No Slow Januaries: Leadership Fort Collins City Government Day

January is usually a time for slow reflection and planning. Not this year.

Thanks to Leadership Fort Collins – we learned all about the City of Fort Collins Streets Department. They have a room where you can see every intersection with a camera – and yes, they can remotely control the lights and fix problems. Stuck somewhere for a while or is traffic backed up? They want to know!

Did you know that almost all the asphalt in Fort Collins is recycled? It’s true. The cost per cubic yard to refresh a road (vs rebuild) is about $5 (vs $50) and a lot of recovered asphalt is mixed in to make a new, more stable surface – 20-30%.

Then we wandered over to the sign shop (the City makes all the signs for CSU, PSD, and UCH as well as it’s own). The most commonly stolen signs are those with names featured on TV and posted anywhere near campus. The super-talented City Staff can make almost any sign (including the custom ones you see later in the album) in around 6 minutes. They mostly use a printing and laminating technique which is rated for 20 years to help reduce waste (vinyl cutout has a LOT of wasted material).

The salt silo can hold roughly 9,000 tons of salt and the City makes its own brine and, because of the salt shortage, also helped supply nearby municipalities with salt to hold them through last season. The street sweeper hits all 2,000 miles of road lanes in Fort Collins 4 times per year and is fully electric (it was the 3rd unit in existence when purchased).

The Snow team’s command room is very impressive and the staff accurately called Tuesday/Wednesday’s snowstorm AND amounts nearly a week ahead of time. They also track traction conditions down to the intersection level across the city.

We learned all about the Budgeting for Outcomes process the City Council uses to fund and prioritize City projects, elections and voting, and even heard from Kelly DiMartino, the Fort Collins City Manager. The thing that keeps her up at night? Divisiveness and polarization on local issues.

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