Arapahoe County is the fastest growing county in Colorado. And why wouldn’t it be? Our cities and communities feature some of the best quality of life our state has to offer. But accommodating that success, and the growth it brings with it, requires careful analysis of our current situation and a focus on what’s best for all our residents going forward. It means planning our future together.
Over the next several months, county leaders will be reaching out to residents to provide them with the information they need and want to help in making critical decisions that will move our county forward. In short, we’ll be working with you to plan our future together.
• Arapahoe County is one of Colorado’s fastest growing counties with more than 650,000 residents. By 2030, 800,000 are likely to live here making us the most populous county in the metro area and surpassing the City and County of Denver.
• Arapahoe County has a reputation for being an efficiently-run, fiscally responsible government. But growth presents new challenges.
• As the population grows, so does the need for County services. And much of the County infrastructure – roads, bridges, jail, courthouse – is aging. How do we keep up with the demands of growth and maintain our current facilities?
• Arapahoe County has some of the lowest property taxes in the state. And county government only keeps 15 percent of what it collects to invest in county services and infrastructure. The rest goes to schools, cities and towns and special districts like fire and water.
Since 2016, County leadership and residents have been working to better understand the long-term needs of the county so they can develop a path forward.
Two issues stand out as most pressing needs: Public Safety and Transportation
• The County’s existing Judicial Center, and particularly the aging, outdated county jail, emerged as an urgent public safety need.
• Transportation, including maintaining existing infrastructure and combating congestion, was seen as a key quality-of-life issue.
Over the next few months, the County will explore and evaluate how to meet these critical public safety needs, including options that require voter approval. The Commissioners will actively engage residents and businesses in the County in these discussions.
County Commissioners have appointed residents from across the county to a Long Range Planning Committee. Over the next several months, that committee will study the county budget as well as the issues and needs identified and make recommendations to the County Commissioners about the next path forward. You can read more about that process. Or see times and dates and locations for the committee’s upcoming meetings, which are open to all.