How Budget Cuts Are Bleeding Colorado Springs

February 1 2010, 10:36 AM

If you think budget cuts are bad in Denver, look no further than Colorado Springs for solace. After voters recently shot down a measure that would have tripled property taxes and restored $27.6 million to the city's $212 million general fund, the city is now left slashing services that most Americans take for granted, writes The Denver Post. More than one third of the city's streetlights will go dark tonight. Police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. Dozens of police and firefighting positions will go unfilled. People are being encouraged to help mow public lawns---although by July the grass will be dead because of water cutbacks. Buses no longer run on evenings or weekends. City recreation centers, pools, and museums will be shuttered March 31 unless private funding arrives to save the day. It's all so depressing that the Colorado Springs Independent has logged a brief in its Misery Loves Company File, noting that at least Tulsa, Oklahoma, is also struggling. There, 124 police officers are losing their jobs after their union refused to take a pay cut. Moreover, another 59 city workers are out of jobs, according to Tulsa World. Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Gazette continues to write about the lives of the 300-500 homeless campers, the ones "trashing creeks and public spaces, repelling people who use the urban trail system and Penrose Library, taxing public services, and sparking a City Council discussion on a no-camping ordinance."