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2024 State of the City#

Mayor Jeni Arndt and City Manager Kelly DiMartino celebrated 2023 and shared accomplishments, reflected on ways to strengthen our community together, and looked ahead to the future of Fort Collins.

Watch The State of the City  on the City's YouTube channel.

Watch Online

2023: The Year in Video#

person holds flowers and smiles

Downtown Flower Project

In 2023, the City planted 45,000 flowers and plants as part of the our annual Downtown Flower Project. 270 different types of flora provided the explosion of color Downtown.

three cyclists pose for photo outside in winter

Bike to Work (or Wherever) Day

Our community has that "extra level of Colorado tough" to brave Winter Bike to Work (or Wherever) Day. For Winter and Summer Bike to Work (or Wherever) Days, we saw 7,500 combined attendees in 2023!

illustration of animals in river with text: please only rain down the drain

Storm Drain Murals

How do storm drains help preserve local wildlife? The City partners with local artists to call attention to the importance of keeping water sources for wildlife clean.

person in hat in front of a pond

West Nile Virus

How do we monitor mosquitos for West Nile? How do we decide when to spray? Take a peek at the major efforts that go into keeping tabs on these little insects. 

person holds illustration of firefly

Light Up the Night

Many people in Colorado have never seen a firefly, but the City's Riverbend Ponds Natural Area is home to the elusive creature.

person holds up art

Art Pop Ups

From art pop ups to music in the park, the new Cultural Community Program seeks to meet people where they are with the wonder and magic of arts and culture.

three older people talk in front of posters

Land Use Code Public Engagement

City planners conducted a variety of community conversations and public engagement events focusing on housing-related updates to the City’s Land Use Code. Take a closer look at how the City works with community members to solicit feedback and incorporate your ideas.

aerial of foothills

2023 Business Celebration

Our local businesses are critical to our economy and our culture. Take a closer look at the businesses highlighted for our 2023 Business Appreciation Celebration.

2023 Report to the Community#

In the past year, the City deepened our community investments and connections, while continuing to provide exceptional municipal services around the clock. Whether snowplow crews were clearing your roads, front desk staff were answering your questions, or bus operators were getting you to your next destination on time, we spent 2023 eager to serve you. We’re looking forward to another year of fostering a thriving and engaged community through our operational excellence and a culture of innovation. 

Municipal Election#

A photo of a ballot drop box

In response to a 2022 community vote, the City moved municipal elections to the November ballot resulting in a nearly 20% increase in voter turnout in 2023. In that election, voters re-elected Mayor Jeni Arndt, District 3 Councilmember Julie Pignataro and District 6 Councilmember Emily Francis, and elected Melanie Potyondy to represent District 4. 

Native Nations Community Advisory Panel#

A photo of a dancer in traditional powwow clothing.

In 2023, the Native Nations Community Advisory Panel (NNCAP) formed to build relationships and deepen trust between the Native community and City staff. The team provides guidance on City projects related to land management and cultural resources and has developed a land acknowledgment and worked on protocols for direct Tribal consultation.

Connexion Primary Buildout Complete#

A photo of crews installing Connexionn fiber

Fort Collins’ municipal broadband, Connexion, finished its main buildout in 2023 and now has more than 17,000 customers. In 2024, Connexion’s focus shifts to expanding service for multi-dwelling units (MDUs), which make up more than 40% of Fort Collins residences—in 2023, Connexion brought service to 28% of MDUs. Read Connexion's 2023 End-of-Year Report for more highlights.

Equity & Inclusion Office#

A photo of a person holding printed equity materials

The City's Equity & Inclusion Office continued to grow in 2023, hiring staff in key positions to advance equity and accessibility in the organization. Staff developed the City’s first Equity & Inclusion Plan to define priorities for working with the community to create a more equitable Fort Collins. 

Sales Tax Initiative#

A photo of the lake at City Park

In November, Fort Collins voters approved a new 0.5-cent sales tax to fund parks and recreation, transit and climate initiatives.

Resilient Recovery Plan Implementation#

A photo of a woman sharing poetry at a bus stop

2023 proved a critical year for implementing the City's Resilient Recovery Plan: All $28.1 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars have been allocated to more than 50 active programs supported by ARPA funds this year alone. 

Equity Grant Fund#

Pride pins with the City of Fort Collins logo

The Equity Grant Fund provided $200,000 to local nonprofits and organizations that serve groups significantly impacted by the pandemic. The grants supported projects such as an immigrant youth fellowship program, community empowerment clinics, LGBTQ+ youth programming and more.

Homelessness Services#

A photo of a Habitat for Humanity event.

The City facilitated more than $1 million in funding to local nonprofits and community partners to support community members in need. A total of $955,000 in ARPA and $100,000 in local funds were allocated to seven agencies via 12 contracts. The contracts include program support for resource navigation, 24/7 shelter operations, street outreach, the Homeless Management Information System and other general operations.

Affordable Housing#

A photo of a house under construction.

In 2023, the City provided fee credits to help develop 13 new homes for households earning 30% of the area median income (AMI) and five new homes for households earning 40% AMI, marking the first time the City has provided fee credits to incomes over 30% AMI.

