City News

In this issue of City News, you’ll find out how to help avoid a water shortage, how to get tech assistance for virtual City meetings, and how to attend a powerful new exhibit on mental health for free.

- Darin Atteberry, City Manager

Temporary Outdoor Water Restrictions Begin Oct. 1

Every Drop Counts: Working Together to Save Water

Temporary outdoor water use restrictions go into effect for all Fort Collins Utilities water customers Oct. 1 and are expected to last through November. Mandatory water restrictions are necessary due to the ongoing drought conditions, Cameron Peak Fire and infrastructure repairs known as the Horsetooth Outlet Project (HOP). To see the full list of restrictions, visit fcgov.com/water-restrictions. To learn more about HOP, visit fcgov.com/HOP

After Oct. 1, lawn watering and vehicle washing at home are not allowed. Trees, gardens for food production and other landscapes may be watered by hand or drip systems. Exceptions may be made for new lawn installations (seed or sod) and athletic fields for health and safety purposes. Permit applications at fcgov.com/water-permits.

Questions? Contact hop@fcgov.com, 970-416-8040 or V/TDD 711.

Museum of Discovery Presents Mental Health: Mind Matters
Healing begins with talking about mental health.

Opening Saturday, Oct. 3, Mental Health: Mind Matters aims to build a greater understanding of the importance of mental health and create a safe space for important conversations about mental illness. Hands-on experiences throughout the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit bring you closer to the facts, feelings and issues surrounding this topic that touches so many of our lives.

During the entirety of this special traveling exhibition, the museum and the exhibit experience are free!
Learn More & Reserve Your Ticket!

Tech Help for Upcoming City Council Meetings

Our IT Department is here to help with your Zoom technical difficulties. We're offering a live troubleshooting session to assist community members with Zoom for public participation at City Council meetings:

From sound to camera issues, we’ll cover what matters most to you. Tune in to learn from IT, and let us know how we can help!

VirtuVisit Connects Seniors to Technology and Community

Our Volunteer Services team is proud to introduce the VirtuVisit program, created with the goal of connecting isolated older adults living in Fort Collins to loved ones through technology. VirtuVisit provides seniors with free, user-friendly digital tablets and connects seniors with startup support from trained volunteers. Our volunteers show participants how to use the device and provide easy-to-follow instructions which enable seniors to connect virtually with family and friends.

All participants need access to Wi-Fi and can complete the VirtuVisit Sign-Up Form to start the intake process. Once the form is received, a City of Fort Collins volunteer will be in touch with next steps.

Volunteer Services is also looking for volunteers to work with program participants. If you are interested, complete a Volunteer Application and someone from our Volunteer Services team will contact you to schedule a training and match you with a VirtuVisit participant.

For more information, please contact Sue Schafer at SSchafer@fcgov.com

City Rebate Applications Close Oct. 31

Oct. 31 is the last day to apply for the City’s annual rebate program. These rebates are designed to assist income-qualified individuals, families, people with disabilities and seniors in the community. Qualifying residents can receive cash back for taxes paid on groceries, utility bills and rent or property tax.

The rebate on sales tax spent on food is $65 per person, while the utility rebates and property/rent amounts vary by service and amount paid. View income and residency requirements, amounts, and download an application at fcgov.com/rebate.

2021 Budget Hearing

City Council continues to review and revise the 2021 City Manager’s Recommended Budget this month before considering it for adoption in November, and there are still opportunities to help shape the final version.

  • Plan to participate in the City Council Budget Hearing on Oct. 6.
  • Visit ourcity.fcgov.com/2021budget to learn more, make funding suggestions, or take a short survey to help the City prioritize which goals and objectives to fund. You can also review the full Recommended Budget.
  • Watch this short video to learn how the City decides where to spend its money.

Generally, the City creates a biennial budget every two years. Due to the economic uncertainty related to COVID-19, the City has created a one-year 2021 Recommended Budget for City Council to consider this fall. The budget is based on the priorities and objectives outlined in the 2020 Strategic Plan, and is the guiding document for which City services will be preserved, increased, or decreased next year.

Don't Leaf Them In Your Yard!

Fort Collins community members and businesses have many options for handling fallen leaves this time of year.

Leaves are excellent for composting, and gardeners and farmers also use them for animal bedding and to insulate plants and gardens over the winter. Neighbors can connect through social media networks such as Nextdoor and Facebook to exchange leaves for composting and reuse.

Fallen leaves can be recycled by local businesses, at the Timberline Recycling Center, or through the Larimer County Landfill Green Waste Program. Residential trash haulers also offer seasonal leaf and yard trimming collection through November for an extra fee. Contact your waste hauler for details.

Reusing, recycling and composting leaves helps the community’s zero-waste and climate action goals by keeping them out of landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Remember it is prohibited to burn leaves and yard waste, and that that leaves should not be raked or blown onto the street where they can clog storm drains.

