The Briargate Special Improvement Maintenance District (SIMD) is a local taxing and maintenance entity that was created by city ordinance in 1983 by the developers of Briargate to maintain the common areas that are generally bounded by Chapel Hills Dr, Woodmen Rd, Briargate Blvd, and Powers Blvd, and includes a subdivision next to the present day Challenger Middle School.
The ordinance allows for the assessment of a mill levy for properties in the district for the maintenance of certain improvements on specified medians, rights of way, and open spaces.
The maintenance of the common areas in the district is administered by the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department. SIMD maintenance is conducted by a combination of full time and seasonal Park Maintenance staff and contracted services.
A volunteer citizen advisory committee appointed by City Council oversees and recommends budgets and maintenance priorities for the district. More information on the advisory committee can be found on the city website at:
The SIMD is funded by a property tax levy on each parcel in the SIMD boundaries. On average, each parcel owner pays $100 in annual property taxes to the Briargate SIMD.
The Briargate SIM Master Plan identifies various right-of-ways to be maintained and a description of subdivisions and properties to be taxed.
The SIMD expansion plan was to slowly grow the overall boundaries by including future subdivisions as they were created. That process was not consistent and some subdivisions were missed that should have been included as part of the tax base.
Regardless of the number and distribution of parcels currently paying the SIMD tax, the documentation creating the SIMD is very specific as to what areas are to be maintained.
Nor’wood and Stetson Hills used a different approach rather than the “include as you go” approach used by Briargate. The number of parcels contributing taxes in Nor’wood and Stetson Hills appears to be more consistent and evenly distributed throughout the developments.
An evaluation of available funding has shown that Briargate SIMD has 51 percent of the assessed valuation available per maintained acre to levy upon for revenues. To make up for this, reduced costs have been made in nearly all areas for a reduced level of maintenance overall in the District. However, cost saving-measures are not sustainable and are a poor short-term fix. Implemented 2018 annual cost savings include:
|Staff reduction from 4 to 3 full time staff||$65,000|
|Seasonal staff reductions||$59,000|
|Water reduction 24”/year to 17”/year||$112,945|
|Seed and fertilizer reductions||$15,300|
|No tree replacements||$9,000|
|No equipment replacements||$20,000|