Dovetail Park#

A photo of people playing at Dovetail Park

The City continued our expansion of parks offerings with Fort Collins' newest, Dovetail Park, opening in October 2023. The park boasts features that have yet to be included in other City parks, including bocce ball, ping pong, corn hole and a hammock/slackline garden. 

400th Transformer Cabinet Mural#

A photo of an artist painting a transformer cabinet mural.

In 2023, the Art in Public Places program painted its 400th transformer cabinet mural. The program oversaw the completion of 42 murals including:

  • 17 transformer cabinets
  • 1 traffic box
  • 13 pianos
  • 10 storm drains
  • 1 Water Treatment Facility cabinet

Community Celebrations#

A photo of a person speaking at a Fort Collins community celebration

The City sponsored and collaborated on various cultural celebrations throughout the year, including a communitywide event for Juneteenth, an artist reception for Latiné and Hispanic Heritage Month, a bison mural at Front Range Village for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and a flag raising and reception for Pride Month.

Events Growing at the Gardens#

A photo of a concert at the Gardens.

2023 was another successful year for events at The Gardens on Spring Creek. The Gardens welcomed 22,167 attendees for the annual holiday Garden of Lights, where guests enjoyed a half-mile loop of spectacular botanic-themed light displays. Pumpkins on Parade, the yearly harvest and Halloween celebration, drew 6,842 attendees thanks to a collection of gargantuan gourds, live pumpkin carving and fall-themed light displays. The Gardens also saw ticket sales grow more than 10% for both events, and sold out all six shows of the Live at the Gardens Concert Series.

Southeast Fort Collins Community Innovation Center#

An aerial photograph of Fort Collins

The City announced a joint commitment with community partners to open a new community innovation center in southeast Fort Collins. The southeast community innovation center will feature a state-of-the-art public library and multi-use spaces, as well as recreation and aquatics facilities. Design work will begin in 2024.

Cultural Community Programs#

A photo of a performer playing a guitar.

2023 marked the first full year of the City’s Cultural Community Program. Highlights include live music in parks, poetry at transit stops and outdoor print-making workshops. These pop-up events brought artists and musicians directly into neighborhoods and community hubs, and an overwhelming majority of commissioned artists self-identified with historically underrepresented groups, fulfilling the program’s commitment to diversity.

Bus and Bus Stop Art#

A photo of art at a bus stop.

The City featured artwork and poetry by 33 community members throughout Fort Collins. In 2023, the City displayed that art on bus-stop kiosks and buses, and staff are working to expand the program to include bus benches in the future.

DEIA Talent Network#

A photo of a person presenting at a DEIA Talent Network meeting.

In 2023, the City's DEIA Talent Network brought together nearly 40 different companies and organizations to champion Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA). The DEIA Talent Network also hosted quarterly conversations to encourage greater alignment and collaboration, and sponsored communitywide employee resource group gatherings to further invest in our diverse talent pool in Fort Collins.

Multicultural Business & Entrepreneur Center#

A photo of an Economic Health Office Employee working an event.

The Multicultural Business & Entrepreneur Center (MBEC), a free bilingual (English & Spanish) center, continued to provide business owners and entrepreneurs access to resources, mentorship and specialty training. In only its second year, the MBEC grew its number of appointments by more than 40%. 

Capital Projects Business Liaison#

A photo of a construction worker at a project site.

In the first full of year of the Capital Projects Business Liaison program, the City engaged more than 500 businesses, helping support their needs and working to mitigate the impacts of construction projects on business operations. Through the program, staff met directly with businesses, went door to door, hosted listening sessions and connected businesses with grant opportunities, among other critical business support.

Halligan Reservoir#

A photo of a dam.

In 2023, the Halligan Reservoir project received its final environmental impact statement. This significant milestone paves the way for expansion of the Halligan Reservoir to enable a more robust, resilient water supply for our current and future customers.

Poudre River Flow Restoration Project#

A photo of the Poudre River.

The recipient of a Colorado Open Space Alliance Blue Grama Award, the City partnered with Colorado State University (CSU) on this restoration project at CSU’s Environmental Learning Center, prioritizing wildlife conservation, recreation opportunities and accessibility. Thanks to a $199,879 Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant, the City improved habitat for the declining plains topminnow fish, labeled as a Colorado Tier 1 Species of Greatest Conservation Need. 

Kestrel Fields Natural Area#

A photo of a cyclist at Kestrel Fields Natural Area

A 73-acre link connecting the foothills and the Cache la Poudre River, Kestrel Fields Natural Area opened to the public in September 2023 with a bilingual celebration. This natural area is unique, as it provides the tenant, Poudre Valley Community Farms, a space for conservation agriculture. The farming area contributes to restoration efforts in Kestrel Fields, creating habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife to increase diversity over time.

Our Climate Future Community Leadership Grants Program#

A photo of produce.

For organizations, businesses and other groups building capacity for climate leadership, the City provided more than $30,000 in flexible funding in 2023. These funds supported local projects focused on reusable to-go container systems, equitable access to local vegetables for low-income families, educational platforms for residential compost, and bilingual school materials for cultural community gardens.

