Denver District 5 | Deember 2020
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |  DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Chief of Staff: JoyAnn Ruscha | Senior Aide: Logan Fry
Aide: Sara Visser | Aide: Jenn Gross
Dear Neighbors, 

Whew! We've made it to the end of a very difficult year! Although 2020 certainly didn't look like what we expected, we were able to accomplish so much in the District 5 offices, and are proud of all we did to bring the voice of our community back to local government this year.

As we look toward 2021, I am going to enjoy some much needed time with my family, take in the fantastic holiday lights that are sparkling throughout our community, and dream of the coming days - when my kids are safely back in school, our most vulnerable residents are receiving the vaccine, and we can meet at one of our favorite local businesses!

If you haven't already done so, please also take a few minutes to complete our second annual resident survey by clicking here. The survey will close after December 31, 2020. The questions are the same as the ones we asked last year - with the exception of our COVID question. This survey is one important way we can track District 5 resident feedback over time to ensure that we are meeting your needs and advocating for the things you care about in our community, and we truly appreciate your participation.

Our staff looks forward to continuing to serve you, and carrying the voices of District 5 into our local government in 2021. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to assist you. I wish you and your loved-ones health and safety, and a very Happy New Year.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
District 5 
Enjoy Some of Our Favorite Holiday Lights in District 5
Community Office Hours With Councilwoman Sawyer
Speak with Amanda to discuss the issues that are on your mind! Out of an abundance of caution during the current public health crisis, the Councilwoman will not be holding in-person community office hours for now. She will instead offer private phone or Zoom appointments. Please contact the office at denvercouncil5@denvergov.org or 720-337-5555 to reserve a time. If you're unable to make any of these dates, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time. Dates and times are subject to change.

  • Thursday, December 17, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, January 7, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, January 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Come Together for a Cause! Join Us for the Southeast Denver Gives Blood Drive #SEDenverGivesBlood
During these extraordinary times, many of us may have felt intense helplessness. If you're looking for a way to support your neighbors, please consider taking part in the Southeast Denver Gives Blood Drive. Our office is partnering with Vitalant Blood Donation, and neighboring Denver Council Districts and Colorado House and Senate Districts, with a goal to collect 75 blood donations between January 15 and February 15 and we need your help!

Vitalant's Lowry location is at 717 Yosemite St., just north of the Great Lawn. Throughout our state Vitalant must collect more than 3,000 blood donations each week to meet the demands of their hospital partners. Current statistics show that many community blood centers have a one-day supply or less. Click here to learn more about current national and regional blood supply.

Click the link below to schedule your blood donation appointment and ensure it counts towards our drive to 75!
https://learn.vitalant.org/LP=148?drive_code=DEN10315&division=MOUNTAIN%26%region=DEN
You can give blood at any Vitalant location and still participate in the Southeast Denver Gives Blood Drive. Click here to find out if you're eligible to donate. To double-check that your donation counts towards our goal, you can also mention the Southeast Denver Gives Blood Drive when you check-in at the donation site. If you feel moved to do so, please use your social media channels to share a photo of youself giving blood with #SEDenverGives Blood. If you aren’t eligible to donate blood, please consider participating in these ways:
  • Click here to donate funds
  • Encourage friends and family to donate blood
  • Share the #SEDenverGivesBlood District 5 social media posts. Check the Denver Council 5 social media sites at the bottom of this newsletter for posts.

Installation of 6th Avenue Parkway Sidewalks Pushed to 2023
The Elevate Denver Bond Program's sidewalk projects was designed to "create new connections between neighborhoods, bus stops and rail stations," with more than 30 miles of sidewalks installed in in Denver by 2029. In District 5, work to install sidewalks along 6th Avenue Parkway was scheduled to begin in 2021. Our office has been updated that the 6th Avenue portion has been pushed to 2023. See the chart below for dates and specific locations. Our office will provide updates as they become available.
Denver Water Updates: Lead Reduction Program; Upcoming Work in Montclair; and Water Main Replacement in Crestmoor
Lead Reduction Program
Denver Water has informed our office that in 2021, customers enrolled in the program will continue to receive replacement filters and reminders about proper filter use. Denver Water will also send water quality tests to select homes to help refine where lead service lines exist. Beginning in early December 2020, water quality tests will also be going to some of the properties identified for service line replacement over the coming year. Denver Water will also send consent form packets to customers for upcoming replacements. If you have questions about the Lead Reduction Program, click here to learn more, call 303-893-2444, or send an email.

