Things are grim in open space land.
Or at least in the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks department’s pocket book, which is filled almost entirely by sales tax revenues. And sales in Boulder are down.
Already, the city has walked away from three land deals totaling 1,000 acres (see post below). Now, the city is talking about raising cash for open space by charging those who live outside the Boulder Bubble for using Boulder’s trails.
While the city has spent $208 million to purchase more than 45,000 acres of open space in and around Boulder since it began a systematic buy-up of land in the late 1960s, it still has more than 5,800 acres left in its master plan — at an estimated cost of about $100 million.
Among the suggestions for creating more revenue to fund those remaining purchases is to begin charging a fee for non-Boulder County residents who use certain city-owned trails.
City Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said she routinely sees people drive to Boulder’s open space to use its amenities, but never stop in the city to spend money on food or retail purchases. Sales tax on such items, she said, largely make up the budget for open space programs. Read more