City News

Welcome to City News. In this issue you'll learn how you can be counted in the 2020 Census, how to provide feedback on blocked train crossings, and what seasonal opportunities are available with Parks & Recreation. Thanks for reading.

- Darin Atteberry, City Manager

Be Counted!

The next U.S. Census is April 1, 2020. The Constitution requires a count of all people living in the U.S every ten years, and that demographic data has far-reaching state and local impacts.

Census results are used to reapportion seats in the U.S House of Representatives based on shifting population centers. It is also used to distribute approximately $13 billion in federal funds across Colorado each year. Locally, census data helps inform the City's policies and planning for housing, transit, infrastructure and other services.

The 2020 census is simple:

  • The questionnaire is short: just 10 demographic questions for each member of the household
  • It can be filled out online, by phone, or on paper, and in 13 languages
  • Who Counts? Everyone living in your house on April 1

Your data is secure:

  • There is no citizenship question
  • Data is only released in aggregate, not by individuals or households
  • The Census Bureau does not share individual data with any other part of government (federal, state or local)

Census data brings federal resources to Northern Colorado:

  • An accurate count could lead to additional representation for Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Every person counted equates to approximately $2,300/year in federal funds invested in the community for the next decade
  • Federal funds support housing, human services, schools, roads and more

The official 2020 Census date is April 1. In the next couple of weeks, you'll receive a postcard in the mail with instructions about how to complete the census. For the first time, you'll be able to respond online, and forms will be available in multiple languages.

Learn More!

Report Long and Stopped Trains

Have you been affected by long or stopped trains?

The Federal Railroad Administration has created a new website where the public can report stopped trains or blocked railroad crossings. The City of Fort Collins is encouraging residents to submit reports when they experience train delays in City limits. Personal information is not collected, and the FRA plans to use the data to identify and study areas with significant delays and come up with potential solutions for all parties.

Visit fcgov.com/trains to submit a report or to learn more about trains in City limits.

Earth Day Challenge

11 Weeks

5,000 lbs

Multiple Prizes

One Big Earth Day Celebration

Can you bike to work more often, line dry your laundry, commit to using LED lightbulbs or avoid single-use plastics? Shift and the Sustainable Living Association are challenging our community to lose 5,000 pounds of CO2e, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, per household by Earth Day 2020 (April 22). Help us achieve this goal through sustainable actions and a bit of friendly competition!

Join more than 400 households who have signed up already, and take the Earth Day Challenge! Create an account and track your actions at ShiftFoco.com, and start saving time, energy and money.

Learn More

Parks & Rec Hiring Fair

City of Fort Collins Parks & Recreation Departments are hiring for summer positions in the pools, at the parks, teaching classes, going on trips and keeping score on the field. Join us at the hiring fair on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at Edora Pool Ice Center (EPIC) to learn more about available positions and meet with staff.

Learn More

Fix a Leak Week is March 16-22

In 2019, Fort Collins Utilities notified 1,600 households about potential leaks. These leaks wasted an average of 2,500 gallons per day, which is between five to 20 times more than the typical household uses each day.

Want to learn how to find and fix household leaks? Join us at the Fix A Leak Open House on March 25 from 4-6 p.m. in the Community Room at Old Town Library.

Common leaks include running toilets, dripping faucets and valves that are not regularly maintained. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10% on water bills.

Visit fcgov.watersmart.com to sign up for WaterSmart, a program that allows you to identify unexplained water use, receive leak alerts and learn more about saving water.

We Want Your Feedback!

Oil & Gas Regulations
Passed in Colorado in April 2019, Senate Bill 181 allows local governments land use authority to regulate the siting and surface impacts of oil and gas development. Two public meetings have been scheduled to provide the public with information about oil and gas development in city limits, as well as solicit feedback on preferred regulatory options:

  • Monday, March 2, 6-8 p.m. | Columbine Room, Lincoln Center
  • Thursday March 5, 6-8 p.m. | Prairie Sage Room, Fort Collins Senior Center

For more information on oil and gas development in city limits, visit fcgov.com/oilandgas.

Wireless Master Plan
The City's first Wireless Master Plan is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of existing wireless infrastructure, such as cell phone towers, within the Fort Collins Growth Management Area and help ensure that any future deployments do not create unnecessary or redundant wireless infrastructure.

At the open house, staff and consultants will offer presentations and will be available to discuss the planning process, local conditions and other questions related to regulations for wireless service:

  • Monday, March 9, 6-8 p.m. | Twinberry Room, Fort Collins Senior Center
  • Wednesday, March 11, 6-8 p.m. | Eagle Rooms 1 and 2, Northside Aztlan Community Center
Learn More about Both Projects

Garden in a Box

Do you want to use less water and update your landscaping? Garden in a Box is the answer. Choose from six pre-designed xeriscape garden boxes for areas 60-100 square feet. These do-it-yourself kits come with 15 to 30 starter plants, a comprehensive Plant and Care Guide and one to three plant by number maps. Utilities has partnered with Nature in the City to provide $25 off each box for the first 200 Utilities water customers.

Go native in 2020! The Naturally Native box is made up entirely of plants native to Colorado. Native plants provide habitat uniquely suited to support local pollinators, conserve water, eliminate the need for fertilizer and are naturally disease and pest resistant. They thrive in our climate and promote environmental stewardship.

Boxes go on sale March 2!

Learn More

Improving Water Quality: Water Distribution System Flushing

Fort Collins Utilities will begin flushing the water distribution system in early April from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, for approximately eight weeks (weather permitting).

Location
Crews will start just west of Overland Trail and move eastward to College Avenue, including some areas in the town of Laporte as the northern boundary and Harmony Road as the approximate southern boundary.

Benefits
Flushing helps maintain water quality and keeps our water fresh. It's a proactive and essential component of our preventive maintenance program and allows crews to assess the condition of the distribution system and fire hydrants. 

How it Works
When flushing, fire hydrants are opened, increasing the velocity of water moving through the pipes. Flushing removes sediments that may affect the water's taste and color. While a loss of water pressure is common, the process doesn't typically interrupt water service.

Cloudy or Discolored Water
Flushing may cause your water to become cloudy or discolored for a short time. This water is not harmful, though it may stain laundry. It's also safe to use on plants and landscape. If you experience cloudy or discolored water:

  • wait until the nearby flushing is complete
  • remove faucet aerators or filters
  • run the COLD water for 5-10 minutes (usually the water clears within a few minutes)

Details and Map
fcgov.com/hydrant-flushing or 970-212-2900

Stay Connected to Your City
As a City News subscriber you receive monthly updates on what's happening in Fort Collins, but did you know there are numerous other ways to stay connected day-to-day with City projects, programs and services? 

Share feedback on major projects at OurCity

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