Denver City and County Building

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More money to help people experiencing homelessness and fill gaps in Denver sidewalks are among the requests that the Denver City Council is making this budget season.

In a letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the council pitched 18 items that weren’t included in the $1.49 billion 2020 budget proposal that the mayor unveiled last month. Those asks include additional funding for infrastructure, public safety and eco-friendly incentives, according to a news release from the City Council.

Here are some highlights of the council proposal:

  • $1.5 million to build missing sidewalk in areas of Denver that are considered “high need.”
  • $1 million for housing and rental support to give homeless people better access to services and case management that will help them get off the streets and into permanent housing.
  • $500,000 for safety measures along routes to Denver schools.
  • $50,000 for more trash cans in heavily used public spaces and $180,000 for more public restrooms and handwashing stations for people who are experiencing homelessness.
  • $208,835 for a Denver Sheriff's Department program that aims to reduce recidivism by giving offenders the chance to learn new skills that they can use when they are released from jail.
  • $730,000 to reduce traffic and pedestrian accidents in areas of the city where infrastructure needs have been overlooked and the risk of injury crashes is high.
  • $250,000 in solar panel subsidies to help more Denver homeowners access clean energy.

“As Denver continues to grow, we must ensure that neighborhood concerns and needs are at the forefront of our budget allocations,” Council President Pro-Tem Stacie Gilmore said in a statement. “Additional resources for our most vulnerable residents from children and older adults to our homeless individuals ensure we are addressing their most critical needs.”

Hancock will review the council’s requests and submit a final budget to the council later this month, the news release says. His initial proposal included additional money to improve access to affordable housing, care for homeless people, combat climate change and enhance Denver’s transportation network.

A public hearing on the spending plan is now set for Oct. 28. In the weeks that follow, the council can amend the budget, the mayor can reject any amendments, and the council can override any of the mayor’s rejections, according to the news release.

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