Did Hickenlooper Okay Misuse of Funds for Skyline Park Rehab? Just askin’…

Like I said, just askin’.

The issue is this: Was the city’s contract 60339 (project number, PF71005-166), awarded to Parsons Integrated Construction, for the rehabilitation/restoration of Skyline Park which skirts Arapahoe Street from 15th to 18th Streets, funded inappropriately with monies from the Sanitary Sewer pot, city fund/org number 72400/5061102?

Those of us who own property in Denver, annually pay into city fund number 72000 (72400 being a subset of that fund) for sanitary sewer and storm drainage services provided by the city’s Wastewater Management Division of the Public Works Department. The Wastewater Division is what is called an “enterprise” agency, meaning they generate their own funding and, legally, are restricted from expending any of that funding on anything other than the support of their codified mission.

Chapter 20, Article II, Section 20-18 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code provides explicit descriptions of the various funds established from which expenditures are authorized to be made. The “purpose of expenditures” for fund 72000, is, by ordinance:

Cost of administration, management, operation, and maintenance, planning and engineering of sanitary and storm sewage facilities; for the payment of the principal of, interest and premiums due upon, and related expenses of issuing and servicing bonds, including revenue bonds, issued for such sewage facilities; for the acquisition of land for such purposes; for payment to the Metropolitan Denver Sewage Disposal District No. 1 for treatment of the sewage of the city and its connectors; for the acquisition of chattels, used to be used for the management, operation and control of wastewater and wastewater facilities; for the acquisition of real property or any interest therein, the construction, reconstruction, enlargement and replacement of sanitary and storm sewage system facilities, or other acquisition of buildings or other structures; the acquisition of equipment that is or will become permanently attached to or a functional part of real property or any interest therein or of any building or structure, and for other related operational expenditures.

Now, am I missing something here? Where, in the legal description (above), is there allowance for the Wastewater management enterprise fund to take on the rehabilitation/restoration of a park? Have I missed some nuance in the language that would allow for the same?

Okay. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I’ve got a good point going here. Then, when the contract was signed by both Hickenlooper and the Auditor, Dennis Gallagher, were they aware that they were authorizing a blatantly inappropriate use of enterprise funds which, as I noted, come directly from you and me as we pay our portion of the Sanitary Sewer and Storm Drainage charges assessed against our property?

Or, am I completely mistaken here, and there is some rational, legal, comprehensive explanation for the use of these proprietary funds for something that, at first glance, appears to be inappropriate?

Like I said, just askin’.

P.S. By the way, are Storm Funds really about $17Million in the red?

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