Work in Montclair
In an effort to prevent leaks, Denver Water is decommissioning an old water conduit in the Montclair neighborhood, beginning in mid-December. Work is expected to take about two months in these locations, listed in sequential order and shown on the map below:
  • North Poplar Street from East 10th Avenue to East 8th Avenue.
  • East 8th Avenue from North Poplar Street to North Quebec Street.
  • North Quebec Street from East 8th Avenue to East 6th Avenue.

If you have qestions about the work in Montclair, call 303-894-2444, or click here to submit an inquiry.
Work in Crestmoor
Denver Water crews have begun installing new water mains on a few streets west and southwest of Crestmoor Park. Denver Water says that any customer-owned lead service lines they encounter during the project will be replaced at no direct cost to the customer. This multi-phase project will vary in duration according to how many lead service lines are encountered on each street. The project was scheduled to begin on December 11 and is expected to last nine months. These are the locations, in planned sequential order, and are shown on the map below:
  • South Jasmine Street from East 1st Avenue to East Virginia Avenue
  • South Jersey Sha treet from East Alameda Avenue East 1st Avenue
  • South Ivy Street from East 1st Avenue to East Virginia Avenue
  • South Krameria Street from East Virginia Avenue to East Cedar Avenue.

Call Denver Water Customer Care at 303-893-2444 if you have questions.
Montclair Park Improvements
As we have previously reported, Montclair Park will be under construction beginning in January 2021, with the removal of the tennis court in the NW corner. Unfortunately, trace amounts of asbestos were found that will require an abatement team to safely remove the court in its entirety. A certified contractor has been hired to do the work according to the City and County of Denver’s DDPHE regulations. The work is anticipated to last two months and will take place in a closed ‘tent’ that will be monitored by a third party, again according to City’s regulations. Later this winter, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) will start construction on the new courts. Elevate Denver bond funding will be used for improvements to the sidewalks, parking area, and the picnic area along Newport St., with completion in Summer of 2021.
District 5 Office to Begin 8th Avenue Traffic Study
As you may know, our office was able to take advantage of vacancy savings in our 2020 budget and has chosen to direct those funds towards a traffic study of 8th Avenue from Colorado Blvd. to Quebec St. This decision was made in response to concerns we have heard from numerous residents in the District regarding the speeds and lack of safe crossings across the 8th Avenue corridor.
 
It is essential that this process be community-led. Our office will partner with District 5 RNOs and local traffic engineering firm Fehr & Peers to conduct community engagement and outreach, and to gather traffic data. Charlie Alexander from Fehr & Peers will be coordinating with Denver’s Dept. of Transportation & Infrastructure to determine where traffic calming measures and safe crossings might be installed along 8th Avenue to help create a safer, more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly environment for our neighborhoods. We are also very grateful to the traffic study group created by the Cranmer Park-Hilltop Civic Association who will be also be spearheading this community work. This project is in early stages and our office will pass along more information as it progresses. Stay tuned!
The Multi-Sport Skate Park at Lowry is Open!
Did you know that a year-round, multi-sport skate rink sponsored by the Colorado Avalanche hockey team is open at the Lowry Sports Field? Although the Grand Opening was cancelled in an effort to keep people safe and healthy, the rink is open to the public, so check it out!

