Oct 13, 2020
City Council Finance and Governance Committee advances plan; Capital investment will create jobs, stimulate local economy
DENVER – The City and County of Denver is moving forward a plan to inject an estimated $170 million into the local economy to create jobs and stimulate economic activity in Denver and the region. Today, the City Council Finance and Governance Committee approved a plan by the Department of Finance and the Elevate Denver Bond Program to undertake a fourth debt issuance worth approximately $170 million. To date, this is the largest issuance for city-led projects, with nearly 75 percent directed toward construction and construction-related activities citywide.
“Now more than ever, people in our community need access to good paying jobs, so we’re deploying the same job-creating tools used to bring us out of past recessions by accelerating the Elevate Denver Bond Program to help rebuild our local economy, get people back to work and make neighborhood improvements sooner,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Every $1 million in bond funding generates $2 million in economic output. Our last General Obligation bond, the Better Denver Bond Program, pulled us out of the Great Recession, and we’re poised for the same strong recovery with Elevate Denver.”
In 2017, Denver voters authorized $937 million in General Obligation bonds to be issued over ten years. With the first three issuances, Elevate Denver has drawn down 40 percent of the nearly billion-dollar program, with more than 100 projects actively underway in either design or construction.
“Elevate Denver is hitting its stride at the exact right moment,” Denver Chief Financial Officer Brenan Hanlon said. “By infusing $170 million into the economy, the bond program is expected to create and support more than 1,800 jobs for people and bring opportunities to our business community at a time when they need it most.”
As a crucial part of the city’s larger infrastructure strategy, the fourth issuance of Elevate Denver and the city’s Capital Improvement Program will invest a combined $478 million into neighborhood improvements over the next three years.
Already, Elevate Denver has yielded jobs for Denver’s workforce as well as opportunities for local businesses. In 2019 alone, more than 4,900 workers from traditionally under-resourced communities participated in Elevate Denver projects through the Denver Construction Career Pilot, and, to date, more than $93 million has been committed to minority and women-owned businesses.
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. The council action approved Tuesday also authorizes 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 savings for the City.
With approval from the Finance and Governance Committee, the action will advance through the council process and is expected for a final reading on November 2, 2020. For more information, visit the Elevate Denver website.
About Elevate Denver Bond Program
Elevate Denver is a 10-year, $937 million general obligation bond program approved by voters in 2017. With more than 500 projects, Elevate Denver enhances the City and County of Denver by maintaining, repairing, and building critical infrastructure. With the first three issuances, Elevate Denver has drawn down 40 percent of the nearly billion-dollar program, bringing improvements to Denver Health and Hospital Authority and cultural institutions, as well as transportation and mobility, parks and recreation, public safety, libraries, and public facilities.