.
Clearing the Air on Boulder's Climate Action Plan - March 2009
On Sunday, March 8, the Daily Camera announced that Boulder had "fallen" from the Kyoto Protocol. While the article provided some valuable information regarding efforts to achieve the Kyoto goal, it was a disappointing message for those in our community working diligently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I'm writing to clarify where we are and where we are heading. Most importantly, I'm writing to emphasize that working together, we can achieve our climate action goal.
Global warming is real, and its connection to our energy habits has been substantiated. Nearly 75 percent of local greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use-and loss-in our commercial, industrial and residential buildings, and another 20 percent from driving. While some may point to local government efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions as purely symbolic, I pointedly disagree. Our community-funded efforts are making a difference.
Given local government's role in regulating land use development and building codes, the city is well positioned to help our community make long-term shifts in energy consumption. Further, as public servants, we have been charged by Boulder residents to respond to an issue of profound concern.
However, it is not something that local government can achieve on its own. In Boulder, we do not have direct control over how our energy is generated, and we cannot legislate habits such as turning off computers or taking the bus. Reducing our collective "carbon footprint" means that the city needs to commit to doing what it can and urge others to do the same.
So what has the city been doing? The simple answer is: a lot. In partnership with Xcel, Boulder County, a host of nonprofits and valued community volunteers, we have reversed the growth of local greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, our collective efforts helped keep roughly 81,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. With three years left to reach our goal, we're heading in the right direction.
How did we do it? Not by spending tax dollars on purchasing "carbon offsets" (a fancy way of saying we paid someone else to do the work for us). We did it by improving energy efficiency and encouraging people to change behavior. We did it by providing energy audits for 850 buildings, distributing over 34,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs, providing over 100 insulation rebates, and handing out 550 conservation kits. We did it by encouraging transit use, bicycling and walking-resulting in real reductions to local driving. We did it by updating our Green Points building program to improve energy efficiency in over 370 new homes and 692 remodel/additions since 2006, with new city regulations requiring 30 percent greater efficiency in commercial buildings and up to 75 percent more efficiency in homes. And as of last week, we are doing it by connecting hundreds of households with low-interest ClimateSmart loans for home energy improvements.
The city is also doing its part, with the goal of being 100 percent energy independent within the next 10 years. We have converted 40 percent of our fleet to alternative fuel vehicles, installed solar systems on three city buildings, and are constructing a one megawatt solar facility at our wastewater treatment plant. We will continue expanding our use of non-carbon energy sources and partnering with Xcel on SmartGrid implementation and other projects.
Reaching the goal will not be easy, but we know it's possible. We spent the past few months evaluating and refining our action plan for climate change. With our re-tooled programs and current funding, we are confident that we can achieve over 60 percent of our goal by 2012 (eliminating 260,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide) through a combination of incentives, requirements, ongoing education, and social mobilization.
I encourage residents to read the most recent draft of our "Community Guide to Boulder's Climate Action Plan" (http://www.beclimatesmart.com/). It provides an overview of our current programs-as well as new strategies to reach 100 percent of our goal-that will be discussed with City Council on April 7 and 21 when council will also consider whether or not to increase the voter-approved carbon tax from the minimum range it has been at for the past two years.
Regardless of the tax discussion outcome, two things are certain: our commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and achieving the Kyoto goal is unwavering, and getting to the goal will require everyone's commitment and action. It is a problem that we all helped create, and that we all need to help fix.
Shanahan Ridge Incident - March 2009
We share your concerns about the shooting on Shanahan Ranch and want to be partners in addressing any potential dangers in our community.
From a legal standpoint, this is a unique situation that involves a number of entities. Although the effects of this incident were felt in the city, the shooting occurred in the county. Because of these jurisdictional issues, some of the decisions in this case were made by county officials and the state District Attorney's Office.