Located between the Jackie Robinson Fields and the tennis courts, and between Sports Boulevard and Lowry Boulevard, the rink is installed on an approximately 12,000 square foot concrete pad, and is surrounded by a nearly 7-foot-tall dasher board system with team benches similar to those found at indoor hockey rinks. The rink surface is a slightly padded synthetic “sport court” that community members can play various sports on, such as inline skating, roller hockey, futsal, soccer, box lacrosse, or basketball drills.
RNO Renewal is Due Sunday, January 31, 2021
If you are active in your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO), please make sure your board is aware that January 31, 2021 is the deadline to renew with the City of Denver. All RNOs are required to re-register each year between December 1 and January 31. Groups that do not re-register by January 31 will be removed from the City's list of registered neighborhoods in February, as required by ordinance. Click here renew your RNO and for more information. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to our wonderful neighborhoods!
Check Out The Winter Mayfair Mirror Online!
The Mayfair Mirror quarterly newsletter has returned with an online Winter issue. Click here to see the Winter issue and here to learn more about the Registered Neighborhood Organization, Mayfair Neighbors, Inc., If you have questions, click here to send an email.
Current City of Denver Public Comment Opportunities
If you are interested in commenting during a hearing, please click here for guidelines and FAQs, and click here to sign up. Sign-up begins 45 minutes prior to the committee’s scheduled start time and ends 15 minutes before the meeting begins.

There are currently two open re-zoning requests in District 5:
  • An ADU request at 1112 Verbena Street was filed on August 20, and a revised application was received on November 25.
  • There is no further information or staff report available at this time
  • Rezoning application at 10353 E. Mississippi was filed on October 1st.
  • There is no further information or staff report available at this time

Upcoming hearings on re-zoning requests in other Districts are listed below - dates are subject to change. For more information on proposed rezonings and their public hearings visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website.

December 21
  • 910 Galapago
  • 2567 Albion st.
  • 3621 Lowell Blvd.
  • Sandoval Park Designation

December 28 - City Council does not meet

January 11
  • 1272 Columbine

If you don't have internet access, you can still attend all Denver City Council meetings by phone. Call 720-928-9299 and enter the Meeting ID of the meeting you wish to listen to. Click here to learn more and to see a Meeting Calendar.
City Deploys Additional $4 Million in COVID-19 Emergency Funds to Support Residents, Workers, Small Businesses
The City and County of Denver announced this week that it will release an additional $4 million in COVID-19 emergency funds to support residents, workers, and businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. The City’s COVID-19 Emergency Special Revenue Fund (SRF) will be the funding source after being reimbursed for eligible expenses covered by federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. CRF funds may only be used to cover eligible expenses incurred March 1, 2020 to Dec. 30, 2020, meaning all funds must be expended by Dec. 30. The City developed a phased deployment strategy to ensure the funds were maximized and available to support Denver residents, nonprofits and businesses throughout the year.
 
Denver will use $4 million COVID-19 Emergency Special Revenue Funds for the following additional supports:
  • $1.5M additional CRF to provide grants to local small businesses that have negatively affected by closures due to COVID-19 public health orders. 
  • $1 million CRF support for Restaurant and Hotel Workers who live in Denver and have been laid off, furloughed or had a severe reduction in income due to COVID-19. Funds will be deployed through a partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation to ensure rapid deployment directly to workers.
  • $1.5 million additional support for the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program to support residents impacted by COVID to address the continued, growing need for rental and/or utility relief, and to help prevent involuntary displacement and a potential tide of future evictions.
Denver to Waive Penalty for Late Payment of November Sales and Use, OPT, and Seat Taxes
To support local businesses impacted by the pandemic, the City and County of Denver will again waive the 15% penalty for late payment for sales and use, occupational privilege, and seat (facility development admissions) taxes for Nov. taxes due Dec. 20, 2020.
 
Businesses collect the taxes on behalf of the consumer and must remit them monthly to the City. Legally, the taxes should not be used to supplement business expenses. Businesses must still file their return and remit the tax funds within 30 days of the due date. While the 15% penalty for late payment is waived, a 1% interest fee for delinquent payments will continue to accrue. DOF will continue to evaluate an extension of the waiver on a month-by-month basis. 
Denver Human Services Offers Assistance with Home Heating Costs
Denver Human Services' Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a statewide program that helps eligible residents pay for some of their home heating or heating system repair costs during the cold winter months. LEAP is federally funded and open to both homeowners and renters. During the 2019/2020 season, 7,973 Denver residents received help through the program. Click here for FAQs and additional information.