Innovate Fort Collins Challenge#

A photo of a tree with the sun shining through it.

In 2023, this annual grant program awarded approximately $58,000 across eight projects with a focus on climate resiliency, housing affordability and indoor air quality. The program fosters collaboration between neighbors, innovation and leadership among community members and a prioritization of serving underrepresented populations.

Future-Proofing Our Electric Grid#

A photo of a person doing utilities work.

The City’s electric lines have been moved 99.9% underground. The City installed the first underground electric line in 1948, and 2023 brought us near completion of this extensive project, which safeguards our ability to deliver reliable and safe electric service to our community.

911 Call and Response Times#

A photo of a police officer looking at a map on a phone.

In 2023, the City averaged a 911 answer time of 4.11 seconds per call. National standards say 90% of all 911 calls should be answered within 15 seconds and 95% answered within 20 seconds. Fort Collins Police Services also outperformed their own response time goals, averaging 4:48 minutes—well under their target of 5:15 minutes. 

Police Mental Health Response Team#

A photo of the Mental Health Response Team

In 2023, the Mental Health Response Team (MHRT), consisting of a sergeant and four officers partnering with four clinicians from UCHealth, handled more than 1,850 service calls. These teams safely provided professional, compassionate and comprehensive services by conducting on-scene assessments and follow-up aligned with the Fort Collins Police Services’ de-escalation philosophy. Despite the challenging and often volatile nature of their work, only 0.16% of the interactions resulted in an MHRT officer using force. 

Utilities Safety and Responsiveness#

A photo of work crews working.

In 2023, Fort Collins Utilities continued to provide around-the-clock service to keep our community’s critical resources and infrastructure safe and running, including: 

  • Responded to 50 afterhours water main breaks  
  • Treated 7.7 billion gallons of water
  • Treated 4.9 billion gallons of wastewater 
  • Responded to 116,426 customer service calls 
  • Completed 3,209 manual meter reads 
  • Conducted 418 residential solar inspections 
  • Held 137 community engagement opportunities
  • Performed 16,908 tests on water quality samples 

Police Services Community Outreach#

A photo of a Fort Collins Police Services officer.

In addition to their day-to-day interactions with the community, Fort Collins Police Services’ Patrol Division participated in 16 organized community events this year. Highlights include ice cream in Soft Gold Park, Cone with a Cop and dodgeball with Special Olympics.

Poudre Fire Authority Outreach and Education Program Relaunch#

A photo of a fire engine

In 2023, Poudre Fire Authority relaunched and expanded free resources for the community including: 

  • Free, monthly CPR and AED courses with UCHealth 
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm education 
  • Fall prevention courses for people over 60, with quintupled registration in 2023 
  • Fire and life education training 
  • Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention 
  • Expanded presence at community events and in schools 

These resources increase in-home safety for residents, as well as the overall safety of our community. 

PulsePoint App Expands to Save Lives#

A photo of a fire engine.

In 2023, Poudre Fire Authority launched a new branch of the lifesaving app PulsePoint called Verified Responders. PulsePoint Verified Responders allows registered and verified responders to be notified when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. This new function has already saved at least one person’s life: In April 2023, an off-duty firefighter was alerted through the app and rushed to a nearby home where they performed CPR on someone who was unresponsive; the person fully recovered.

RAISE Grant for Foothills Transit Center#

A photo of a bus.

The City received a $10.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to design and build the Foothills Transit Center. This transit center will connect with the future West Elizabeth Bus Rapid Transit project, improving transit access in west Fort Collins, and includes a roundabout at Overland and Elizabeth. It’s also set to serve as a charging point for Transfort's fleet electrification plan. CSU assisted in the project through a land value match.

Vision Zero Action Plan Adoption#

A photo of a cyclist on a street.

In 2023, the City adopted a comprehensive 10-year strategy aimed at eliminating traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries—the Vision Zero Action Plan. This plan combines engineering, education, enforcement and evaluation to create safer roadways, while considering all modes of transportation.

South Timberline Corridor Connectivity#

A photo of a bike lane.

The City improved multimodal safety and connectivity on South Timberline Road from Stetson Creek Drive to Zephyr Road. This newly added 1 mile of 4-lane major road brought with it new sidewalks, bike lanes, medians and more.

Laporte Avenue Enhancements#

A photo of Laporte Avenue

In 2023, the City improved vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian safety along the Laporte Avenue. Construction finished replacing two of Fort Collins' oldest bridges on Laporte, over the Mercer Canal. The project also improved old sidewalks, while adding bicycle lanes, a center reversible turn lane, curb and gutters, as well as other traffic improvements. The work will continue in its second phase in 2024.

Pedestrian Improvements at City Park#

A photo of bike lane markings.

The City built transportation improvements and resurfaced key roads in the City Park Avenue and West Mulberry Street area. Based on the Active Modes Plan, the project improved intersections and bike lanes and widened sidewalks.

2023 State of the City#

Watch last year's State of the City event on our YouTube channel. In 2023, we commemorated the sesquicentennial of the incorporation of Fort Collins! The event celebrated 150 years of municipal service and the coming together of our community through the years.

View the Recording