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City Accelerates Elevate Denver Bond Program with $170 Million Infusion into Local Economy

Denver City Council approves the Program’s fourth debt issuance to deliver community improvement projects citywide

Denver will issue a substantial jolt to the local economy by pumping nearly $170 million into infrastructure investments in neighborhoods across the city by accelerating the Elevate Denver Bond Program. Tonight, the City Council approved Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s request to more than double the planned Elevate Denver Bond Program fourth debt issuance from $70 million to $170 million. With Denver City Council approval secured, the program is now preparing to move dollars out the door and into the community, faster.

“Public investment like the Better Denver Bond Program approved by voters in 2007 helped reverse the Great Recession here. Elevate Denver is an even larger bond program, the largest in our history,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “With the $170 million fourth issuance, we will generate over $136 million in labor income and create more than 1,800 jobs, all while providing residents critical community infrastructure.”

Denver voters ushered in the nearly billion-dollar bond program in 2017, as the local economy was thriving. Today, amid an economic downturn, the City turns to capital infrastructure to trigger growth and support both businesses and the local workforce.   

An economic model conducted by Denver’s Department of Finance forecasts a $3.8 billion impact on the regional economy from the fourth issuance, including direct effects to jobs and businesses, as well as indirect and induced effects down the supply chain.

“There’s an entire economic ecosystem that benefits from a large capital investment like Elevate Denver’s fourth issuance,” said Denver Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon. “In addition to the hundreds of direct jobs that will be created through these investments, the issuance will also support manufacturers and suppliers of raw goods, as well as businesses that benefit from new sales from workers spending paychecks at restaurants and retail establishments.”

General obligation bond programs like Elevate Denver are issued over time, drawing down on the authorized amount over the course of up to 10 years. As tax-exempt bonds, the funds should be spent no later than three years after the issuance. With three issuances already funded, more than 150 projects are currently in design, construction, or complete, and neighborhoods can expect to see fourth issuance funds hit the ground as early as spring 2021.

The Department of Finance plans to price and close on the bonds in late November and early December.

In addition to the $170 million debt issuance, the Department of Finance continues to monitor all existing debt obligations to find ways to achieve cost savings. Denver City Council also authorized a refunding opportunity to secure a lower interest rate on outstanding Better Denver Bonds that the City previously issued in 2010. Based on current market rates, the proposed refunding is anticipated to generate $57 million in present value savings for the City.

For more information, visit the Elevate Denver website.