As the winter season kicks in, Denver Human Services (DHS) is reminding Denver residents that, beginning Nov. 1, 2016, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, or LEAP, is available to assist households with their home heating costs. During the 2015/2016 season, nearly 12,000 people received assistance paying a portion of their heating costs through LEAP, an increase of nearly 2,000 over the previous year.
“No matter who you are or where you’re from, during this time of year, home should be where the warmth is,” said DHS Executive Director Don Mares. “We’re proud to be able to assist even more families than before by helping provide an essential aspect of home and family life to those in Denver who need it most.”
The annual LEAP program will take applications from Nov. 1, 2016 until April 30, 2017.
Receiving LEAP helps qualifying individuals and families stay warm, save money on heating costs and use their remaining cash to pay for other necessities during the winter months.
In addition, those eligible for LEAP assistance may also qualify for other energy related benefits, such as:
·Crisis Intervention Program
·Colorado Department of Revenue
Both families and individuals with incomes of up to 165 percent of the federal poverty index may qualify for LEAP. For example, a family of four with a monthly gross income of less than $3,341 would qualify for LEAP if they met the rest of the eligibility criteria.
Applicants must meet the following to receive help from LEAP:
Both home owners and renters who have at least one legally present household member are eligible to apply for LEAP. See the program eligibility web page for more information.
Applying for LEAP is simple. Applications may be requested by calling 1-866-HEAT-HELP (432-8435), or people may print an application from www.denvergov.org/LEAP. DHS will accept applications from Denver residents for the LEAP program through Sunday, April 30, 2017.
LEAP is a statewide mail-in program that is federally funded and county administered. LEAP is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating. Those applying for assistance must continue to pay their home heating bill.
Ways to Save Energy and Money
LeafDrop Locations and Dates. Please only bring leaves to drop sites during specified dates and times listed below. Dropping off leaves at other times is considered illegal dumping.
WEEKDAY DROP-OFF SITES: MONDAY – FRIDAY, October 10 – December 2, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All leaves brought during the week must be in secured bags. Paper bags are preferred because they are compostable.
WEEKEND DROP-OFF SITES: SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS, November 5 - 20, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dropping off leaves at other times is considered illegal dumping. Paper bags are preferred because they are compostable.
Drop sites and free Ace Hardware paper bag offer is for Denver residents only.
Never rake or blow leaves into the street as this clogs storm sewers and street sweepers.
For more information on this year’s LeafDrop program call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles.
Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, today announced his 2017 Audit Plan. The City Charter requires the annual audit plan to be submitted to the Mayor and City Council by the third Monday in October.
“I’m proud of the steps my office has taken toward complying with the City Charter provision to conduct financial and performance audits. The integrated audits my office now performs deliver relevant recommendations to improve Denver programs and make its expenditures more efficient.”
“We are doing a number of things that haven’t been done before, from tapping private-sector expertise for specialized audits like cybersecurity to getting competitive bids for the independent external audit of Denver’s finances. We’re also establishing entry-level auditor positions to take advantage of the talent coming out of local schools and provide a career path for auditors devoted to public service,” O’Brien continued.
The 2017 Audit Plan includes audits with a direct impact on Denver residents, like enforcement of short-term rental rules and data-driven policing. Other audits evaluate internal City practices, like indirect cost accounting and bond management compliance. The Auditor and his staff meet regularly with elected officials, agency leadership, and community members to gather input so audits target the areas of greatest risk.
“In the coming year, my office will enhance its data analytics capacity to allow the kind of continuous monitoring that best identifies areas of risk. We want to test internal financial controls to ensure the processes are followed correctly, risk is minimized and questionable transactions are detected," O'Brien stated. "We’re always looking at new ways to provide the public with meaningful information on how their tax dollars are being spent.”
“In 2016, our audits had a measurable impact in improving City operations,” explained Jeffrey Garcia, the Auditor’s Director of Contracts and Accountability. “For example, our audit of Rocky Mountain Human Services, the organization receiving property tax dollars to care for Denver’s developmentally and intellectually disabled, resulted in state legislation providing greater accountability and transparency. Our audit of the Denver Police Department’s community policing resulted in a new policy to collect demographic data in officer-initiated stops.”
In the past 14 months, more than 95% of audit recommendations were agreed to by the relevant agency.
The full 2017 Audit Plan can be found here.
Denver Environmental Health is soliciting applications from residents and neighborhood organizations to join Denver’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Program.
Up to two neighborhoods will be selected for the program, and will join the West Colfax, North City Park, Chaffee Park-Regis, Barnum, Villa Park, Green Valley Ranch, Baker, East Montclair/East Colfax, Congress Park, and Highland neighborhoods. The program gives residents the opportunity to become active partners in making Denver a more vibrant and sustainable community.
Neighborhoods receive in-kind support from the City, in the form of printing, venue and catering fees, and staff time to assist with outreach and project development.
Participating Sustainable Neighborhoods earn credits for achieving sustainability goals by completing projects such as: hosting workshops at the local community garden, making energy efficiency upgrades at home, cleaning up alleyways and parks, and encouraging neighbors to sign up for the City’s free recycling service. Depending on the number of credits earned in a given year, neighborhoods receive designation as a “Participating Sustainable Neighborhood” or as an “Outstanding Sustainable Neighborhood.”
"This program provides a platform for residents to become leaders in their community,” says Sustainable Neighborhoods Program Coordinator Taylor Moellers. “Anyone can propose a project, and no project is too small. Whether it’s a Rain Barrel Workshop or a Neighborhood-wide Energy Efficiency Challenge – the Sustainable Neighborhoods staff is here to help.”
To learn more about the program and apply, visit www.SustainableNeighborhoodNetwork.org/Denver.
Sustainable Neighborhood applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7.
For more information about the application process or to request a presentation at your upcoming neighborhood meeting, contact Taylor Moellers, Taylor.Moellers@denvergov.org or 720-865-5477.
It has been 10 years since the last GO bond issuance, the $550 million Better Denver Bond Program. The Better Denver Bond Program allowed Denver to improve, preserve and build roads, libraries, parks, city offices, and other facilities. You can see examples of these projects and read more about the last bond here.
Initial public meetings will begin next month. Information gathered from the public will help identify a package of proposals that will be submitted to City Council next summer for referral to the November 2017 ballot.
The foundation of investment considerations for the 2017 bond is based on Elevate 2020, the 2015-2020 Six Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP identifies Denver’s major city asset rehabilitation needs and new investment opportunities in capital infrastructure. Public and City Council input on the CIP and additional projects that are eligible are an important part of the process. Additional projects that the 2017 bond can pay for must be city-owned and -operated assets.
The yearlong process will include four phases of thoughtful input and assessment:
Community meetings hosted by the City and Denver City Council members to help gather input:
Task Forces tapped to examine and prioritize short and long-term capital facilities and infrastructure needs of the city and make project recommendations.
The recommended investments are presented to the public and additional engagement efforts are launched.
Proposed investment packages submitted to Denver City Council for referral to the November 2017 ballot.
Those interested in providing input can submit questions and comments at any time during the yearlong process by emailing 2017GOBond@denvergov.org or visiting any of Denver’s libraries or recreation centers between November 14 and December 21. General information about the 2017 GO Bond process and regular updates will be provided at www.denvergov.org/2017GObond.
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