Leaf Recycling Options

Temporary Outdoor Fire Restrictions Continue

In accordance with current State and County outdoor fire restrictions and due to continuing hot and dry conditions, as well as air quality impacts of both local and regional wildfires, the City's Temporary Outdoor Fire Restrictions are still in effect and will remain in effect until further notice. All other regulations for indoor and outdoor burning within city limits still apply.

The restrictions prohibit open burning of solid fuels within city limits, including but not limited to:

  • campfires
  • portable or built-in outdoor fire pits
  • charcoal grills 

Exemptions include:

  • liquid or gas-fueled fires in fire pits, grills and camp stoves
  • indoor fireplaces and indoor wood-burning stoves

More information on the fire restrictions can be found at fcgov.com/woodsmoke or https://www.poudre-fire.org/programs-services/current-fire-bans-and-restrictions

Working Together to Keep NoCo Open

To keep our community and local businesses open and safe, it's going to take all of us doing our part - together, we can do this! What can we all do to Keep NoCo Open?

  • Stay home if you're not feeling well.
  • Wear a mask when outside your home and near others.
  • Support local businesses (gift cards, takeout, curbside pick-up, super snazzy al fresco dining).
  • Keep caring for each other (This situation is hard, but kindness is free.).
  • If you're around others, stay physically distant (at least 6 feet apart).
  • Wash your hands (You should be doing this already, but it's especially important right now!).

Let's work together, take care of each other and Keep NoCo Open!

And don't forget to check out ForFortCollins.com for tools, resources, and ideas for both business and community members to help our businesses reopen strongly and safely.

View For Fort Collins Resources

Help Decide the Future of E-Scooters and Bike Shares

Help the City provide you with the best e-scooter share and bike share programs possible by taking the Bike Share/E-Scooter Share Survey and providing input on:

  • the previous bike share program and current e-scooter share program
  • what you would like to see in future programs

The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, Oct. 9.

Take the Survey!

Pumpkins on Parade at the Gardens on Spring Creek

Join the Gardens on Spring Creek for a fun-for-all-ages celebration of Halloween and the harvest! Enjoy our first-ever Community Carved Pumpkin Contest and hundreds of pumpkins and gourds arranged across the gardens in artistic displays. Kids less than 12 years old will take home a candy-free goodie bag. Costumes are encouraged! 

Friday, October 23 - Sunday, October 25  |  6 - 9 p.m. each evening  |  Tickets on sale soon!

Carved Pumpkin Contest

Show your creative side through our Carved Pumpkin Contest!  All ages and skill levels are welcome to enter!  Carved pumpkins will be displayed throughout our gardens.  It’s free to enter and winners will be awarded fun prizes in a variety of categories.  Participants must provide their own pumpkins.

Learn More

Public Power Week is Oct. 4-10

The City of Fort Collins is proud to operate a community-owned, locally-controlled, not-for-profit electric utility in Fort Collins Utilities. Fort Collins Utilities works with Platte River Power Authority to provide homes, businesses and schools with safe, reliable, environmentally-responsible and cost-effective electricity.

Utility services operate every hour of every day. When winter storms, driving rains or damaging winds hit, Utilities crews are available day and night. If an electric or water outage occurs, crews are immediately on the scene - in many emergency scenarios, they often are first responders to ensure safety and quick resolution.

During Public Power Week (Oct. 4-10), consider thanking a lineworker or City of Fort Collins Light and Power employee for their hard work and 'round-the-clock commitment to our community.

Area Wildfires Affect Fort Collins Air and Water Quality

The City is carefully monitoring wildfires in the area and any potential impacts they may have on Fort Collins’ water supply infrastructure and air quality.

The proximity of the Cameron Peak Fire, along with others currently burning, is currently affecting air quality in Fort Collins. Symptoms of smoke exposure include watering and irritated eyes, coughing and difficulty breathing. While smoke can impact anyone, sensitive populations such as children, pregnant people, the elderly, and those with asthma and other respiratory concerns are especially at risk. Community members with COVID-19 can be especially sensitive to smoke and may experience worse symptoms during smoke events.

What can you do to stay safe?

  • Limit physical activity and time outdoors.
  • Close windows & doors in your home.
  • If you have central A/C, run it in “fan only” mode.
  • If you don’t have AC, use ceiling or room fans to circulate inside air. You can also designate a room to be a clean air room.
  • If you or someone in your home has a medical condition requiring AC or other equipment, you may qualify for Utilities’ Medical Assistance Program. 
  • Sign up for emergency alerts with NoCoAlertsor call/text 970-962-2173.
  • Before heading out, check local air quality conditions.
  • Check the smoke outlook.
Stay Safe and Learn More

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Communications & Public Involvement Office
215 N Mason St
Fort Collins, CO 80524