LEAP is available through April 30, 2021. Eligible applicants must:
  • have a gross monthly income of no more than 60% of Colorado’s Area Median Income - $2,619 for an individual or $5,038 for a family of four
  • be responsible for paying heating costs
  • be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, or belong to a household with a legal resident.

Click here to complete the application online, or call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (432-8435) to request an application by mail. In addition to LEAP, residents may also qualify for other assistance programs. Click here to see a list of programs, and to access applications.
Denver Fire Dept Gives Tips for Christmas Tree and Holiday Lights Safety
As we light up the darkness of winter with elecrtic lights and candles, DFD wishes us a happy and safe season, asking that we keep a few facts in mind:
  • More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles.
  • More than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
  • More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of the fires.

To avoid a holiday fire catastrophe, follow these tips:
  • Choose fire-resistant decorations.
  • If you buy a Christmas tree and get a "live" one, check that the needles are fresh, green and do not fall off when touched. Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk. Add water daily. Do not use candles to decorate a tree.
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Ensure all decorations - trees and otherwise, are not near any heat source - fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and that they don't block an exit.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections (see holiday light recycling info below!).
  • Always turn off string of lights on trees before going to bed, and blow out all candles
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles and keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. (see tree recycling info bvelow!).
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Recycle Holiday Lights and Christmas Trees!
Treecycle is January 4-15
This seasonal program from Denver Recycles keeps Christmas trees out of landfills and turn them into valuable garden mulch! Remove all decorations, lights and the tree stand from your tree, and then set it out for collection on one of your scheduled trash collection days between January 4-15. Free Treecycle mulch is made available to Denver residents at the Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale in May. Click here to learn more.

Recycle Your Holiday Lights - through January 19
Did you find broken, burned-out or impossibly tangled sets of holiday lights when you decorated this year? Don’t throw them out – recycle them for free instead! Click here for drop-off locations, what is/isn't accepted, and to learn about electronics recycling, how to safely dispose of household hazardous waste, and more.
Apply for Positions on Denver's Sustainability Advisory Council by January 15
The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR) invites you to to apply to join one of the six standing committees of the Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC), working with staff liaisons to advise CASR on: (1) Science and Research, (2) Climate Equity and Environmental Justice, (3) Buildings and Homes, (4) Energy, (5) Resource Management, and (6) Sustainable Transportation. The committee co-chairs will serve as voting members of the SAC, along with two at-large members and one member from Denver City Council. 

The SAC will meet at least quarterly and each committee will meet at least six times per year. It is anticipated that meetings of the SAC and committees will be held virtually (online) through most of 2021. Interpretation services will be made available. Applications are due by Friday, January 15, 2021 at 5PM. Click here to learn more and apply.
Virtural Events
Denver Art Museum at Home
DAM offeres several ways to virtually enjoy the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism exhibit through January 24, 20221. Click here to see the available virutal events for art lovers of all ages.
ADU Discussion and Q & A - Two Meeting Days

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
6:00pm

Join one or both of these meetings, led by Councilmembers Sawyer and Herndon, to learn more about Accessory Dwelling Units and to share your thoughts about if/how they would benefit our community.

Click here to learn more, register for the Zoom meeting, and take the ADU survey. After December 18, click here to access the City's East Colfax ADU webpage.
Central, East Central & Southeast Elected Officials Town Hall October Meetings on Zoom and Facebook Live

Thursday, January 28, 2021
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Members of the DPS Board and the Interim Superintendent will discuss the return to in-person learning and the search for a new Superintendent.

For Elected Officials Town Hall meetings:
Click here to sign up.
District 5 Neighborhood Organizations
Denver is a unique city in promoting greater citizen involvement through organized neighborhood associations. Currently, there are 78 statistical neighborhoods represented by more than 200 registered neighborhood organizations (RNOs), Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

In its defined geographic area, an RNO will normally address neighborhood quality of life issues - such as traffic, development and zoning, crime, communication and licensing - and promote social activities to enhance residential spirit, developing a sense of community, and encourage resident participation. RNOs meet regularly and many send out newsletters to keep residents informed on neighborhood issues and events.

Get more involved in your community by joining your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO). Below are a list of Council District 5 community community organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by clicking HERE and entering your address or selecting a location on the map.