The police department gathered information and statements from the homeowner and forwarded these to the city attorney to determine one specific point: Is it possible to prosecute anyone under the municipal code? Municipal ordinances make it illegal to discharge a firearm if the projectile crosses into city territory. It is important to note that no bullet was ever found and a determination was made that there is no way to prove which person discharged the firearm. It is our understanding that all three individuals, unaware that they were putting anyone in harm's way, were exchanging weapons, as is common during a shooting practice situation. The law requires prosecutors to be able to assign responsibility to a particular individual. Without a bullet and without the ability to determine who discharged the firearm, the city attorney's office concluded it could not pursue a case.
We are united in the goal of addressing any remaining concerns in forums other than the criminal justice system. We are looking at community outreach options. The city manager has also asked the city attorney's office to review any possible land use or ordinance changes that could address this set of facts.
We understand this community has been shaken by this incident. We are committed to working together to address the issues that remain.
Fire Chief's comments about sprinklers - November 2008
I would like to set the record straight - automatic fire sprinklers have a proven record of preventing fire fatalities and reducing fire loss. I do believe that automatic fire sprinklers are a significant part of the answer regarding to residential fire safety in this country. The Camera's November 19 headline may have indicated something else.
In my discussion with reporter Ryan Morgan, I was trying to express sensitivity to economic realities around retrofitting every apartment in the City of Boulder with fire sprinkler systems. The reality is that there is a cost associated with retrofitting fire sprinkler systems and that those costs are generally passed on to the occupants. The result of retrofit legislation without workable timelines or subsidies to pay for the systems could result in a loss of affordable housing for the community.
There is no doubt that buildings equipped with automatic fire sprinklers are safer than non-sprinkled buildings. This is why sprinklers are required in all newly constructed apartment buildings. The question around existing apartment buildings is how to provide a retrofit without reducing the stock of affordable housing or displacing residents due to expense.
Larry D. Donner
City trip to Lhasa, Tibet - October 2008
The Boulder Camerareported that the city of Boulder paid travel expenses for Council Member Suzy Ageton to travel to Lhasa. The city only paid for Mayor Shaun McGrath's travel expenses. The city did not pay for the mayor's wife's expenses, nor did the city pay for Council Member Susan Osborne's travel expenses to Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
New curbside compost collection service and Spring Cleanup - August 2008
On Aug. 19, Boulder's City Council approved the revisions to the city's trash ordinance that requires residential trash haulers to provide a minimum of 32 gallons of compost collection to single-family customers as part of their basic trash service. The roll-out of the new service will start this fall and is estimated to be completed by the end of January, 2009 (depending on the trash hauler). This service will provide residential customers with a convenient system to recycle and compost at home, reduce residential waste going to the landfill, and move Boulder closer to becoming a zero waste community.
Details of the new program follow:
Change to single-stream recycling
Implementation of basic curbside composting:
Note: items considered to be trash and not recycling or composting:
How will this new program impact our current residential yard waste programs?
Fall Leaf Drop-off will take place this fall for five weeks in October and November; dates of the event will be posted at www.environmentalaffairs.com/. Leaves will be accepted as compostable materials in the new curbside compost collection service. Residents will continue to have the option to take yard waste materials at no cost year-round to the Yard Waste Drop-off site located at Western Disposal, 5880 Butte Mill Rd.
The trash tax that the city collects from trash haulers on the amount of trash collected per customer funds these yard waste programs. Most of the trash tax collected is from the commercial sector (total revenue is 67% from commercial and 33% from residential trash customers). Total budget for these three yard waste programs equals approximately $320,000 per year. Now that the new curbside composting program will provide an improved way to handle yard waste and other types of compostable materials (more convenient and cost-effective), the city will be able to reallocate the Spring Clean-up and Fall Leaf Drop-off budgets to fund commercial waste reduction programs that are critical to the city's waste reduction goals.
In 2005 and 2006 the city and residential trash haulers tested two residential curbside composting collection pilot projects. The pilots had excellent results and feedback from the participants, successfully diverting between 55-69% of the residential waste from the landfill by recycling and composting. Boulder's current waste diversion is 40%.
For more information about the guidelines for single-stream recycling or the new curbside compost program, call your trash hauler. For general information about the program call the Office of Environmental Affairs at (303) 441-4204 or visit www.environmentalaffairs.com/.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 08:31