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Colorado Springs mayor reflects on recent cold spell, street paving, affordable housing in monthly briefing


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Mayor Yemi Mobolade spent much of his monthly media briefing Thursday discussing the city’s response to the recent cold spell that brought sub-zero temperatures and wind chills to the area two weekends ago.


He said that around 500 people were sheltered at the Springs Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army Family Hope Center, and The Place.


Mobolade said that he’s pleased with how the city, the fire department, emergency managers and Colorado Springs Utilities joined forces for the first time to provide more cold-weather shelters along with transportation to those shelters.

However, he said that there were some glitches — including some people being turned away from one of the church shelters.


“There was some confusion about the SRM’s leadership role, in terms of being able to take their ongoing operations and move them into an emergency shelter,” the mayor explained. “That message needs to be clearer to the community. Because of that community, the churches were bearing a lot more of the burden than they could actually carry. The communication could be better. We’ll study how to improve that.”

Mobolade said that the city spent around $27,000 in the united cold weather response; he also said that authorities still haven’t determined whether anyone died as a direct result of the cold weather.


They mayor also discussed a subject that he said “keeps him up at night” — the lack of affordable housing and the continued high demand for it.

At a City Council work session Monday, the city’s housing staff proposed spending 60% of $5 million in federal funding, to provide more affordable housing — an increase in the 50% spend last year.

City of Colorado Springs

According to staff, public feedback and a consultant’s study indicated that affordable housing is the top housing-related concern.

“We’re making more investments in the areas that we think will move the needle,” Mobolade said. 

He revealed a potential investment that could bring a significant change in the trend of building primarily apartment complexes to provide affordable housing that is below market rates.


“I spoke with a builder who has drafted plans to do more single-family homes that are in the high-$200,000 to the mid-$400,000 range,” Mobolade said.

The mayor added that some costs of building materials — which have skyrocketed in recent years — have finally started to decrease. Interest rates are coming down, too.”


Finally another revelation from Mobolade: the city plans a ballot measure this fall asking voters to extend, for a second time, the 2C expanded street paving program that expires at the end of next year.

“We haven’t decided whether to extend if for five years or ten years,” he said. “But we realize that we still have a lot to do with our streets. If we do extend it, we will focus more on neighborhood streets because we’ve already made major improvements on our busiest streets.”

The City Council would have to approve such a ballot measure.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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